There's a 51-year-old African-American, probably a U.S. citizen, who lost his job with an H-1B-using Indian outsourcing company when he sought to stop the harassment of a Muslim employee by a Sikh worker — and all reported by a journalist (Leonardo Castaneda) with a Hispanic name.
Only in America! Or more precisely, only in America's H-1B program.
Here, in a case filed in the state courts of California, we have suggestions that the African-American may have been fired for his race and for being elderly, as well as for his defense of the harassed Muslim.
Just the other day, I reported an instance in which an H-1B worker named Mahammad, who had been working for another Indian outsourcing company, had been forced by people with Hindu names to kick back portions of his salary; I wondered if it was an instance of anti-Islamic behavior, something not charged in the complaint. That case was in Illinois; the more recent one, in California, is more specific about the discrimination.
Both stories were reported in the San Jose Mercury News, just about the only daily in America that covers H-1B thoroughly.
The Specifics. The African-American citizen who lost his job is William Garrett. He worked for HCL, a large-scale employer of H-1B workers whose executives seem to have South Indian names (some noted as Hindu, some as Tamil). The Sikh and the Muslim, the latter a Pakistani citizen, were not named. Both Garrett and the person from Pakistan were on assignment to an HCL client, Micron Technologies. I am assuming that the Pakistani was on an H-1B visa, as many HCL workers are, but that is not specified in the news story and the court papers are not available online. The Micron facility is in Milpitas, just north of San Jose. The suit was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Garrett has not, or perhaps not yet, been able to get another job at the salary he had at HCL; he now has a lesser job at a help desk. He told the Mercury News that he doubted that he would report such a harassment again, given what that act did to his life.
According to the newspaper account: "A few days after reporting the HCL subordinate's harassment, Garrett said he received a glowing annual review."
There is strong statistical evidence, as we have reported previously, that employers in the H-1B program are highly likely to hire their H-1B workers, preferable young and male, from the southern (mostly Hindu) part of India.
Readers hearing of other cases of anti-Islamic discrimination within the H-1B program are encouraged to report them to me at [email protected].