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After TCS, HCL Tech accused of bias against Americans while hiring in the US

HCL’s US team has 15,000 employees, 63 percent of whom are locals.

April 05, 2019 / 12:56 PM IST
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Indian IT major HCL Technologies has been accused of discrimination in its hiring practices in the US, months after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) faced the same issue. AUS law firm has filed a class-action suit against HCL, The Economic Times reported.

Allegedly, HCL did not hire Gregory Handloser because of its 'systematic and continuous discriminatory scheme' even though the company considered him for employment five times between 2017 and 2018.

The suit was filed by Kotchen and Low in the Northern District of California-San Jose division. "On October 19, 2017, Mr Handloser spoke with former colleague Ralph Billington, associate vice-president at HCL, about a sales position with HCL's UTC Aerospace Systems account, for which he was the hiring manager," according to the suit.

Billington explained during the interview that seven of the nine people in his sales team were Indian or South Asian. According to the suit, Billington subsequently told Handloser that he was interested in hiring Handloser, but his superiors directed him to hire an Indian candidate for the position.

In August 2018, Kotchen and Low filed another case against HCL on behalf of Reese Voll, who worked with the company. HCL came out victorious in the case in January and said it would 'vigorously' defend itself against such allegations.

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HCL boasts of a diverse team in the US, employing 15,000 people in the country, 63 percent of whom are locals.

The law firm Kotchen and Low has been on the opposite side of many Indian IT companies over the years including Infosys, Cognizant, Tech Mahindra and TCS. "This law firm has a history of going after Indian IT companies. It is easy to file a case in the US, and sometimes it costs more to fight the case than to settle," a senior executive at a leading Indian IT firm said on condition of anonymity.

TCS won the case against the same law firm in November when the jury quashed the claim that the IT company had displayed a bias while hiring Americans.
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first published: Apr 5, 2019 11:57 am
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