Information technology company Tata Consultancy Services is set to go on trial in California on Monday after three of its American former employees initiated legal proceedings alleging racial discrimination, reported Bloomberg.
TCS, which has its headquarters in Mumbai, denied any unlawful bias in its operations. It said in court filings that the lawsuit was filed by a white American who had been removed from a project and later sacked because of “performance concerns”. Two other former employees later joined the lawsuit.
The company, however, declined to comment on the litigation. “TCS strictly adheres to all federal and state equal employment opportunity laws and regulations,” a company spokesperson said.
According to the complaint, the company has fired 12.6% of its non-South Asian workers in the US since 2011, compared to less than 1% of South Asian employees. The plaintiffs alleged that TCS engaged in a “systematic pattern and practice of discrimination” by favouring Indian expats and visa-ready workers from India for positions in the United States.
This has resulted in a workforce that is almost 80% South Asian, according to the complaint. South Asians comprise 12% of the US Information Technology workforce, it added.
Daniel Kotchen, the plaintiffs’ counsel, said the aim of the litigation is to stop firms that outsource their work from violating anti-discrimination laws in the US. “The US has the world’s strongest economy,” he said. “Foreign corporations that seek to profit from our economic strength have to respect the law of our land.’’ Kotchen’s firm is also suing other outsourcing firms, including Infosys and Wipro, for alleged discrimination.
The trial will focus only on the allegations of bias in the sacking of the three employees after US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland said there was not enough evidence to support the claim that TCS discriminated against non-South Asian job applicants. The trial is expected to last about 18 days.