US jury rules in favour of TCS over alleged discrimination

FILE PHOTO: Logos of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are displayed.  (REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/File Photo)
FILE PHOTO: Logos of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are displayed. (REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/File Photo)

A California jury has sided with India’s outsourcing giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in an alleged discrimination case, stating the company did not have a “pattern or practice” of intentional discrimination against non-South Asian workers due to their race or national origin.

In September, three US citizens sued TCS alleging discrimination and seeking exemplary and punitive damages. The former TCS employees – Christopher Slaight, Seyed Amir Masoudi and Nobel Mandili – claimed they received fewer work opportunities and were eventually fired because of their races and national origins.

Their attorney Daniel Kotchen reportedly presented data showing that the company has fired fewer than one per cent of its South Asian employees, who are mostly Indian, in the US, compared with 10.6 per cent of its non-South Asian employees.

“TCS’ president for North America Surya Kant and vice president and head of human resources Narasimhan Srinivasan devised and implemented a nationwide ‘leadership directive’ to utilise TCS’s visa-ready South Asian employees (also known as ‘expats’) to the ‘maximum extent’ when filling US positions,” stated the complaint.

At the time, a TCS spokesperson said the company “believes that the allegations by the plaintiffs are baseless, and is confident that it will successfully defend itself”.

In his closing arguments, Tata’s counsel Terry Garnett of Loeb & Loeb LLP, argued that the company’s employment data show there’s been a 400 per cent increase in local hires since 2011, reported law portal

Garnett also pointed out that most of the employees who were fired were let go because they refused to relocate.

This verdict comes as the Trump administration is doubling down on immigration and its tough stance is affecting companies from hiring foreign workers on the H1B work visas, which is the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.