Milwaukee, WI, September 24, 2016 – Plaintiffs Brenda Koehler, Kelly Parker, and Gregory Handloser (“Plaintiffs”), represented by Kotchen & Low LLP, filed a motion for class certification, seeking to certify three classes of applicants and employees who Plaintiffs allege were discriminated against on the basis of their race and national origin by Infosys Technologies Limited (“Infosys”). Plaintiffs seek to certify the following classes:
Hiring Class: All individuals who are not of South Asian race or Indian national origin who sought a position with Infosys in the United States and were not hired from August 1, 2009 through the date of class certification.
Promotion Class: All individuals who are not of South Asian race or Indian national origin who were employed by Infosys in the United States between August 1, 2009 and the date of class certification for a period of at least 18 months and were not promoted.
Termination Class: All individuals who are not of South Asian race or Indian national origin who were employed by Infosys in the United States between August 1, 2009 and the date of class certification and were terminated.
Infosys is an Indian-based company which provides information technology staffing and consulting services to clients in the United States and abroad. Plaintiffs allege that Infosys engages in a systematic pattern and practice of discrimination against non-South Asians and non-Indians in hiring, promotions, and terminations across the United States, and as a result of this discrimination, has achieved rates of hiring, promotion, and termination which strongly disfavor non-South Asians and non-Indians. Plaintiffs cite to statistical evidence, derived from Infosys’ own employment records, that cannot reasonably be disputed and that establishes widespread, pervasive discrimination across Infosys’ U.S. workforce.
Plaintiffs argue that Infosys achieves its discriminatory goals by: (1) filling U.S. positions with South Asians (primarily Indians) for whom Infosys secures visas by engaging in a scheme to create an “inventory” of visa workers in Indian ready to fill positions in the United States; (2) maintaining a Talent Acquisition Unit in the United States which focuses its recruiting efforts on South Asian workers and which streamlines the hiring process for South Asian applicants; and (3) discriminating against non-South Asian and non-Indian employees in promotions and terminations. For instance, Infosys grossly inflates the number of positions identified in LCAs (forms used as part of the visa application process) that it represents are available for South Asians to fill, and floods the government with visa petitions each year in order to disproportionately fill open positions in the U.S. with visa workers from India. In fact, Infosys has been the top filer of LCAs in the nation since 2013, and filed over 33,000 LCAs in 2016 alone, despite employing only approximately 20,000 individuals in the United States. Further, Plaintiffs argue that Infosys discriminates against non-South Asians and non-Indians in hiring by explicitly instructing its Talent Acquisition Unit to focus their recruiting efforts on South Asian candidates. For instance, the head of Infosys’ Talent Acquisition Unit explicitly instructed recruiters to focus on hiring Indian talent because of a discriminatory belief that “Americans don’t know shit.” On another occasion, Infosys sent a corporate trainer from India to give a presentation to the Talent Acquisition Unit in which Infosys recruiters were instructed on methods to locate Indians to recruit in the United States. The trainer provided the recruiters a list of the 18-24 most common Indian names which were to be used in searching online recruiting sites like LinkedIn. Finally, Infosys’ employment data indicates that the relatively few non-South Asians that are hired by Infosys are promoted at a significantly lower rate than their South Asian colleague. Likewise, they are fired much more frequently.
Plaintiffs seek to bifurcate the case into two phases, a liability phase and a remedial phase.