Indian Engineer in California Suing CISCO, Discriminated Against By Other Indians, Different Caste


While the Coronavirus is affecting jobs and increasing unemployment, strife at the workplace is more unsettling than ever.

A workplace harassment attorney in California takes matters such as discrimination very seriously.

That is why Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O got a lot of attention when a case of discrimination was opened by an upset Indian-American employee.

The company was accused of discriminating against the employee and allowing two managers to treat him unfairly because of an outdated Indian hierarchy.

The employee, whose name is kept anonymous, was born into a lower Indian caste, the Dalit – also called ‘the untouchables’.

The hierarchy is based on old Hindu tradition to class people into four castes which are determined by their ancestry. Dalits are the lowest and therefore seen as the least important.

This kind of discrimination has been banned in India for 65 years but still affects citizens.

According to reports the two defendants, Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella, enforced the caste hierarchy.

Cisco has employed thousands of Indian immigrants. Majority of these Indian employees were born Brahmins or other high castes. As such, difficult situations have been encountered.

Discrimination Claims

In the lawsuit against Cisco, which was filed in San Jose, the company is accused of creating a workspace that is discriminatory.

A California attorney for harassment in the workplace would not find it difficult to identify problems.

One claim made by the defendant is that he was rejected for a raise and denied two promotions. He also says the company isolated him from his colleagues.

Cisco, in turn, has taken the matter seriously. The company’s spokesperson, Robyn Blum stated that it has followed processes to investigate employee concerns.

She added that Cisco commits itself to be an inclusive workplace for all employees.

The Californian company plans to defend itself ‘vigorously’ against the law case.

Although a California attorney for harassment in the workplace likely can’t address the caste discrimination directly, there is still a case to be made.

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the discrimination is based on a lingering Hindu faith system which is a protected class under religion.

The complainant is said to have reported one of the defendants, Iyer, to Cisco’s human resources in 2016. This was after Iyer revealed to colleagues that the employee was born to the Dalit caste.

However, Iyer is accused of retaliating for being reported and Cisco decided that caste discrimination was not a legal matter. After this, issues continued in the working space throughout 2018.

The case is a complex and sensitive one and will hopefully be taken on with the respect it deserves.

A report by the civil rights group Equality Labs stated in 2018 that more than 66% of Dalits feel they are being treated unfairly in their workplaces in the United States of America.

Any employees that feel their rights are being infringed should contact an attorney or reach out to their employers. No one should have to endure discrimination because of old beliefs.

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