Former Infosys recruiter says he was told not to hire U.S. workers

New allegations arise from in civil discrimination lawsuit

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Credit: Thinkstock

A lawsuit alleging that outsourcing firm Infosys favored hiring Indian workers over U.S. workers now includes an account from a recruiter about the alleged practice.

The case, filed in federal court in Wisconsin, is from four IT workers around the country who are suing the company for "ongoing national origin and race discrimination."

An amended complaint was posted online by one of the attorneys representing the workers, and filed with the court last week.

It includes an account by Samuel Marrero, who worked as a recruiter in Infosys's talent acquisition unit from 2011 until May 2013.

In weekly conference calls held by company officials, the lawsuit says, recruiters were encouraged to focus their efforts on Indian candidates and "stick to the talent we're used to."

In response, Marrero asked, "Are you saying you just want Indian talent?" One of the Infosys officials on the call, and identified in the complaint, allegedly responded: "Yes. They know our style and culture."

The Infosys officials are identified in the lawsuit, one with the title of "senior vice president and global head," the other as a "global enterprise officer lead."

Marrero and other recruiters "frequently complained" to higher-ups at Infosys during these weekly calls that many of the highly qualified American candidates they had presented were being rejected in favor of Indian prospects.

The lawsuit includes employment that claims that about 90% of Infosys' workforce is South Asian, and the high percentage is intentional.

In about October 2012, in response to one of these complaints, Infosys' global enterprise lead allegedly said, "Americans don't know shit."

Infosys is one of the largest users of H-1B visas, according to government data. It does not disclose the percentage of its workforce comprised of visa holders.

On July 10, Computerworld wrote about this lawsuit, and asked Infosys in advance for a comment. The company finally responded on July 18, saying in part:

"It is incorrect to insinuate that we exclude or discourage U.S. workers. Today, we are recruiting to fill over 440 active openings across 20 states in the US. These include 300 openings for professional hires and about 140 openings targeting local and recent MBA graduates, Masters degree holders and under graduates to bolster our sales and management consulting teams. This hiring program is a key investment to strengthen our future leadership pool. The program will see us investing in an extensive training and leadership-mentoring exercise to groom young MBAs for a rewarding career with us.

"Attracting the best and brightest talent is paramount to Infosys' success," the company said in the July 18 statement. "We are committed to creating a work environment where every employee feels included, valued and respected."

Infosys officials could not be reached for comment on the recently amended complaint.

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