California State Charges Cisco with Caste-Based Discrimination at Workspace

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California State Charges Cisco with Caste-Based Discrimination at Workspace
California State Charges Cisco with Caste-Based Discrimination at Workspace

The US state of California lodged a complaint against Cisco System Inc for alleged caste-based bias at workspace against Dalit Indo-American employee.

The identity of the victim has not been disclosed, however, the names of the managers mentioned in the lawsuit suspect both of them to be Indian-Americans.

A 2018 survey cited by the lawsuit said 67% of Dalit employees had reported as being treated unfairly by Indian-American colleagues, which asserts caste-based discrimination is not rare at American workplaces.

California State Charges Cisco with Caste-Based Discrimination at Workspace
California State Charges Cisco with Caste-Based Discrimination at Workspace

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which filed the lawsuit, said the managers at Cisco’s San Jose headquarter “harassed, discriminated, and retaliated against an engineer because he is Dalit Indian.”

The accused “expected [the complainant] to accept a caste hierarchy within the workplace where he held the lowest status within a team of higher-caste colleagues, receiving less pay, fewer opportunities, and other inferior terms and conditions of employment because of his religion, ancestry, national origin/ethnicity, and race/color,” the statement added.

The case has been filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.

“It is unacceptable for workplace conditions and opportunities to be determined by a hereditary social status determined by birth,” said Kevin Kish, DEFH director. “Employers must be prepared to prevent, remedy, and deter unlawful conduct against workers because of caste.”

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