Various multinational technology companies like Google and Amazon and more have been firing many of their employees since the beginning of 2023. Numerous IT professionals of Indian origin who are working in these international companies are now jobless and have to find work within the next 60 days from the date of leaving the companies. Failing which their work visas will get canceled and they will have to leave the United States of America for good. Let us learn more about this with the help of this article.
“Sharing how things have changed in one night, Kunal Kumar Gupta, who worked as Technical Program Manager at Google in California shared his story on LinkedIn. The Indian-origin techie shared how he waited 6 months to land his dream job at Google and even worked in teaching assistance to maintain his immigration status. However, after almost 3 years of service in the company, his employment has been terminated effectively.
“As the news is out that Google has done a 12,000-strong layoff, unfortunately, I have been impacted by the same. After 3 years and 6 months at Google, got an email stating that my employment has been terminated effectively. Back in 2019 when had graduated from Carnegie Mellon, I waited 6 months to join Google and even worked as a Teaching Assistant to maintain my immigration status. And Google just sent an email stating I was no longer a part of the organization,” Kumar wrote in his post. “That is how life works sometimes,” he further quoted.”
Most of these employees are on H-1B and L1 visas. “The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China. L-1A and L-1B visas are available for temporary intracompany transferees who work in managerial positions or have specialized knowledge.”
“These companies are all making money. They are doing it because other companies are doing it,” said Stanford Graduate School of Business Prof Jeffrey Pfeffer on the recent trend of tech companies shedding employees.
“Layoffs often do not cut costs, as there are many instances of laid-off employees being hired back as contractors, with companies paying the contracting firm. Layoffs often do not increase stock prices, in part because layoffs can signal that a company is having difficulty. Layoffs do not increase productivity. Layoffs do not solve what is often the underlying problem, which is often an ineffective strategy, a loss of market share or too little revenue. Layoffs are basically a bad decision,” Pfeffer added.”
An article written by Melissa Witte discusses the interview on this layoff discussed with Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professional at the Standard Graduate School of Business. Below is the part of the interview mentioned.
Why are so many tech companies laying people off right now?
- “The tech industry layoffs are basically an instance of social contagion, in which companies imitate what others are doing. If you look for reasons why companies do layoffs, the reason is that everybody else is doing it. Layoffs are the result of imitative behavior and are not particularly evidence-based. I’ve had people say to me that they know layoffs are harmful to company well-being, let alone the well-being of employees, and don’t accomplish much, but everybody is doing layoffs and their board is asking why they aren’t doing layoffs also.”
Are there past examples of contagious layoffs like the one we are seeing now, and what lessons were learned?
- “After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, every airline except Southwest did layoffs. By the end of that year, Southwest, which did not do any layoffs, gained market share. A.G. Lafley, who was the former CEO of Procter and Gamble, said the best time to gain ground on your competition is when they are in retreat – when they are cutting their services when they are cutting their product innovation because they have laid people off. James Goodnight, the CEO of the software company SAS Institute, has also never done layoffs– he actually hired during the last two recessions because he said it’s the best time to pick up talent.”
Any advice to workers who may have been laid off?
- “My advice to a worker who has been laid off is when they find a job in a company where they say people are their most important asset, they actually check to be sure that the company behaves consistently with that espoused value when times are tough.”
 An article written by Divya Bhati on India Today. Retrieved From: Indian techie who waited for 6 months to get his dream job at Google now fired, has 60 days to find a new job - India Today  After mass layoffs, thousands of Indian techies struggle to find new jobs in US - Hindustan Times  ‘Heartless’ mass layoffs hit US workers ahead of holidays | Business | The Guardian  What explains recent tech layoffs, and why should we be worried? | Stanford News  Ibid.  Supra 4.