Promila Awasthi, an Indian-born American citizen who works at Infosys as a computer consultant, filed a lawsuit on Monday that accuses her bosses of subjecting her to a hostile work environment that included being ridiculed Awasthi for celebrating American holidays like Thanksgiving and not being compensated for overtime hours worked.
Awasthi, who worked at the Infosys office in Fremont, CA from February to November 2008, described the working conditions there as being “intolerable.” Infosys is one of the large India-based technology outsourcing companies that has recently been expanding its presence in the US to try to halt criticism that these firms are outsourcing American jobs overseas.
The lawsuit alleges that Infosys bosses routinely criticized Americans, including Awasthi, for not having “family values,” and they stated that layoffs in America are good because those jobs will then be outsourced. Awasthi claims that her managers told her that she should not be celebrating Thanksgiving because she is Indian, and they insisted that she work on Thanksgiving Day.
Infosys management also allegedly harassed Awasthi and her children for celebrating Thanksgiving and called them derogatory terms such as “ABCD,” which stands for “American-Born Confused Desi,” which is used to mock people of Indian ancestry who identify with and have integrated into American culture.