Five former employees of Wipro in the US, have accused the Company of employment discrimination against people who are not of Indian origin or do not belong to South Asia. These employees, who are all US citizens, have also filed a class action lawsuit against the Company, which clearly states that Wipro’s internal as well as third-party recruiters prefer to hire South Asian and Indian candidates, who are also apparently favoured throughout the recruitment process.
The allegation is that the workforce of the Indian multinational information technology (IT) company in the US comprises of at least 80 per cent South Asians— majority being Indian— whereas only 12 per cent of the IT industry in all of the US comprises South Asians. This has been termed as “grossly disproportionate”.
Bangalore-based Wipro has more than 1,60,000 employees across the world, of which 14,000 work in the US alone. The fact that the majority of Wipro’s workforce consists of Indians and South Asians indicates that it is purposefully favouring them when it comes to hiring and promotions. According to the lawsuit, another fact that proves that Wipro favours Indians and South Asians is that, it tries to maximise the number of visas it is permitted every year by the US government. Not only has it been amongst the top five companies to receive H-1B visas, it has been accused of submitting visa petitions for far more than the actual positions existing in the US, just so that it has an increased chance of receiving the maximum number of visas in the lottery process. This allows it to receive visas for more employees than it actually requires.
The lawsuit claims that in 2015, Wipro managed to get 5,968 new visas, while the very next year, that is, 2016, it received about 6,831. This is a huge number, considering that the Company employs barely 15,000 people in the United States.
While a trial by jury has been demanded, the lawsuit requires Wipro to make impartial employment decisions and follow lawful, and unbiased methods to hire, promote or terminate people.