Ex-employee files racial discrimination suit against Infosys in US

Complainant claims Infosys acted against her for testifying in 2016 against company

infosys-reuters Representational image | Reuters

Amid Black Lives Matter protests raging across the US, a fresh lawsuit of racial discrimination has been filed against Infosys by a former diversity head of the company on Thursday in a US district court, reported The Economic Times. According to the complaint by Davina Linguist, an US national of African American race, Infosys allegedly acted against her for testifying in 2016 against the company in an earlier class action suit. 

Reportedly, Linguist, who alleges that she was removed from her role, quit Infosys in 2017. Linguist has sought a jury trial in a Texas court and compensatory damages from the company. "Infosys employs approximately 20,000 employees in the United States, roughly 90 per cent of whom are South Asian and Indian, even though only 1-2 per cent of the US population is South Asian," the complaint has alleged.

Linguist had testified in a case filed by Brenda Koehler, an American job applicant who had accused the company of discrimination against local job applicants by favouring workers from South Asia to fill positions in the US. 

In her allegations Linguist states that the company undertook “adverse employment actions” as a result of her participation in the earlier Koehler versus Infosys case and that she had to endure “a hostile work environment” and was “denied a promotion and stripped of her title as Diversity Program Manager” and 'demoted' her. 

However, Infosys denied all allegations. "Infosys has a policy of treating everyone fairly and providing equal employment opportunity and an inclusive workplace to all. It has multiple avenues in which employees can report concerns and further takes affirmative measures so that employees can do so without retaliation," the company said in a statement. The company stated that it will defend itself in the matter. 

In October last year, a group that called itself "ethical employees" had alleged Infosys CEO Salil Parekh and CFO Nilanjan Roy were indulging in "unethical practices" to boost short-term revenue and profits. However, after an internal inquiry, Parekh was given a clean chit by the company. 

Earlier in March, in March, peer IT services provider Wipro faced a class-action suit in the US filed by ex-employees alleging the company of ‘discriminatory employment practices’.