In late June 2020, An Indian engineer along with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued CISCO for discrimination due to the individual’s status in the Hindu caste system. California employment lawyers are working quickly to settle this case and bring justice for this man.
CISCO is a technology company that connects people with telecommunications tools, networking hardware, computer software, and other high-tech computer products and services. The company is popular with large corporations across America, but now they are under heavy fire for allegations of religious discrimination.
According to the lawsuit, the employee was discriminated against by other Indian members of his team who were all in higher castes than he. CISCO employs a large number of Indian individuals and claims to be an inclusive and diverse company. Yet, in the documents from the lawsuit, it is stated that the employee was essentially expected to accept the realities of the caste hierarchy within his team, where he would have been in the lowest caste.
While the individual is not named, it is known that he has been a principal engineer at CISCO’s headquarters since October of 2015. Reportedly, HR informed team leaders that the unnamed employee belonged to the lowest Hindu caste.
The lawsuit was filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which is in charge of maintaining and enforcing civil rights. This is not the first time that Los Angeles employment law attorneys have seen this type of discrimination case.
Cases of religious discrimination can be difficult to navigate, given the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In 2016, when his leaders initially found out that he was a member of the lowest caste, he went to HR, but it was determined that this type of discrimination was not illegal and did not go against internal regulations.
The Hindu Caste System
The caste system was abolished in 1950, but the repercussions have carried long into the future. The different levels of the caste system are still recognized widely in Hindu countries:
The order of hierarchy is as follows: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, then Dalits. The CISCO employee who was discriminated against was considered a Dalit, also commonly known in the caste system as an “untouchable,” In history, Dalits have been forced to clean public bathrooms and perform other undesired tasks in society.
While discrimination against members of lower castes has been outlawed in India for seventy years, California employment lawyers still see many cases each year. For members of the Hindu religion, the debacle at CISCO may be one of the most glaring examples of religious discrimination in America yet.
The State of California
California faces many issues beyond this. Employment is faltering for many basic Americans, but Cali’s numbers are staggering. Work has been steady for California employment lawyers, who have had to deal with many employees losing their jobs during the Coronavirus quarantine.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the state of California has seen some of the worst job conditions in history. The global pandemic has led to a massive cut in the number of available jobs for the American people.
Thousands of people were furloughed earlier in the year, and while many have now been able to return to work, there has been no market for previously unemployed Americans to find work.
The case at CISCO is just one example of recent religious and racial discrimination in America, and the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to contribute to exponentially more cases of mistreatment for employees. Lawyers will continue to handle lawsuits against small and large businesses that participate in any type of discrimination against its employees.