TCS cleared of discrimination charges by US jury

TCS cleared of discrimination charges by US jury
Highlights

In a significant victory for the Indian IT outsourcing industry, a California jury unanimously sided with Tata Consultancy Services TCS, saying the Indian consulting major did not discriminate against non South Asian workers in the US as alleged in a lawsuit

New York: In a significant victory for the Indian IT outsourcing industry, a California jury unanimously sided with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), saying the Indian consulting major did not discriminate against non-South Asian workers in the US as alleged in a lawsuit.

According to a report in legal news portal law360.com, the unanimous nine-member jury found in an Oakland, California court Wednesday that the TCS did not have a "pattern or practice" of intentionally discriminating against non-South Asian workers due to their race or national origin.

The verdict came after one day of deliberations, ending a trial that began on November 5 over a class action lawsuit brought by three former TCS employees, Christopher Slaight, Seyed Amir Masoudi and Nobel Mandili, who claimed in the suit that they received fewer work opportunities and were eventually fired because of their races and national origins.

The report said that their attorney Daniel Kotchen presented data showing that the company has fired fewer than one per cent of its South Asian employees, who are mostly Indian, in the US, compared with 10.6 per cent of its non-South Asian employees.

The suit also alleged that the TCS let go of 78 per cent of its non-South Asian workers who were taken off job assignments, or "benched" from work, between 2011 and 2014, while only 22 per cent of benched South Asians were fired, even though they made up half of the company's US workforce.

The TCS executives testified at trial that the company had recently raised its year-over-year retention rate to 82 per cent from 69 per cent and that the company had increased the number of US residents it hires and retains, the law360.com report said. It added that in closing arguments, Tata's counsel Terry Garnett of Loeb & Loeb LLP, argued that the company's employment data show there's been a 400 per cent increase in local hires since 2011.

Garnett also said at trial that most of the workers who alleged they had been fired were let go for refusing to relocate for a job. A report in the East Bay Times quoted Garnett as saying that the nine-member jury unanimously ruled that TCS "did not discriminate on the base of race or national origin."

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