As Tata Consultancy Services
(TCS) is squeezed by the Donald Trump
administration to reduce the use of overseas workers for US jobs, TCS
is also fighting claims in court that its hiring practices are anti-American.
TCS, Asia’s largest software maker, and Infosys are both embroiled in civil rights lawsuits accusing them of discriminating against white IT workers that predate Donald Trump’s election last year.
Even as the outsourcers are responding to the president’s protectionist agenda by hiring more Americans in the US, TCS
cites its reliance on foreign guest worker visas as a defence against the bias claims.
The men suing TCS
allege discriminatory hiring practices must be why as much as 79 per cent of its US workforce is South Asian when that group makes up only 12.5 per cent of the relevant labour market in the US.
But the company contends it’s misleading to include employees hired in India to work temporarily and “legally” in the US, many with H1B visas for specially skilled employees. It also says more than 40 per cent of its job applicants are South Asians and that not everyone is keen on working for an India-based company or willing to relocate to take a job.
A hearing is set for Tuesday in federal court in Oakland, California, on whether to dismiss the case entirely or expand it to include potentially of thousands of American workers who either weren’t hired or were fired by TCS
because of their race over the last six years.
If the case proceeds as a class action, it may encourage white Americans to pursue similar suits against other companies
with heavily foreign workforces, said Andra Greene, a lawyer with Irell & Manella in Newport Beach, California, who isn’t involved in the TCS
Greene also said it’s a “close” call which side’s numerical analysis will prevail in court. "People are masters at using statistics to argue their point,” she said. After campaigning on a pledge to punish American companies
for moving jobs overseas, Trump put pressure on the offshore IT servicing firms in April when he signed an executive order aimed at overhauling the work-visa programs they use to bring workers to the US.