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Last Updated : Sep 25, 2018 04:16 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

3 US employees sue TCS over alleged racial discrimination

The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial along with exemplary and punitive damages from India’s largest IT outsourcing company

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Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has landed in trouble in the US over its hiring practices as 3 employees from two companies have initiated legal action alleging discrimination against US-born workers, according to a filing on PacerMonitor.

Darryl Stacy, Donald Stephen Bradley and Hesham Hafez have filed the complaint in the District Court of New Jersey seeking a jury trial along with exemplary and punitive damages from India’s largest IT outsourcing company.

Stacy and Bradley worked for Southern California Edison, the primary electricity supply company in California, while Hafez worked with Royal Bank of Scotland.

TCS has accused of bringing employees on visas despite availability of trained US citizens. The complaint said the company discriminates by showing preference to Indians or Asians while hiring locally.

TCS and competitors like HCL Technologies and Infosys have seen many similar lawsuits in the US. This comes at a time when US President Donald Trump, who is openly against immigration, is wary of issuing H-1B visas. His government will soon rollback the policy allowing spouses of H-1B visa workers to work in the US.

The complaint stated that Surya Kant, TCS’ President for North America, and Narasimhan Srinivasan, Head of Human Resources, devised a ‘leadership directive’ to utilise its visa-ready South Asian employees to the maximum extent when filling US positions.

Kotchen & Low is representing the plaintiffs, along with some employees of Southern California Edison in similar discrimination cases against TCS.

A TCS spokesperson said allegations are baseless and will defend itself in the court.

The Federal Court in California previously rejected a class-action for hiring discrimination by the same law firm concerning TCS’ hiring practices, citing the same issue. TCS said it is an equal opportunity employer and bases its employment decisions including recruiting, hiring, promotions and retention on legitimate non-discriminatory business reasons.

Indian firms are facing pressure abroad for hiring locally. Poorvi Chothani, partner at an immigration law firm Law Quest International, told The Economic Times that with Indian companies these cases are tough.

“If the case reaches a jury trial, the facts and evidence would be presented to a judge and jury. The latter would be members of the public, peers of the plaintiffs. In such cases, they are very sympathetic toward employees, often because their complaint resonates with them,” she said, adding that companies have to eventually settle such cases with large sums of money.
First Published on Sep 25, 2018 10:18 am
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