The satirical magazine The Onion would reject a spoof piece on what follows because it is so far out.
The law and journalism schools that produced the lawyers and the reporter in the case probably won't be bragging about these graduates.
And the parents of the plaintiff probably would deny they ever met that person.
These are the facts:
- An IT employee sued his employer.
- The employer is a substantial outsourcing firm and a major H-1B user.
- The plaintiff, charging both sex and ethnic discrimination, is a green card holder living in Texas.
- Law360, a usually reliable news organization, covered the story (partially behind a paywall).
So did some older (35-plus) U.S. resident, maybe an immigrant from Africa, file the complaint? Did the reporter note any ironies in the case?
No, on both counts.
This is what happened: A man named Upendra Bhadauria (a citizen of India) filed a complaint in the federal courts, saying that he had been discriminated against on the grounds of race and gender.
Bhadauria sued his former employer, outsourcing firm HCL America, a subsidiary of HCL Technologies, which, according to Google, has its headquarters in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, where its president is C. Vijayakumar.
According to both a 2016 article in Information Week, and a CIS blog post entitled "The H-1B Program Facilitates Blatant Racial Discrimination", in 2015 HCL had a H-1B work force that was 99.4 percent Indian. (This is rather cosmopolitan when compared to Cognizant's 99.6 percent Indian hiring rate.) Such firms are equally well known for their preference for male employees. So, despite HCL's, shall we say, preference, for Indian male employees, Bhadauria and his perhaps obtuse lawyers sued that he was discriminated against on the grounds of his sex and nationality.
He mentioned that a Hispanic woman had been hired to supervise him on the Southwest Airlines account and that subsequently he was terminated. The Law360 report said:
He [Bhadauria] also alleged that his supervisor [not the Hispanic woman] ... had made remarks indicating that he preferred to fill key roles with Caucasian women because the Southwest client representative was a woman and "most of Southwest's leadership team was Caucasian."
HCL said it fired him because his performance was unacceptable to both HCL and Southwest. The airline was not sued.
Did HCL's lawyers bring up the absurdity of such a claim being filed against a firm with a strong, well known (in the trade) bias is favor of Indian males? Probably not, but I have not read the full transcript of the case, which Bhadauria lost.
Did Law360's article record that HCL is an India-based organization, and/or one that has a record of 99.4 percent Indian hires in the H-1B program?
As someone who usually roots for the worker in worker-corporate conflicts, and one who has a strong bias against biased firms, like HCL, I have to admit that this time the employer was probably right.