Milwaukee, WI, December 5, 2016 – Plaintiffs Brenda Koehler, Kelly Parker, Layla Bolten, and Gregory Handloser, represented by Kotchen & Low LLP and co-counsel, filed an Opposition to Infosys’ Motion for Summary Judgment in their class action lawsuit advancing pattern and practice claims of discrimination against Infosys. As Plaintiffs allege, Infosys, an Indian outsourcing firm that employs about 20,000 individual in the United States, discriminates on a company-wide basis against non-Indians in hiring, promotions, and termination.
In their Motion for Summary Judgment, Infosys argued that Plaintiffs’ discrimination claims should be denied as a matter of law. But as Plaintiffs argued in opposing the motion, Infosys advanced flawed legal arguments and failed to address Plaintiffs’ overwhelming evidence that the company discriminates on a company-wide basis against non-Indians in the United States. Accordingly, summery judgment is inappropriate.
For example, Plaintiffs presented statistical evidence that Infosys’ U.S. workforce is nearly 90% Indian, while the number of Indians in the relevant labor market is no more than approximately 20%. The likelihood that of obtaining such a disproportionately Indian workforce by chance is less than 1 in 1 billion. Further, Infosys’ hiring statistics similarly skewed strongly in favor of Indians. Between 2009 and 2015, approximately 75% of Infosys’ hires for U.S. positions were Indian, while only about 25% were non-Indian. Again, the likelihood of obtaining this result by chance is less than 1 in 1 billion.
In addition to their statistical evidence, Plaintiffs presented evidence of the following discriminatory conduct:
- Talent Acquisition Unit Instructions: Infosys management instructed the Talent Acquisition department to focus their efforts on recruiting Indians because of a belief that “Americans don’t know shit.” In furtherance of those instructions, a corporate trainer provided recruiters with a list of the most common Indians names and instructed them use the name to search recruiting databases.
- Hiring Manager Instructions: an Infosys hiring manager admitted “There does exist an element of discrimination. We are advised to hire Indians … because they will work off the clock without murmur and they can always be transferred across the nation without hesitation unlike [a] local workforce.”
- Talent Acquisition Unit Observations: Recruiters in Talent Acquisition observed that Indians were highly favored, and it was extremely difficult to move non-South Asians ahead in the hiring process. Non-Indians were regularly rejected as being “not a good fit,” – an Infosys euphemism for “non-Indian.” This discrimination is on-going. In 2016 for example, an Infosys manager in their Talent Acquisition Unit observed that of Infosys’ 2,900 hires in the United States, 2,200 (76%) were Indian. She observed a similar hiring disparity in prior years.
- Applicant Data Manipulation: Infosys manipulates applicant tracking data in such a way that consideration of non-South Asians and non-Indians is minimized, and the hiring of South Asians is maximized. For example, recruiters have observed that non-South Asian applicants were repeatedly deleted from Infosys’ applicant tracking system, forcing one recruiter to keep a separate spreadsheet of applicants on his computer. Recruiters have also observed South Asian applicants, located by Infosys’ “sourcers” in India, manually entered into the applicant tracking system despite those individuals not having formally applied, thus streamlining the hiring process. Individuals sourced in this way were moved “to the front of the line” ahead of applicants in the U.S. A recruiter also observed that applications for United States positions were regularly not reviewed, and in 2016, approximately 11,000 to 12,000 were rejected en masse – an action that disproportionately affected non-South Asians job applicants.
- Hiring Disparity Reflected in Green Card Compliance: Infosys resisted and obstructed legally mandated efforts to search for and hire qualified Americans for open positions, in favor of sponsoring greens cards “almost exclusively” for Indians. As part of her role as Practice Lead – Global Immigration, Laurie Hawkins and her team faced “a resistance that was shared among [Infosys’] various business units” to hiring non-Indians.
- Visa Fraud: Infosys engages in a scheme in which it secures “invitation letters” from clients in the United States that grossly inflate the number of positions available. Infosys then uses these invitations letters to apply for tens of thousands of visas per year (many thousands more than there are actual positions available to fill in violation of visa law), and then places these visa-holders in an “inventory.” As positions become available in the United States, Infosys taps this “inventory” of visa workers who travel to the United States to fill positions unrelated to those forming the basis for their visas. It then “backfills” these workers in India with additional South Asian workers, who in turn move into Infosys’ “inventory.”