Did Steve Jobs Lower Your Salary?

by Evil HR Lady on April 10, 2014

For years, Google and Apple had a gentlemen’s agreement not to poach one another’s employees. But now that a class action lawsuit has been filed claiming affected tech workers deserve $9 billion in total–that’s billion with a B, not an M–it’s clear this wasn’t just a Google and Apple thing but something much bigger. Tech companies like Intuit and Pixar were also named in the suit, and now everyone is panicked, as they should be.

Yes, high salaries are a concern for any business, especially startups. And if the free market had been functioning, Silicon Valley salaries may have soared higher than they already have, making it even harder to secure top-notch talent. But it’s also likely higher Silicon Valley salaries would have had another result: talent moving to other regions.

To keep reading, click here: Did Steve Jobs Lower Your Salary?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

EngineerGirl April 11, 2014 at 7:54 pm

I am seeing some companies fleeing California not just for salaries, but for the employment laws. California has a lot of additional requirements – have to pay out one week for FLMA, have to pay out all unused vacation, how they handle disability, etc.
Ironically, Silicon Valley has a lot of H1-B visas. You can’t have that unless the employer states that there are no other US citizens that can do the job. But if there is that kind of talent shortage then salaries should be higher. So these companies gamed the system in more ways than one. They created an artificial “talent shortage” so they could hire overseas talent at a lower rate. I’m surprised that Immigration isn’t involved in this too.

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Evil HR Lady April 11, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Yeah, the whole tech industry would look very different if it weren’t for these “agreements.”

And the H1-Be visa thing drives me nuts. First of all, I’m in favor of less stringent immigration criteria, but if you’re going to make a rule, it should be enforced intelligently.

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EngineerGirl April 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm

I should add another note. $9 Billion sounds excessive until you do the numbers. There are 100,000 employees affected. $9 billion divided by 100,000 is $90,000 total. Yes, that is $90,000 total over someone’s entire career. If you take mid-career (15 years) that is a difference in salary of $6000 per year. These engineers are asking for far, far, less than what they actually lost.

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Evil HR Lady April 11, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Absolutely! It’s not that much money per person, but it’s a pretty big hit for a company to take all at once.

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old_engineer April 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Fairness, engineering, and salary, three words that never appear together. Due to space constraints full arguments will not be presented. Frequently, overseas candidates will include anything that happened in their office as being a skill on their resume. This is hard to check. But a salary will be based on these skills. For a US candidate, the “documented skills” are fewer and can be checked. So a US candidates gets a lower salary because they cannot match a fictional skill set. And because salaries are cumulative, a low start will haunt you for quite a while.

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Anonymous April 25, 2014 at 4:07 pm

WOW…so wrong on so many levels; better to keep your anger to yourself

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