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Recession Makes Diversity Issues Simmer

By Edward Cone  |  Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2009 17:03 PM
 
 

We wrote previously about the vulnerability of foreign workers to possible deportation in the event of layoffs. "If holders of a H-1B visa is laid-off and cannot find work almost immediately, they must leave the country."

Now that scenario is becoming a reality, as this article shows. "Merrill Lynch fired Raj on Jan. 22 after he'd worked on the bank's technology systems for 10 years. He got a promotion in 2006, sold his house in London, gave away the dog and moved his family to the U.S. Now, he's scrambling to leave before his nine weeks of severance runs out and his L-1 work visa -- his right to be in the country -- is void because he's out of a job."

Tough times bring out raw feelings, and emotions can run high on the subject of immigrant labor. Even comments on unrelated posts can take on a harsh tone, as with this remark from a purported CIO.

But as the story of Raj and Nita Godhania shows, the impact of this recession on families is colorblind and cross-cultural.

Visa stories bring their share of ugly comments here, and diversity issues permeate the workplace. As we wrote earlier, "in a global economy and a changing culture, complex issues arrive on the CIOs desk every day."