The outcome of a recent lawsuit filed against Indian IT services firm Infosys Technologies Ltd will determine whether the company discriminates against Americans in America.
Infosys has been sued by an American citizen Brenda Koehler in a Wisconsin court on Thursday, August 1, 2013 on charges of discriminating against non-South Asians in hiring.
Alleges Company-Wide Discrimination
In her 20-page complaint, Koehler alleges that Infosys engages in “systematic, company-wide discrimination against individuals based upon their national origin.”
Koehler, an American citizen, alleges that despite being qualified for a position Infosys had advertised she was not selected and the job ultimately went to an individual of South Asian descent.
Kooehler says she has two degrees in Information Systems, including a Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Apparently, she had 18 years of experience in the information technology field when she applied for the position of “Lead VMware/Windows Administrator” at Infosys in April 2012.
Dum Biryani Technique
I bet Brenda has never had Dum Biryani, Pulihora or Bisi Bele Bath, three favorite smelly dishes of South Indians who comprise a big chunk of Infosys employees or watched one of those hideous Tamil or Telugu movies.
Nothing builds camaraderie with your fellow Indian IT workers than discussing the merits of the various Dum Biryani restaurants in the neighborhood, the dance moves of Allu Arjun or the anticipation of Vijay’s upcoming movie Thalaivaa.
Perhaps if Brenda had discussed any of the above subjects during her conference call interview with Infosys, she’d be a happy Infoscion by now and there would have been no lawsuit! 😉
If you are curious, Koehler lost out on the job not to an Indian but to a Bangladeshi.
Here’s an excerpt from Koehler’s complaint:
Infosys’s discrimination is stunning in its scope and effect. Infosys employs more than 15,000 individuals in the United States and approximately 90 percent of these employees are of South Asian descent (including individuals of Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi descent). Infosys has reached this grossly disproportionate workforce by directly discriminating against individuals who are not of South Asian decent in hiring, by abusing the H-1B visa process to bring workers of South Asian descent into the country rather than hiring qualified individuals already in the United States, and by abusing the B-1 visa system to bring workers of South Asian descent into the United States to perform work not allowed by their visa status rather than hiring individuals already in the United States to perform the work.
The complaint alleges that despite South Asians with degrees accounting for a mere 2% of the U.S. population of those with Bachelor’s degrees, the vast majority of Infosys’ employees in the U.S. were of Indian origin.
The complaint said:
The gross disparity between the demographics of the applicant pool and Infosys’s workforce is the result of intentional discrimination against individuals who are not of South Asian descent.
Infosys has been a major importer of software programmers from India to work on diverse projects in the U.S.
The company often figures among the top ten H-1B employers in the U.S.
Besides seeking class action status for her complaint, petitioner Koehler wants Infosys to adopt a non-discriminatory hiring method, pay damages to her and others who have suffered from discrimination in hiring practices and also pay punitive damages.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin has issued a summons to Infosys to respond to Brenda Koehler’s complaint.