Ex-worker accuses Tata of discrimination against non-South Asians

Employees walk through the Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) campus in the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd. (SIPCOT) IT Park in the Siruseri area of Chennai, India.
Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Employees walk through the Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) campus in the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd. (SIPCOT) IT Park in the Siruseri area of Chennai, India.

A former Tata Consultancy Services employee has filed a lawsuit accusing the IT giant, saying the company favors "South Asians" in hiring and promotion, according to a report in Computerworld.com.

The lawsuit, filed this week in San Francisco, claims the India-based Tata has a "grossly disproportionate workforce," with 95 percent of the 14,000 Tata U.S. workers to be South Asian or of South Asia descent.

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Plaintiff Steven Heldt, who worked almost two years at Tata, blames the discrimination on the extensive hiring of H-1B workers–foreign nationals who are hired on a visa–and the disfavoring of non-South Asians when it comes to placement, promotion and termination. He also said he experienced "substantial anti-American sentiment" while working there.

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TCS spokesman Benjamin Trounson called the allegations "baseless." Last year alone Tata recruited more than 2,600 U.S. hires, "many of whom are working on technologies and systems that support critical client needs and help to drive America's innovation economy," Trounson told Computerworld.

Heldt is seeking class-action status for Tata workers and job applicants in the United States.

"TCS is an equal opportunity employer, and as such, bases its employment decisions – including recruiting, hiring, promotions, retention, and discipline – on legitimate non-discriminatory business reasons without regards to race, national origin," and other protected characteristics, Trounson told computerworld.com.

Read the full computerworld.com story here