US jury rules in favour of TCS over alleged discrimination
New York: In a significant victory for the Indian IT outsourcing industry, a California jury unanimously sided with the 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. As per 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 they received fewer work opportunities and were eventually fired because of their races and national origins.
"We have always maintained, the claims made in this case were baseless and we are gratified that the jury agreed," a TCS spokesperson said in an email response to PTI.
The TCS spokesperson said in the statement that the company's success "rests on the talents, expertise and deep industry knowledge of our employees, who help our customers in their growth and transformation journeys. So the decisions we make about the hiring and retention of employees are based purely on their capabilities and fit in serving our customers' business needs." "Irrespective of their background or national origin, we will continue to invest in our people, provide ongoing digital training and empower them to succeed at the TCS and, more importantly, enable our customers' success," the statement added.
The report said that Daniel Kotchen, attorney for Slaight, Masoudi and Mandili, 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 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, report said.