Indian outsourcer Tata sued in Oakland over alleged bias against non-South Asians

Workers in the United States for Indian information-technology outsourcing giant Tata Consultancy Services are 13 percent more likely to be fired if they’re not South Asian, according to the plaintiffs in a trial that started this week in federal court in Oakland.

“Locals are being fired at a strikingly higher rate,” Daniel Kotchen, the lead lawyer for the workers bringing the class-action suit, told a jury, according to a report from Bloomberg.

“You’ll hear from defendants that Americans are stupid and lazy. The truth is that people are threatened with retaliation if they reported discrimination.”

Tata Consultancy Services since 2011 has fired 12.6 percent of non-South Asian employees, compared to fewer than 1 percent of South Asians, the lawsuit alleged, according to the Bloomberg report.

Tata denies any illegal bias in its U.S. operations, and said in court filings that the white American former employee spearheading the lawsuit had been removed from a project and ultimately terminated because of “performance concerns,” Bloomberg reported.

The company said it couldn’t comment on the specifics of the litigation but believes its case is strong and that it will prevail in the trial, according to Bloomberg.

“Our success is based on our ability to provide the best talent available, both in the U.S. and globally, based purely on the individual’s specialized experience, skills and fit for each client’s specific needs,” a company spokesman told the news outlet, adding that Tata “strictly adheres to all federal and state equal employment opportunity laws and regulations.”

The lawsuit was filed in 2015 in U.S. District Court by Steven Heldt, a Caucasian IT worker who said he was employed for 20 months at Tata before he was fired. In his original complaint, Heldt said Mumbai-based Tata employed 14,000 people in the U.S.

Heldt claimed that about 95 percent of Tata’s U.S. workforce was …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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