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Infosys faces racial discrimination suit amid 'Black Lives Matter' protests in US

Plaintiff Davina Linguist, who's a US national of Afro-American race, has accused Infosys of firing her from the company after she testified against it in an earlier class-action lawsuit

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | June 13, 2020 | Updated 19:39 IST
Infosys faces racial discrimination suit amid 'Black Lives Matter' protests in US
The plaintiff has now sought a jury trial in Texas court and has sought compensation, including salary, employment benefit and compensatory damages

Hot on the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement across the US, IT services giant Infosys Limited's American arm is facing a race discrimination suit in a Texas district court filed by its former diversity chief. Plaintiff Davina Linguist, who's a US national of Afro-American race, has accused Infosys of firing her from the company after she testified against it in an earlier class-action lawsuit.

In October 2016, Linguist sat for a deposition in Koehler vs Infosys Technologies Ltd, a class action lawsuit which challenged Infosys' pattern and practice of "discrimination against non-Indian employees". During her deposition, she had testified while accusing Infosys of "discriminatory practices, including the fact that Infosys managers obstructed her efforts to increase the non-South Asian diversity of Infosys' workforce".

She also accused that Infosys' counsel attempted to intimidate her by asking her irrelevant and invasive questions about her home life, her family members, her children, and her husband's business. Linguist alleged that soon after her deposition, Infosys retaliated, stripping her of her title as the head of diversity recruiting (and replacing her with an individual with no relevant experience) and demoting her. On March 7, 2017, she alleged that she was forced to resign from her position at Infosys.

Also read: Infosys workforce increases 166% in 10 years but electricity consumption only 20%

The plaintiff has now sought a jury trial in Texas court and has sought compensation, including salary, employment benefit and compensatory damages.

The tech giant has denied all allegations of discrimination, saying it would defend itself in the court of low. The company has said it treats everyone fairly while providing equal opportunities for all workers. For those having concerns, employees can report to Infosys' multiple avenues, the company has said.

Notably, following the death of 46-year-old Minneapolis resident George Floyd, several companies are facing questions over racial discrimination at workplaces. Thousands of people across the world are taking to the streets in the US, European and Asian cities, demonstrating in support of protests against race discrimination and police brutality.

Meanwhile, in April, another Indian tech giant Wipro also faced a fresh class action suit by five of its former employees in the United States, alleging the company practices discriminatory policies in promotions, hikes and termination of employment against employees who were not of  South Asian or  Indian origin.

The suit was filed in the district court of New Jersey on March 30. In the suit, the plaintiffs alleged that Wipro "operates under a general policy of discrimination in favour of South Asians and against individuals who are not South Asian and not Indian". "This general policy of discrimination manifests itself in the same general fashion concerning Wipro's hiring, staffing, promotion, and termination decisions," the suit said. They have now sought a jury trial in the case.

Also read: Infosys CEO Salil Parekh's pay package increases to Rs 34.27 crore in FY20

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