U.S. Jury Clears Indian IT Firm TCS of Anti-American Bias ClaimsTop Stories

November 30, 2018 10:32
U.S. Jury Clears Indian IT Firm TCS of Anti-American Bias Claims

(Image source from: www.thehindu.com)

A California jury Thursday unanimously sided with India's biggest Information Technology (IT) firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in a lawsuit involving charges of discrimination, saying the company did not discriminate against non-south Asian workers in the United States.

The ruling in favor of the Mumbai-based firm has made a significant win for the company as well as for the over USD 120 billion Indian IT outsourcing industry.

The Indian company said its employee hiring and retention decisions are based "purely on capabilities" and not on national origin or background.

"We have always maintained, the claims made in this case were baseless and we are gratified that the jury agreed...So the decisions we make about the hiring and retention of employees are based purely on their capabilities and fit in serving our customers' business needs," a Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) spokesperson said in a statement.

The success of TCS rests on the talents, expertise and deep industry knowledge of its employees, who help customers in growth and transformation journeys, the spokesperson added.

The company proclaimed it will remain to invest in its people, impart digital training and empower them to prosper at TCS and enable customers' success, "irrespective of their background or national origin". Describing itself as a "global company", TCS said the United States - where it has been operating for over 40 years - is the world's business and technology leader and very important to the company.

During July-September 2018, TCS' revenue grew 8.1 percent over the previous sequential quarter in the North America region. The market accounted for close to 52 percent in the said quarter. "Skilled American workers are critical to the success of the U.S. business and to the nation's economic success, and we will continue to invest heavily in the country's workforce, academic alliances and our extensive youth STEM education initiatives," the spokesperson said.

With countries like the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia increasing scrutiny over the temporary work visas, numerous Indian IT firms have stepped up hiring locals to lessen dependence on work permits. These companies are also engaging extensively with local academic institutions to train professionals, particularly in new-age technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, and big data. There have been previous instances where allegations of misuse of work visas have been leveled against Indian IT firms like TCS and Infosys.

Related content: New Immigration Curbs Likely to Hit India's Giant Tech Firms 

According to a report in legal news portal law360.com, the unanimous nine-member jury found in an Oakland, California court Wednesday that TCS did not have a "pattern or practice" of deliberately discriminating against non-south Asian workers due to their race or national origin.

The judgement came after one day of discussions, concluding a trial that commenced on November 5 over a class action lawsuit carried by three former TCS employees, Christopher Slaight, Seyed, Amir Masoudi and Nobel Mandili, who claimed in the suit that they received fewer work opportunities and were finally fired because of their races and national origins.

Related content: TCS to Face U.S. Jury Over Racial Bias Claims by Americans

The report said that their attorney presented data claiming that the company has fired less than 1 percent of its south Asian employees, who are mostly Indian, in the U.S., compared with 10.6 percent of its non-south Asian employees. The suit also alleged that TCS let go of 78 percent of its non-south Asian workers who were taken off job assignments, or "benched" from work, between 2011 and 2014, while only 22 percent of benched south Asians were fired, even though they made up half of the company's U.S. workforce.

-Sowmya Sangam

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India  TCS  United States