A court in Oakland on Monday started hearing a class-action suit by some 1,000 Americans against India’s IT giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for terminating them while they were between job assignments, reports say.
The petitioners alleged in court filings that since 2011, decisions by TCS on terminations were highly biased. The company sacked 12.6% of its non-South Asian employees in the US against less than 1% of its South Asian workers.
In hiring too, TCS discriminated against Americans by favouring Indian professionals for US jobs, the plaintiffs alleged. While rules stipulated 12% representation of South Asians, the discriminatory policy followed by TCS resulted in 80% of US jobs going to South Asians, they said.
This practice of bringing in a large number of overseas workers into the US is contrary to President Donald Trump’s protectionist approach. Trump wants foreign companies operating in the US to hire Americans to most positions.
Dismissing allegations of bias, TCS said in court filings that the American leading the lawsuit was sacked over performance issues.
The company said it focuses on the best talent available for each client’s specific needs and follows rules on equal employment opportunity.
Other outsourcing companies like Infosys and Wipro will also be sued, said Daniel Kotchen, lawyer for the petitioners.
The Oakland court will focus on TCS’s decisions on termination and not on hiring employees.
The trial is expected to be completed in 18 days.