Trenton, NJ, December 7, 2022 – Plaintiff Shawn Katz filed a class action discrimination lawsuit against Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd. (“TCS”), an Indian information technology consulting and outsourcing company. Katz alleges that TCS prefers individuals of South Asian race and Indian national origin in its employment practices in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. and seeks declaratory, injunctive, monetary, and other relief on behalf of himself and a class.

Katz is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Israeli national origin and Caucasian race. He worked for TCS for over nine years, first as a Program Manager and then as a Business Relationship Manager. Despite his strong performance and consistently high appraisal ratings, Katz was never promoted by TCS (in violation of the company’s own promotions policy). In April 2022, Katz was removed from the client project he was staffed to, was placed in an unallocated status—referred to as being on the “bench”—and was terminated by TCS. While on the bench, Katz applied to at least 36 different positions within the company, but was offered none. 

Katz alleges that TCS engages in a pattern-or-practice of discrimination against non-South Asians and non-Indians that effects its hiring, staffing, promotion, and termination/retention decisions. First, Katz alleges that TCS prefers South Asians and Indians in hiring and specifically seeks out individuals of its preferred race and national origin when hiring in the U.S. Second, Katz alleges that TCS prefers these same individuals in staffing U.S. roles. To fulfill its preference for South Asians and Indians, each year, TCS applies for work visas in excess of its actual staffing needs to create an inventory of “travel ready” workers in India available for U.S. roles. These employees are then mapped and prioritized for U.S. positions, to the detriment of non-South Asian and non-Indian applicants and employees alike. Third, Katz alleges that TCS awards South Asians and Indians higher performance ratings, and as a result, these individuals are promoted more often and assume management-level roles. Finally, Katz alleges that TCS disproportionately terminates non-South Asians and non-Indians from the bench, who are more likely than their South Asian and Indian counterparts to be benched, passed over for new roles within the company, and ultimately terminated in accordance with TCS’s bench policy. As a result of TCS’s discriminatory practices, the company’s workforce is approximately 70% South Asians, despite the fact that only 12-13% of the IT industry in which TCS operates is South Asian.

The Complaint can be accessed here.

The case is Katz v. Tata Consultancy Servs., No. 2:22-cv-07069 (D.N.J.).