Infosys has rejected the premise of a lawsuit brought by Davina Linguist, the former head of its diversity program recruiting manager program, who alleges the company prefers to hire South Asians and conducted visa fraud to replace US workers.
Filed in the East Texas District Court last week, case 4:20-CV-465, Divina Linguist vs. Infosys Limited, opens with the accusation that Infosys’ staff is 90 percent Indian as a result of a “pattern and practice of discrimination against individuals who are not Indian in the hiring, promotion, compensation, and termination.”
“Infosys managers have obstructed her efforts to increase the non-South Asian diversity of Infosys’ workforce,” the complaint alleges, adding that “Infosys retaliated against Ms. Linguist, stripping her of her title as the head of diversity recruiting (and replacing her with an individual with no relevant experience) and demoting her, among other improper conduct.”
The filing also alleges that “Infosys has gone to great lengths to obtain its primarily South Asian work force in the United States, including by engaging in visa fraud to bring South Asians (primarily Indians) into this country to replace or supplant non-South Asians and non-Indians.” The filing also mentions “bulk rejection of about 12,000 U.S. applicants for positions in favor of South Asian visa holding applicants”.
Infosys has denied the allegations, issuing a statement stating: “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 suit could scarcely have arrived at a more complex time, given that racial discrimination currently dominates political agendas worldwide while the interests of American workers are of great concern given the economic crunch caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. US president Donald Trump campaigned strongly against visas for foreign workers in his 2016 campaign and followed through with tough new rules.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has broached the subject with Trump, but appears not to have made much progress despite amicable personal relations between the two leaders.
Linguist has requested a jury trial and is seeking extensive damages. ®