Alleges hiring discrimination, favoring South Asians.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Indian information technology giant Infosys has become the target of a lawsuit by a Wisconsin-based IT professional. The suit accuses Infosys of discrimination, alleging that Infosys favors South Asian job applicants to Americans.
“Infosys has engaged in a systemic pattern and practice of discriminating against individuals who are not of South Asian descent in hiring,” said lawyers of Brenda Koehler, the Wisconsin woman who has filed the class-action lawsuit against Infosys.
Koehler claims that Infosys disregarded her qualifications for a job – which included a VM-ware certification, a Master’s Degree in IT, and some 17 years of IT experiences – and instead hired a Bangladeshi employee simply because he was South Asian.
Koehler filed a class-action lawsuit because she feels that there could potentially be hundreds, if not thousands, of others just like her who were denied good jobs with Infosys because of their ethnicity. This would be in strict violation of the Civil Right Act of 1964, which essentially gave Americans of all ethnicities equal opportunity for employment in the US.
Infosys vehemently denies the charges. In a statement released by the company – India’s second-largest in the IT sector – on Tuesday, it said “Infosys is an equal opportunity employer. We categorically deny Ms. Koehler’s claims. We look forward to addressing this matter in court, not in public venues where facts can become mixed with rumor, opinion and speculation.” The company also added that “It is important to understand that no proof of class action suitability has been presented and no court has ruled that the case is appropriate for class action treatment.”
This is not the first time charges have been brought up in the US against Infosys. Last August, a Alabama-based employee, Jack Palmer, tried to blow the whistle on alleged visa frauds that the company was engaged in, but it was dismissed in court. In December of 2012, Infosys settled another visa case out-of-court for an undisclosed amount in northern California.
Infosys employs around 15,000 workers in the US, of which roughly 90% are South Asian. An Infosys filing from this past March indicates that a majority of its US workers are on H-1B visas.
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