A New York court rejects the Indian company’s plea to dismiss Jill Prejean’s claim.
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
A former Infosys executive has accused the American arm of the IT major of discriminatory preferences in recruitment, including a direction to avoid hiring professionals of Indian-origin.
In her lawsuit, Jill Prejean said that during her stint as the vice president of talent acquisition at Infosys, several partners or executives consistently informed her that they preferred not to hire additional consultants of Indian national origin, women with children at home and candidates aged more than 50.
A New York court on September 30 rejected Infosys’s motion to dismiss Prejean’s claims and told the Bengaluru-headquartered company to file its response within three weeks.
Prejean, who had joined Infosys in 2018 when she was 59 years old, had moved court against retaliatory termination for raising her concerns about biases and alleged a hostile work environment.
She said in her lawsuit against former senior VP and head of consulting Mark Livingston and and former partners Dan Albright and Jerry Kurtz, that there was a “rampant culture of illegal discriminatory animus among the partner level executives based on age, gender, and caregiver status.”
Livingston quit Infosys in July this year after working for the company for nearly four years.
According to a CNBC TV18 website report, Prejean said her attempts to “change this culture within the first two months of her employment” were met with “resistance from Jerry Kurtz and Dan Albright, who became hostile in the face of her objections and sought to circumvent her authority to evade compliance with the law.”
She claimed her objections to “unlawful hiring criteria “resulted in a direct and immediate threat to her job, and ultimately did cost her job.
The software major had also faced allegations of discrimination previously. Four female employees filed a discrimination complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year claiming that the firm favoured Indian and male workers, Mint reported.
Calls made to Infosys seeking its comment on the lawsuit were not answered.