Sunday, June 24, 2007

YouTube-Gate: Cohen & Grigsby train how to NOT hire qualified Americans

For those under age 40, "YouTube-Gate" is a twist on the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon. Our objective is that Congress end these H-1b, PERM, and related employment-based immigration scandals by revising the statutes to provide true protection for U.S. workers.

Our five-minute YouTube of an immigration seminar by the law firm of Cohen & Grigsby has received over 80,000 hits on YouTube, and resulted in major media coverage. The video prompted Senator Charles Grassley and Congressman Lamar Smith to write a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to investigate whether U.S. companies are abusing the H-1B visa program.

Today we documented that three of the eight IT classified ads in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review today are suspect fake PERM ads. (We need a hard-copy of the June 24th Philadelphia Daily News.)

We also expose the Cohen & Grigsby client companies that are running the fake job ads. The client with the most H-1b processing is foreign outsourcing firm Hexaware. These H-1bs harm the U.S. economy by facilitating the transfer of U.S. jobs and technology overseas. And Congress has an obligation to suspend laws that harm our country.

Prevailing wage? In their second video Cohen & Grigsby cite the "prevailing wage" requirement of H-1b. The majority of H-1b programmers use the Level One prevailing wage. The Level One prevailing wage for Lawyer in Philadelphia is $24.75 hour! I doubt that the attorneys in this video would contend that wage would protect them from displacement.

TIP: This website http://video.qooqle.jp/dl/ is one of many that allows you to download YouTube videos. (This is how we grabbed these training videos before the law firm removed them.)

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Again and again, people feel that high school grads/college dropouts who know how to write a "Hello World" program are qualified Americans...

THEN, talking about trainings... If one doesn't get experience thru internships or co-op programs while they're in school, who's the one to blame?

Who's jobless now, btw? I am not. You are not. Your friends are not. Don't forget the unemployment rate of college grads is now sitting around 1%!

Anonymous said...

YouTube is blocked at many schools and companies. I've been trying to show this video to my co-workers, but everywhere it's blocked. Can you guys PLEASE upload it to your Guild site and allow us to view it from there? Just place a Video flash file or a wmv. The impact is important to get workers to see the reality of what's happening.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Foreign workers have come to this country for 100+ years since the railroad era, so what's new here?

KauaiMark said...

Let's have the government eliminate the yearly call for increasing the H-1B quota, charge $1m for each H-1B visa granted and charge a yearly fee of $100k to keep it.

I predict that companies would suddenly find lots and lots of "qualified" U.S. engineers.

This would be a win/win/win solution. More U.S. workers have jobs, the companies that still need imported workers could hire as many H-1B's as they could afford and the government gets a new income source to help offset the budget deficit.

Anyone else have a better idea? Use the comments section and if I see a better solution, I'll append it here.

(I wonder if "Carbon Life Form Offset Credits" would work in this situation? Quick, get Al on the phone!...)

Anonymous said...

What if they REALLY can't find qualified Americans?

Will you ask a high school dropout to be a doctor that will perform a surgery for you?

Anonymous said...

Kim,

Thank you for your continuing efforts to expose the questionable - if not illegal - employment practices of some in corporate America.

I am outraged that our elected leaders care more about the few executives who fund their campaigns than the many working people who elect them to office.

It is essential that efforts, such as this site, continue to inform the voters so that we re-elect congressmen who advocate for American workers.

Keep up the good work!

john said...

Thank you. Finallly someone is standing up to these large corporations and this fraud.

This is really driving programmer wages down and we are losing talent as it has biggest effect on recent grads. There is a big myth about h1-bs being really good. Most of them I have worked with are below average techies and few good one are actually educated here in U.S. Managment of course loves obedient servants who do not compalain.

Anonymous said...

Kim,
It is imperative that you keep writing to expose the lawlessness of the specific corporations and the lobbyists who together are destroying work opportunities for us and our kids in the field of engineering.
Organized protests at government sites and at corporate conferences must happen, as they do for war protests. This is a war on the middle class that will only stop with people taking back Congress.

Anonymous said...

John,
My husband has a Masters in Computer Science from one of the top three CS schools in the country. He is in his fifties and has been working as a consultant. He is forced to train so called skilled immigrants who can hardly even speak English. They can hardly understand programming and their degrees are from no name supposed universities but the companies look the other way becuase they hire them for so much less. It is scary, and he won't have this job for much longer.
God help us all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see your blog is being invaded by shills shouting that Americans are unavailable, unqualified, that we will suffer without foreign labor, blah, blah, blah. Those who hunger for work from the west just can't seem to remember how well we did before the planeloads of them showed up, and how well we will do again once, we put an end to this fraudulent, anti-American-worker mess.

Anonymous said...

This will tell you the correct way to file a complaint against the attorney in the youtube video. You have a right to do this.

You can complain to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court about the actions of the attorney at this conference. The Supreme court is THE ONLY ENTITY empowered to take action against attorneys; the Pennsylvania Bar Association is a private organization funded by its attorney-members. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the ONLY correct place to file a complaint.

Here are the three steps to file a complaint:

1 go to ;
http://padisciplinaryboard.org/forms/consumer.php

and download a complaint form. You must MAIL this complaint form- it cannot be mailed online, although you can fill it out online then print it.


2. Fill it in. You will need specific information on the attorney in question, which I provide below.

3 sign date and mail it.

DONE.

Here is all the information you need to fill out the form:


Name
Lawrence Mark Lebowitz

PA Attorney ID:
51284

Current Status:
Active

Date of Admission:
12/15/1987

Lawfirm:
Cohen & Grigsby, P.C.

District:
4
County:
Allegheny

Public Access Address:
Cohen & Grigsby PC
11 Stanwix St 15th Fl
Pittsburgh, PA 152221319

Tel:
412 297-4900

Fax:
412 209-0672

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reporting on a problem that affects so many of us.

BC said...

I have just watched this Youtube video, and I have to admit I am in tears. My husband has a BSME and an MBA, and worked for years as a system admin, after years of doing design work on CAD systems. Then he had a benign brain tumor which affected his ability to work for about a year. Afterwards he continued to work at contract positions for several years, but for the past 6 years, he has been unable to get a position in IT. I thought it was mostly the fault of his tumor, but now I think otherwise. Probably doesn't help that now he's 51. How on earth can we fight this? I can't believe this is happening in the United States!!

And how can people post comments that claim otherwise?! My husband HAS *trainings*! (Obviously the first post here is by a non-native English speaker!) and he asks, "who's jobless now?" Well, my husband is almost jobless--started work somewhere new today at $12/hour! Believe me, the qualified American citizens are out there but no one will give them a chance!

epellon said...

Great Job! This video shows us how Corrupt the H1-B Process really is!!

If any of you have the time, please check out my Blog that address Outsourcing Offshore, L1 and H-1B visa and the effects it has on Americans.

My blog is located at

http://blog.peningo.com

Thanks

Ed

Trish said...

The Cohen & Grisby video only confirmed for me what I really already knew from conversations with the IT community online. I knew that about half were unemployed, so the corporate shouting for foreign workers due to a US shortage was just so much bull. I even got a letter from one of my senators about this, and will be happy to set her straight on the facts.

Suzanne. said...

BC said she was in tears, and I have to admit I am too. I saw your video clips on FoxNews, and found your full video and the Programmers' Guild through YouTube. I want to vomit. Everything hits the nail on the head. I'm a programmer and was laid off after 9/11 at the ancient age of 41 (nothing wrong with my abilities or my health), and have never again been able to reconnect in my field. I've had the sense for years I've been applying to fake job ads, because hundreds of my applications have simply evaporated. Ads I've been a perfect match for do not even get me a phone interview. I have not been able to explain to my family for years now why I ended up in property management, shuffling rental contracts and sweeping parking lots in 100+ degree heat, when I'm so educated, experienced and skilled in computer programming. My God, thank you for exposing this.

And by the way, this is YOUR BLOG. You can delete any comments by spammers badmouthing that it's not true. Let them get their own blogs. But here they do nothing but hurt those of us who have lived it, and know it IS TRUE. God Bless you for what you are doing through the Programmers' Guild.

Suzanne.

Anonymous said...

It's easier to blame others for our own shortcomings than it is to admit that we have faults.

Maybe we should deport US CITIZENS of different ethnical backgrounds like we did during the Great Depression or put them in concentration camps as we did during WWII.

That should make everyone feel better, and perhaps get a couple Senators a few more votes.

Anonymous said...

Human beings tend to seek excuses for their unfortunates or own failures, so we can blame at someone/something.

Face the fact, the IT industry tends to employ young people, whether you're a US citizen or foreigner.

Anonymous said...

Kim, is it safe to say that a lot of HR Departments are geared more towards getting H1-B workers than native-born workers? There are a lot of H1-B workers getting jobs that never seem to have been posted to the general public before.

dicktater said...

Lawrence M. Lebowitz
Director
Cohen & Grigsby
412.297.4979

http://www.cohenlaw.com/attorneys-81.html

llebowitz@cohenlaw.com

vCard
http://www.cohenlaw.com/vcard-81.vcf

Anonymous said...

Note to foreign worker: a preference or tendency to employ younger workers is ILLEGAL in most modern, first world countries. When irrelevant preference criteria are used in hiring decisions (i.e. race, gender, age) we call this 'discrimination.' And sometimes lawsuits are filed. As should probably happen in this case. No, we should not be importing your nation's younger workers to replace our older workers because there is no good reason to do so. The fact that foreign workers tend to be cheaper and more docile with the boss is not a good reason, merely something that makes our management see an opportunity to roll back a century of western labor law progress. I know it's hard for foreign workers to face the fact that they were never needed here, just brought in because they were cheaper and more submissive to management, and their professional standing is based on fraud and dirty tricks, but that's the cold, hard truth. In the end, scabs have no friends. Don't let the screen door hit you ....

Anonymous said...

Just remember that your ancestors were immigrants to this country. What happened to America being a "melting pot"?

Anonymous said...

Every US citizen entering college and majoring in a tech field must view this video to see what they are up against - how the chips are stacked against them.

It may not hit them now but just wait until they reach their 40's.

Education for a tech career involves alot of money and hard work. Why should any American enter a field of study where they will be ignored for job openings because they are US citizens.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like discrimination based on nationality (being an American citizen). Isn't that illegal?

Anonymous said...

How amusing that wannabe holders of American jobs keep harping that we are 'immigrants' as if we had no idea where we came from, as if we thought the stork brought us to America. I've read more strident posts elsewhere that insisted there was NO difference between me and an H-1b, as we were all 'immigrants.' This is total BS. We are not immigrants if we have no homeland to return to if America doesn't work out for us. The nations our ancestors came from do not recognize us as citizens or family and would make us jump through hoops if we wanted to come back - and might refuse us. We usually don't know the language, customs, and laws of our ancestral countries, because our ancestors gave up all that in order to become Americans. We are no longer what our ancestors were, we are Americans and America is a sovereign nation, with the right to regulate immigration, work visas, and any other access by foreigners to suit its own purposes. Defending the quality of life for its citizens is one of those purposes. Every other nation regulates access by foreigners, why not us too? Keep insulting Americans - you're very quotable and you're helping my side of the debate.

Anonymous said...

Michael Douglas said it "Greed Is Good." That is what is happening to our country. Microsoft opening all it'ew new research labs in India and China does not help our kids one bit. Since the beginning of time, it's all about the money. Let's face it, we all contribute to our own country's decline. Stores carry products made in China cause they have a higher profit margin. Products made in the USA are rare and expensive. I work at a hospital and you knew how much of the surgical equipment is made in China, you would not have surgery. I have seen Anesthesia bags that were once made in America, be replaced with thin, crappy versions that say made in China. The purchasing dept loves them, they are 3 times cheaper.

Just because a few of you have a job today, does not mean you will enjoy your status tommorow. beside, there is a more important issue here. The one of our children and our country. When we die, it does not matter, but for those who continue......why should we make it harder for them? The only reason you can do what you do today, is because of the caring work by those who left us. Our kids deserve the same. I'm going to fight for them cause they deserve a chance to live like I have or better, not worse.

epellon said...

Wow! This only confirms how corrupt the H1-B System as become and how the Americans are place at a huge disadvantage!

In order to bring some equity back to the American tax paying workers, we at Peningo Systems
would like to propose the following:

- Any company that hires an H1-B or L-1 Visa to work in the United States must pay a tax that is equal to 100% of the “Employer and Employee” portion of the Social Security and Medicare tax. This is important, since it takes away one of the “MAIN” incentives to fire an “AMERICAN WORKER” and replace them with an H1-B or L-1 Visa. As it is all H1-B and their employers ARE EXEMPT FROM PAYING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TAX! This practice must stop.

- To combat the abuse of low pay to H1-B and L-1 Visa holder to under cut the American based worker, which is a violation of the letter of the law, the Federal government must come up with a “Up To Date” Salary survey that would accurately reflect what an American actually would get in the free market place. Then the H1-B or L-1 Visa holder MUST be paid in the UPPER 10% of the Salary range...that's right.... the H1-B MUST be paid in the UPPER 10% of the Salary range. This would insure that H1-B are treated in terms of cost the same as an American and that the H1-B is truly a talent that is needed!

If we implement these 2 proposals, then the H-1B would compete with an American based on the merits of his/her abilities and not solely based on the fact that the H1-B is 10s of thousands of dollars cheaper than the American.

This is a fair way to bring equity back into the US as well as protect out Tax Base from the Tax Evading scheme of hiring foreign workers and avoid paying for Social Security and Medicare tax.

If you have time, please check out my Blog at Peningo Opinion Blog

Anonymous said...

Raising the cost of the H-1b (and other guestworker visas) to employers would indeed be a powerful tool to correct the abuses. We get fed up with foreign workers sneering at us, demanding that we face our 'shortcomings' and accept the 'reason' they are getting our jobs, no matter how many times we point out that they are cheaper and more docile. With those two reasons, what others are needed? So, if their assertion that they are getting our jobs because they are better than us, then obviously they would be worth a lot more money, right? And the employers would gladly pay more for these wonderful workers, right? Let's find out!

Anonymous said...

epellon says,

"This is a fair way to bring equity back into the US as well as protect out Tax Base from the Tax Evading scheme of hiring foreign workers and avoid paying for Social Security and Medicare tax."

Well, what do you know, epellon? Please do get your facts straight...The last I checked, people who work on H1B visas, DO PAY SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TAX though THEY AREN'T ELIGIBLE TO CLAIM ANY SOCIAL SECURITY OR MEDICA RE BENEFITS because of their H1B status...Please do some research before you make any statement...

Anonymous said...

To add to the proposals:

I suggest that any and all jobs be required to be posted on a website modeled on the federal jobs site (USAJobs.gov)prior to ANY type of guest worker visa or green card certification. The posting time should be similar to those of the current site and the automatic notification process of posted jobs must be enabled. (Six hours on the office cafeteria bulletin board does not constitute an honest search!!!)

The must be an audited DOL certification that were no US citizen or current permanent resident applicants before an employer could apply for any type of a work based visa.

Our elected officials in DC cannot possibly say that this is not a feasible approach since it is exactly what they currently use. Porting the process currently in place, eliminates the "concerns" about the feasibility of the procedure.

There should not be any way for an university employer to say a foreign applicant was "better qualified" without interviewing all applying citizens and permanent residents meeting the minimum specified qualifications.

If an employer is willing to train a foreign applicant, he must be required to provide the same training at the same fee and conditions for a domestic applicant.

Someone should also look into the fraud in the F-1/OPT/CPT process. Individuals who have received advanced degrees are returning to community colleges and some so called universities which will issue CPTs to get around the H-1B visa quotas. Taxpayers subsidize all education at community colleges, and I don't want to pay for a PhD to go for an AA degree just so he can remain in this country.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!

Anonymous said...

You racist idiots....

Do you know that many job postings require a prospective applicant to be a "green card holder or US citizen"?

What do you say about that? Cry "discrimination" for that, then.

Anonymous said...

Symantec Corportion
QA department
of Veritas Software,
Mountain View Ca

Any one in HR, Systems Admin, there or an Manager
(with a Conscious), who has inside information that they want to share anonymously at least to confirm my observations/suspicions
if not facts..


Employees who previously performed
as expected or exceeded expectations are downgraded in new
review process where employee imput
prior to the review is no longer allowed.

In next round of work place reductions some of these employees
are let go.

Job are posted to meet some legal requirement when manager already
has someone in mind...

Positions sought at lower scale
outsourced or H1B mostly...

Anonymous said...

The only idiots are the ones who cry 'racist' here. Discrimination based on national origin is NOT the same thing as discrimination based on citizenship status. The later is legal, and considered appropriate by just about ALL sovereign nations. An employer can't turn down an Irish American or an African American, but an employer CAN refuse to sponsor a foreigner for an H-1B. Yeah, we know how much foreigners are jonesing for American jobs - too bad.

Anonymous said...

I think that American workers should file a class action lawsuit against this law firm for fraud and conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Quote:
"Well, what do you know, epellon? Please do get your facts straight...The last I checked, people who work on H1B visas, DO PAY SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TAX though THEY AREN'T ELIGIBLE TO CLAIM ANY SOCIAL SECURITY OR MEDICA RE BENEFITS because of their H1B status...Please do some research before you make any statement..."
Okay - here ya go...
Quote:
"I was wondering if anybody here can answer a question regarding FICA/medicare taxes. i worked for a year after graduating from a master's program, but still in F1 status so I didn't have to pay FICA and medicare."

Feel free to do your own research. This individual worked for a year without paying those taxes. Undoubtedly, they also worked while in school - potentially four additional years.

In addition you may want to review this article:
http://migration.ucdavis.edu/MN/more.php?id=2300_0_2_0

In addition - what perturbs US citizens is this convenient fact:
"If you meet the test and have been in the U.S. on an H-1B visa for the entire calendar year, you are a full-year resident for U.S. tax purposes. As a resident taxpayer you must report, for U.S. tax purposes, your worldwide income. You are also eligible to claim all deductions and credits available to U.S. citizens. (However, to claim the Earned Income Credit, you and all members of your family must have Social Security numbers enabling you to work.) You can file Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ, whichever is applicable to your situation, and if you are married you can file a joint return with your spouse. See the instructions for the forms. As a resident taxpayer, you still might be eligible to claim treaty benefits under the U.S. tax treaty with your home country."

See... you aren't only taking our jobs, you're taking benefits too. Can't pay taxes without being eligible for benefits.

BTW folks - the same EIC credit will be available to the amnesty immigrants if it becomes law. Intial estimates are $20Billion in the first year....

Anonymous said...

anonymous wrote:


Well, what do you know, epellon? Please do get your facts straight...The last I checked, people who work on H1B visas, DO PAY SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TAX though THEY AREN'T ELIGIBLE TO CLAIM ANY SOCIAL SECURITY OR MEDICA RE BENEFITS because of their H1B status...Please do some research before you make any statement...


anonymous: YOU NEED TO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT TOO before accusing epellon.

Actually you are both correct. If the visa holder's home country has a totalization agreement with the US then they do NOT pay taxes into the US Social Security system. Otherwise, they do pay Social Security taxes.

Some European countries have totalization agreements with the US. India does not have a totalization agreement with the US.

However, the government of India is fighting hard to get a totalization agreement with the US. Once that happens, no visa holders from India will pay taxes into the US Social Security system.

So in the long run, H-1b visas not only result in lost jobs and opportunities, but further drain our Social Security system that is going broke.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I would like to interview or at least chat with the individual who initially released/posted the video to youtube.

Was it Larry himself? If so, one would have to wonder as to his motive. He is the Vice-President of Marketing, as well as a highly placed member of Pitt U's staff.

Did he do it for the convenience of a client who wanted to attend but couldn't?

I'd like to think it was more of a deep, psychological need to let the nation know what he and (probably) many others are doing to tear down House America.

The fact this story hit the major media outlets for all of 1/2 of a newsday then vaporized while Paris Hilton is still going strong says a great deal about our public information channels and the US population at large.

It used to be "follow the money". Now its "follow the fluff".

Mainstream media has made it clear they feel PH is by far a greater draw than the actions of one of PA's 2007 "Super Attorneys".

BTW - if you research "Larry" you'll see he's been at this for many years; foreign imports for the healthcare field, especially nursing homes, have probably drawn in a great many clients.

Is there no attorney or law firm in this nation willing to go toe-to-toe with this firm (and others like it)?

Seriously folks - I'm counting, nay - demanding - Chapter 2: Larry Goes To Washington.

Anonymous said...

So why not band together for a class action lawsuit against this law firm AND their clients?

Charge them with:
Violating labor law through discrimination against employees due to country of origin (USA)
Violating fraud statutes, by posting fraudulent job postings.
Conspiracy to commit costly harm against IT workers in the USA

I'm sure there are other charges.

Anonymous said...

First, you complain that H-1b workers are like slave laborers. Then, when companies are trying to do the right thing and get them green cards ("PERM"), you complain about that, too.

You're also distorting the facts here by trying to portray C&G's video as trying to avoid hiring US workers. First of all, the job is already filled, with an H-1b worker, who has been working there usually for several years. The point of the PERM process is to get the H-1b worker a green card. The day he has a green card, the company has no hold over him anymore at all.

Companies are usually actively recruiting US workers while at the same time doing what C&G advise. That's because the legally required job postings are useless in high tech; they don't bring in qualified applicants, but they are a huge risk.

I've dealt with a bunch of immigration lawyers, and every single one of them did exactly what C&G advise: do the legally minimum required job postings for the PERM process itself, and recruit US citizens through HR.