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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.

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A racial discrimination lawsuit that names United Parcel Service accuses the company of race-based discrimination. The lawsuit has been filed by 8 current and ex-employees of United Parcel Service. The plaintiffs are all black.

According to their lawsuit, they were frequently subjected to racial discrimination in their workplace. They were frequently subjected to racial and disparaging comments, insults, as well as harassing treatment that was clearly based on their race. When they complained about the treatment, the workers claim that they were retaliated against.

The employees allege that they were subjected to frequent ridicule, and insults, and were intimidated. The lawsuit mentions several examples of the kind of discriminatory and harassing behavior the employees suffered. In one case, a black employee was called a “jungle bunny,” while in another case, a black employee of the company was told that his prostate cancer was a “black disease.” In the other cases, African-American employees were compared to monkeys and subjected to other racially- charged comments.

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