5 American Employees Sue Wipro Over Discrimination Against Non-Indians; Is This Reverse Racism?

5 American Employees Sue Wipro Over Discrimination Against Non-Indians; Is This Reverse Racism?
5 American Employees Sue Wipro Over Discrimination Against Non-Indians; Is This Reverse Racism?

Five US-based former employees of Wipro have filed a class action suit against the Bengaluru-headquartered company alleging ‘discriminatory employment practices’ based on race and nationality.

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Wipro Sued Over Discrimination Against Non-South Asians!

The suit was filed in March of 2020 in the district court of New Jersey. The plaintiffs have sought ‘injunctive, declaratory, equitable, and monetary relief for Wipro’s systematic pattern and practice of discriminatory employment practices based upon individuals’ race and national origin. 

Wipro has over 160,000 workers worldwide, including over 14,000 employees in the United States. Wipro is consistently one of the top five H-1B visa recipients.

According to the suit, the 5 former employees of Wipro, Gregory MacLean, Rick Valles, Ardeshir Pezeshki, James Gibbs and Ronald Hemenway, have alleged ‘discrimination’ against who are not of South Asian and Indian origin.

All five former employees are US citizens. Three of them Gregory MacLean (a resident of California), James Gibbs (Tennessee) and Ronald Hemenway (Florida) are of the Caucasian race. Rick Valles from California is from the Hispanic race, while Ardeshir Pezeshki from California is of Iranian origin.

The class action lawsuit demands a ‘trial by jury’.

On the other hand, Wipro declined to comment on the development saying the matter is sub judice.

What Does the Suit Claim?

The plaintiffs in the suit alleged, “Wipro operates under a general policy of discrimination in favor 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 with respect to Wipro’s hiring, staffing, promotion, and termination decisions.”

It says, “To fulfil its employment preference for South Asians and Indians, Wipro seeks to maximize the number of visas it receives each year from the federal government.”

The suit also claims that while only about 12% of the United States’ IT industry (the industry in which Wipro operates) is South Asian, at least 80% (or more) of Wipro’s United States workforce is South Asian (primarily from India). 

The class action lawsuit seeks Wipro to adopt a valid, non-discriminatory method for hiring, promotion, termination, and other employment decisions.

The plaintiffs also alleged that Wipro submits visa petitions for more positions than actually exist in the US. This is allegedly done in order to maximize its chances of securing the highest number of available H-1B visas from the lottery process.

The lawsuit reads, “In this way, Wipro has been able to secure visas for far more individuals than it actually has a present need for. For example, in 2015, Wipro received 5,968 new visas, while in 2016, it received 6,831 new visas – far more positions that could actually exist given that Wipro employs less than 15,000 individuals in the United States.”

Alleging that Wipro gives preference to South Asian and Indian applicants located in the US over non-South Asian and non-Indian applicant, the lawsuit says that “on information and belief, both Wipro’s internal recruiters and its third-party recruiters give preference to locating and recruiting South Asian and Indian candidates, who are then given preference throughout the hiring process.”

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