Multiple lawsuits are being filed against the Indian companies for distribution, by lawyers at Kotchen & Low, and by James Otto. The federal and state governments have done very little to prevent Fortune 500 companies from using H-1Bs to sideline American graduates, aside from levying occasional fines.
“DoJ/EEOC do nothing as US & Indian execs trade US jobs to Indian #H1B workers, cutting Americans out of careers, homes & families. This trade choked innovation in Silicon-Valley” – Neil Munro
The lawsuit is asking for a judge’s approval to create a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Americans who were excluded from jobs, denied promotions, or were fired from Wipro.
The outsourcing economy keeps roughly 1.5 million foreign white-collar workers in the United States, mostly via the H-1B program. The foreign population includes roughly 270,000 Chinese graduates and one million Indian graduates, despite the coronavirus shock that has pushed many American graduates out of jobs.
The outsourcing economy generates some $80 billion in revenue for Indian companies, Indian’s ambassador said in 2019.
U.S. companies are eager to tout payroll savings, in part because every dollar cut from salaries adds at least $10 to the company’s value on Wall Street.
The lawsuit says:
First, Wipro’s practice of relying on visa workers to staff U.S. positions results in available positions overwhelmingly going to visa holding South Asian and Indian individuals, to the exclusion of non-South Asian and non-Indian candidates. Second, Wipro’s employee allocation practices result in available positions overwhelmingly going to South Asian and Indian individuals, to the exclusion of non-South Asians and non-Indians, who are then terminated at disproportionate rates. Third, Wipro’s appraisal and promotion process results in South Asians and Indians receiving more promotions. Fourth, Wipro’s benching and termination practices result in South Asians and Indians receiving positions more frequently, while non-South Asians and non-Indians remain on the bench for longer periods, resulting in diminished career prospects and disproportionate terminations for these individuals. Finally, Wipro’s hiring and staffing decision-making process, as a whole, results in available positions overwhelmingly going to South Asians and Indians to the exclusion of non-South Asians and non-Indians.
The lawsuit cited the experience of four American professionals who were sidelined by the Indian managers in the United States
in 2015, it became evident that Wipro was trying to get rid of Mr. [James] Gibbs. For instance, Mr. Rambhatla quadrupled Mr. Gibbs’ sales and margin quotas to levels that appeared unrealistic. Nevertheless, Mr. Gibbs was able to meet these quotas.
At the time he left Wipro, Mr. Gibbs was the only non-South Asian who reported directly to Mr. Rambhatla. Each of the other seven or eight non-South individuals who had previously reported to Mr. Rambhatla had been terminated or had quit. Each was replaced by a South Asian of Indian descent.
The lawsuit repeatedly notes that the favored Indian visa workers were far less skilled than the Americans, and sometimes hostile to American colleagues and customers:
For instance, Mr. [Ardeshir] Pezeshki observed that the vast majority of individuals selected for U.S. positions were South Asian. These individuals were often poorly skilled and unqualified for the positions, which created tension with Wipro’s clients. For example, based on Mr. Pezeshki’s observations, clients often had two complaints with Wipro: (1) a lack of skilled workers on projects and (2) poor quality of work. On one occasion, during a periodic sales conference, Mr. Pezeshki heard several South Asian individuals discussing a client who was upset with the lack of skilled resources on a project. One of the individuals, upon hearing about the client’s complaint, responded: “Fuck the Americans.”