USA: Government files lawsuit against Cisco for alleged discrimination based on Indian caste system
"California accuses Cisco of job discrimination based on Indian employee's caste" 1 Jul 2020
California regulators sued Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) on Tuesday, accusing it of discriminating against an Indian-American employee and allowing him to be harassed by two managers because he was from a lower Indian caste than them.
U.S. employment law does not specifically bar caste-based discrimination, but California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing contends in the lawsuit that the Hindu faith’s lingering caste system is based on protected classes such as religion.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, does not name the alleged victim. It states he has been a principal engineer at Cisco’s San Jose headquarters since October 2015 and that he was born at the bottom of caste hierarchy as a Dalit, once called “untouchables.”
Like other large Silicon Valley employers, Cisco’s workforce includes thousands of Indian immigrants, most of whom were born Brahmins or other high castes...
Cisco spokeswoman Robyn Blum said the network gear maker followed its process to investigate employee concerns in this case and would “vigorously defend itself” against the lawsuit.
“Cisco is committed to an inclusive workplace for all,” she said. “We were fully in compliance with all laws as well as our own policies.”...
The civil rights group Equality Labs in a 2018 report cited in the lawsuit found that 67% of Dalits surveyed felt treated unfairly at their U.S. workplaces.