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March 26, 2015

Discrimination at DHR International: a Principal sues DHR in Silicon Valley

Once again, DHR International are being sued by a former employee. This time it includes allegations of discrimination.

Pravesh Mehra, DHR International Global Leader
A Principal in the Silicon Valley office of DHR International  was working with, amongst others, Pravesh Mehra and "performed her services for DHR in an exemplary manner" however Pravesh Mehra "stopped working with [the Principal] and told her that she would have a hard time in the consulting market because she was a Caucasian female without an MBA"! Ironically, Pravesh Mehra is "global leader of the Business & Professional Services Practice". It doesn't appear a very professional way to treat a valued employee.

The pleadings allege that DHR has "a practice of withholding employee wages and using said wages as a "float" to operate its business … without regard to the California Labor Code".

The Principal was also "informed and believes that DHR has a long-standing practice of acting to avoid paying earned commissions and bonuses. Specifically, principles are routinely terminated after they have generated earned commissions and before the commissions have been paid out."

Guess what?

The Principal "was set to receive her yearly bonus and her paycheck from DHR on April 11, 2014" but less than week before this date "On the afternoon of April 5th 2015, [she] noticed that her company iPhone was completely wiped and removed of all content… Her corporate email also did not work on her laptop."

In other words, DHR International fired the Principal without even showing her the decency of telling her face to face! They just locked her out of their systems.

DHR owed her at least $43,000. For someone earning a base salary of $100,000 per year, this is a lot of money. Priya Taneja (then Priya Patel) from DHR told her "DHR would not pay her the remaining salary, bonus, commissions and expense that she was owed". And they haven't!

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing have issued the Principal a Right-To-Sue notice.

So, it would appear DHR International fired a Principal who was working diligently and earned decent commissions. DHR had the benefit of the "float" and then fired her so that David Hoffmann could fund his private jet. Or perhaps, as alleged, it was because she was a woman.

14 comments:

  1. What a disgusting way to treat a 20 or 30-something year old. I feel sick that I once worked for DHR International. DHR International care about money not people. She deserves the punitive damages she will get.

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  2. I suspect every employee at DHR will be scared every time they check their phones between now and mid-April that DHR have cut off their email. There indeed appears to be a pattern where DHR do this in the lead-up to the April commission payments and fire people by cutting off their accounts (rather than telling them) and then don't pay what's owed. The poor employee then has to pay lawyers to recover what's owed to them. DHR have expensive lawyers.

    The problem with this blog is that we are only seeing the examples where the former DHR victims have the money and tenacity to fight DHR. There must be ten times the number of situations where the DHR prey can't afford to take them on. Scary stuff!

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  3. I feel for this young lady. It sounds like she worked hard and was mistreated by a greedy, greedy company.

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  4. DHR are despicable.

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  5. Just out of curiosity, how did you gather the $100,000 salary figure cited?

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    1. From paragraph 11 on page 3 of the Complaint: "On or about December 21, 2012, DHR offered Plaintiff a job as a DHR Principal, with a base salary of $100,000 paid biweekly and subject to deductions and holdings."

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  6. Is it true that DHR support staff (research associates, senior associates, executive assistants) are underpaid compared to other top 10 firms?

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    1. It is a good question and we don't know the answer. Perhaps look at Glassdoor for some more indication. That website would suggest that DHR underpay support staff. http://www.glassdoor.com.au/Salary/DHR-International-Salaries-E237352.htm

      Perhaps a more important question is around churn. As the lawsuit posted here suggests, DHR International have a reputation for firing staff at the drop of a hat and not paying them their entitlements. Please see Paragraph 17 above:

      "Plaintiff is further informed and believes that DHR has a long-standing practice of acting to avoid paying earned commissions and bonuses. Specifically, principles are routinely terminated after they have generated earned commissions and before the commissions have been paid out."

      Be warned!

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    2. I was a Senior Associate with DHR for a number of years. I left when Spencer Stuart reached out to me and offered double my salary at DHR. No training, no real upward mobility and very poor compensation.

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  7. Please post some new entries. This blog is fantastic and I am missing finding out more about what is going on at DHR!

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    Replies
    1. Your wish is our command. We've just posted a new item on DHR suing (again) an insurer. Of course, we'd welcome more tip-offs. Please email us with new information you have on DHR.

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  8. I have worked at a number of companies and have personally never seen such a complete lack of ethics and rampant illegal behavior as I did while at DHR. In my own opinion, the behavior noted by Ms. Barge regarding Pravesh Mehra is just the tip of the iceberg. It is so ironic and scary that one "ethically challenged" (to put it kindly) company is attempting to take over another "ethically challenged" company. It's just wrong that DHR not only gets away again and again with such sleazy behavior, but profits enormously from it.

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  9. This happened to me too. I once had the misfortune to work for Geoff and David Hoffmann. I was terminated, without cause (in breach of my employment agreement) within four weeks of being due my annual commission. I lost over 60 per cent of my annual salary. DHR are scum. Any self-respecting CTPartners employee would be well advised to walk away, should DHR successfully acquire them.

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