New US lawsuit accuses Infosys of discrimination

New US lawsuit accuses Infosys of discrimination

 Legal troubles seem to haunt Infosys once again as the company has been slapped with a lawsuit in the US by Brenda Koehler for allegedly discriminating against not being of South-Asian origin.

In a lawsuit filed on August 1, 2013 or last Thursday in the United States District Court of the Eastern district of Winconsin, Brenda Koehler alleged that the Bangalore-based IT services exporter engaged in discrimination against individuals based on their national origin.

The lawsuit, a copy of which is with Deccan Herald, states, “Infosys has engaged in systematic, company-wide discrimination against individuals based upon their national origin.”

Infosys rejects allegations

Infosys, in a statement sent on Tuesday denied the allegation and said it is an equal opportunity employer.

“We categorically deny Koehler’s claims. We look forward to addressing this matter in court, not in public venues where facts can become mixed with rumour, opinion and speculation. 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.”

Koehler said she had applied for the role of “Lead VMware/Windows Administrator” with Infosys in August 2012 and was later rejected by the company, finally hiring a Bangladeshi national.

“Specifically, Infosys has discriminated against individuals who are not of South Asian (including but not necessarily limited to India, Nepal, Bangladesh) origin. Infosys discriminates against these individuals through disparate treatment in hiring and disparate impact in hiring in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” it added.

Koehler in her lawsuit said that Infosys’s discrimination is stunning in its scope and effect since even though it employs more than 15,000 individuals in the United States, approximately 90 per cent of those employees are of South Asian descent (including individuals of Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi descent).

She also makes numerous references to alleged visa misuse by the company in her lawsuit.

“Infosys has reached this grossly disproportionate workforce by directly discriminating against individuals who are not of South Asian decent in hiring, by abusing the H-1B visa process to bring workers of South Asian descent into the country rather than hiring qualified individuals already in the United States.”

In August last year, Infosys had won a case filed by employee Jack Palmer in the United States after Judge Myron Thompson dismissed all of Palmer’s claims including his allegation of retaliation by Infosys after he had reported alleged B-1 visa frauds by the company.

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