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Case filed against Infosys by former immigration head in US

The lawsuit cites the company’s preference for South Asian, usually Indian, employees as racial discrimination.

business Updated: Jun 22, 2017 10:36 IST
The logo of Infosys
The logo of Infosys (Reuters)

A former head of immigration at IT major Infosys in the US has filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing it of “discrimination” against non-South Asian employees, and demanded a trial by jury.

The lawsuit filed by Erin Green, before a US district Court in the Eastern District of Texas on June 19, names two senior company officials, Head of Global Immigration Vasudeva Nayak and Executive Vice President and Global Head of Talent and Technology, Binod Hampapur, and makes serious charges against them.

Green’s counsel Kilgore and Kilgore, PLLC has said,  “Plaintiff was terminated because of defendant’s obsessional  preference for employees of South Asian race and national  origin, usually Indian, and as retaliation for reporting Nayak and Hampapur’s discriminatory treatment of himself and others on the basis of race and national origin.”

“His termination was in violation of defendant’s policy which requires progressive warnings or placement on a performance improvement plan prior to termination,” he claimed.

“Plaintiff received no such warnings, and had no discussions with employee relations regarding any of the conduct related to the stated reason for his termination prior to his termination...Plaintiff had no disciplinary entries on his official work record during his four-and-a-half-year tenure,” he said.

The 53-page lawsuit also pointed out that from October 2011 to June 28, 2016, the plaintiff was employed by the defendant in Plano, Texas and his experience with Infosys demonstrates the “discriminatory nature of Infosys’s employment practices”.

Responding to a query about the lawsuit, the company  said, “Infosys does not comment on ongoing litigation.”    

The lawsuit has come at a time when Infosys has  announced that it will hire 10,000 Americans in the next two  years and open four centres in the US in a bid to woo the  Trump administration, which has been critical of outsourcing  firms for unfairly taking jobs away from US workers.

Infosys co-founder Mohandas Pai told PTI, “The filing of lawsuit by Green against Infosys alleging employee discrimination will not have any bearings on the company’s intent to hire 10,000 Americans in next two years.”

“It will not affect the recruitment because it is very difficult to hire 10,000 people in two years. It’s a tall target, and one quarter is nearly over.. These are statements that one can make to please politicians,” he said.

Earlier, Head Hunters India founder and MD K Lakshmikanth had said the move to hire 10,000 American workers in next two years “can be seen as an act of Infosys to appease Trump’s administration, which could file legal suites against IT companies, including Infosys for ‘misuse’ of H-1B work visas programme”.

Pai, a former director of Infosys, said, “Since Infosys is not an American company, it is very easy to level charges of discrimination, and nobody wants to go for trial.”