Ex-employee alleges Infy of being culturally insensitive
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Ex-employee alleges Infy of being culturally insensitive

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 27 November 2009, 09:49 Hrs   |    11 Comments
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Ex-employee alleges Infy of being culturally insensitive
Fremont: Promila Awasthi, a Silicon Valley based computer consultant, has filed a lawsuit in a California court against her former employer - the Fremont arm of Infosys Technologies. In the lawsuit filed on Monday in Alameda County Superior Court, Promila, an India-born American citizen, alleged that her former bosses mocked her for observing American holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas and refused to pay her overtime according to California law.

In the lawsuit against the Indian tech giant, Promila alleged that Infosys management routinely disparaged Americans, including her, as not having 'family values,' and stated that layoffs in America are good because the jobs will be outsourced. This culturally insensitive picture of Infosys is quite a contrast compared to its ambition to not only spread its wings in the U.S. but elsewhere in the world, too. Promila, who worked at Infosys from February to November 2008, in her lawsuit said, 'intolerable' working conditions forced her to quit.

Promila alleged that Infosys management told her not to celebrate Thanksgiving because she is an Indian, and therefore should work on that day. She further claimed that Infosys management ridiculed her children for celebrating Thanksgiving, and called them 'ABCD' short for 'American-Born Confused Desi,' and 'IBCD' or 'Indian-Born Confused Desi.' Infosys management, she said, repeatedly discussed the quality of her work by explicitly commenting on their expectations for 'a woman your age.'

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Reader's comments(11)
1: This is precisely why Indians avoid Americans of Indian descent like Promila Awasthi. She is probably married to some white person and was probably feeling like an outsider in white circles. This is her way of purchasing acceptance into the white society. Shame on her, her family and the Indians in her circle.

For the rest, please understand that this woman has issues. No Indian is foolish enough to force an employee to work on Thanksgiving. If the above remarks were made, then probably it was done in a friendly way which was deliberately misintrepreted by Promila Awasthi. This problem proves that she has some issues. And those that want to hire this female, all I can say is: Good Luck!

She, in my opinion, is a disgrace to the Indian community and should be ostracized from it, if she isnt already.
Posted by:Yeh Gaddari Hai - 19 Apr, 2010
2: Animesh, do you read before posting? She should be paid millions eh? For what? Being denied off on Thanksgiving? You are displaying the typical mentality of the Indian crab who always cribs against his own and pulls them down. Infosys is not a charity, its the jewel of Indian Industry. Those who don't seek to work there can look for employment elsewhere. And I have never worked there.
Posted by:Rahul - 29 Nov, 2009

The fact is Infy and its bunch of owners are just a group of guys who only think of money for whatever crap they dish out as software deliverable. They are very succesful like other Indian companies in taking Americans for big ride by giving crap and passing it of as quality with cost. It is time that this guys are exposed .Well Rahul are you by any chance a people manager in infosys.
Anil Replied to: Rahul - 30 Nov, 2009
4: There is too much media hype and all are only seeing how Infy is doing on wall street!

There are many more unpalatable stories people have told about Infy and treatment of women! All first hand information! Many in Infy Management think they have come from heaven! Their crimes will be forgiven or forgotten!

Sadly, Senior management has not stepped in set the rot right! Immorality, greed and lust has overtaken good honest work for a decent pay! Further, there is no safety net in India, when Indians are laid off! What has Mr Murthy done on that! He says lay off is inevitable!
Posted by:Ravi Parthasarathy - 27 Nov, 2009
5: No surprises. Good on her for suing them.
Posted by:sharath - 27 Nov, 2009
6: Man...I hate Infosys. The people working in it....are nothing but qualified baniyas. There is no respect for anything and most of their meetings are dog fights. Typical mismanagement and greed. And yes, I work in infosys. Infosys is a nothing but a hype created by media. Totally hollow work ethics and corporate management.
Posted by:Narayan Murtykrishnan - 27 Nov, 2009
7: Sounds to me like a big misunderstanding. Remember that she is only alleging, doesn't mean there is accuracy or understanding there, and it doesn't mean she has a case nor does it mean she will win her case.

You would also need to know if Promila was an hourly worker or a salaried worker. If she was salaried she would get paid monthly from a yearly salary made and agreed to by contract with her employer and she would not get overtime under any circumstances. Perhaps she is an hourly worker, her complaint doesn't say. But if Infosys doesn't want her to work the big American holidays and everyone else is celebrating then why is she insisting that she work and get paid? Makes no sense to me since the company makes the rules she is to abide by.

California is near bankruptcy and all employers and government is cutting hours, laying off people, some workers are giving up income by not going to work a few days a month, etc. I doubt if California is paying any overtime whatsoever these days for anyone because of the poor economy.

It's not disparagement to say people who want to work on the big American holidays have no family values as it's a true statement. On those big holidays an employee should be with their families. But then Promila complains on both sides of the fence. later she says Infosis told her not to celebrate Thanksgiving....she's fighting from both ends of the spectrum. Could it be she is searching for deep pockets? Idk. Let's see what the supreme court has to say.

Posted by:Christie Fox - 27 Nov, 2009
Oh, I just noticed she is an ex-employee. Usually if a person has a case they fight it while they are on the job and not after they have left. I'd be curious as to why she left, if she is perturbed that she was let go or if she quit on her own and what reason she gave the employer for quitting, and I'd be curious if she broke her contract with the employer and now owes the employer money (if so that shold have been taken to a lower court and not the supreme court). There are so many things this article doesn't tell us. How are we in our minds supposed to perceive and determine something like this without all the information?
Christie Fox Replied to: Christie Fox - 27 Nov, 2009
9: this is indeed the other side of the story..or probably the story which many of us have experience while working for the Big names..
Posted by:The dead - 27 Nov, 2009
10: The allegations are reveal a sorry state of affairs in the company. This can impact the reputation of the tech major..
Posted by:Elwin - 27 Nov, 2009
Finally good to hear something true. Infosys won't be able to buy judges in the US against this claim. Hope she gets paid in Billions.
animesh saxena Replied to: Elwin - 27 Nov, 2009