US IT worker sues Infosys for discrimination

An IT worker in the US has sued Indian outsourcer Infosys for discrimination after the company hired a Bangladeshi employee for a job she applied to. 

Brenda Koehler says she was falsely rejected for the position as "Lead VMware / Windows Adminstrator" on the grounds the she did not have experience with Microsoft's Active Directory software. 

According to Koehler's suit against the company, the incident is part of a “systematic pattern and practice of discrimination”. It points to existing allegations against the company that it uses temporary H1-B visas to import South Asian workers to US on a permanent basis. 

The suit observes that around 90% of the company’s 15,000 US workers are of Indian, Nepalese or Bangladeshi descent – a demographic that makes up only 1-2% of the US population. 

Koehler has asked the US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin to file a class action lawsuit on the behalf of “thousands” of other people who were discriminated against similarly.

A spokesperson for Infosys told Information Age that the company is an equal opportunity employer and that it “categorically denies” Koehler’s claims. “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.”

Infosys seems to have borne the brunt of US legal opposition to the common practice of hiring Indian-born workers for positions based in the US. 

In 2011, Jack Palmer, an Infosys consultant based in Alabama, claimed that he had received threats and anonymous telephone calls referring to him as a “stupid American” after complaining about the misuse of the H1-B visa system. 

Koehler has asked the court ato issue a permanent injunction against the alleged discriminatory hiriting practices at Infosys, claiming that they violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Last year, Infosys accounts manager Satya Dev Tripuraneni filed a lawsuit in California, alleging that the company retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on similar visa practices.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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