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Immigration Discrimination Runs Both Ways in Local Workforce

Posted on in Employment

CA employment lawyerIn the current political climate, immigration is a hot-button issue. As a result, it is increasingly likely now for employees to find immigration-related issues spilling over into the workforce. As a form of employment discrimination, it cuts both ways in the San Jose area. While foreign-born workers with green cards and work permits have long faced harassment and unfair treatment on the job site, in the local tech industry there are claims that visa holders have a distinct advantage.

Accusations that Tech Companies Favor Visa Holders

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., a company with revenue over $19 billion in the past fiscal year which has launched a customer collaboration center and digital re-animation studio in Silicon Valley, was recently cleared of charges that they engaged in discriminatory hiring practices. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in Oakland federal court against the company in 2015. At that time, company workers alleged in a class action lawsuit that Tata discriminated against non-Asian workers. In addition to unfair hiring practices, the plaintiffs claimed that American employees were more than 13 times more likely to be fired than their Asian counterparts.

The original complaint was filed by an IT worker, who claimed roughly 95 percent of Tata’s 14,000 US employees were of Asian descent. He also cited the fact that Tata was the second largest company in the country in terms of hiring workers under the H-1B Visa program. H-1B visas allow companies to recruit and bring into the country foreign-born workers who are highly skilled in their fields. Tata is not the first American company to face these accusations. The U.S. Department of Labor found Cisco Systems guilty of the same types of charges.

Discrimination Based on Nationality

In general, harassment and unfair hiring, firing, or wage practices are most often associated with negative actions taken against foreign-born workers. There have been several of these incidents reported in our area, such as the San Jose Regional Medical Center ER nurse fired over an anti-immigration rant in August 2018. However, discrimination against any nationality is an issue that could land an employer in hot water.

Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (DFEH), ancestry and national origin are protected classes. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers in terms of the following:

  • Advertising for candidates;
  • Screening and interviewing applications;
  • Hiring, training, transferring, or promoting employees;
  • Depriving them of benefits or pay.

Employers who violate this law could be subject to serious penalties in a discrimination lawsuit. Employees may be entitled to front and back pay, job reinstatement, compensation for their emotional distress and expenses, along with punitive damages.

Contact Our San Jose Attorneys Today

At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we provide legal representation for those who have been discriminated against on the job. To request a free consultation to discuss your case, contact our dedicated Santa Clara County employment discrimination attorneys at 408-246-5500 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/11/28/jury-sides-with-indian-outsourcer-tata-in-discrimination-lawsuit/

https://www.sanjoseinside.com/2018/08/21/san-jose-hospital-under-fire-for-nurses-anti-immigrant-rant/

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2018/08/21/cisco-h-1b-visa-workers-bias-labor-dept-probe-csco.html

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