Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd. an Indian provider of information technology services, discriminates against people who aren’t South Asian when hiring workers at its U.S. facilities, according to a lawsuit filed by two former employees.

The ex-employees, both white Americans, allege that the Mumbai-based company’s U.S. workforce of 7,500 is 95% of South Asian decent and is mostly made up of visa holders from India.

The complaint filed Wednesday in New York is one of several similar cases accusing India’s big IT firms of hiring bias in the U.S. The first to go to trial ended last year in a victory for Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., which was cleared by a California jury of discrimination claims.

Larsen & Toubro is accused of submitting fraudulent letters with visa applications to maximize the number of South Asians it hires in the U.S. The suit describes how the company would send a letter to the U.S. government, supposedly from a client, attesting to the need for certain employees to work in America. But the letters were drafted and signed by Larsen & Toubro, according to the complaint.

Larsen & Toubro is now under investigation by U.S. Customs and Immigration Services for the practices, according to the suit, which is seeking class-action status. In one example cited in the complaint, Larsen & Toubro allegedly submitted fake invitation letters purportedly signed by client Apple Inc.

Larsen & Toubro, Apple and the customs agency didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case is Meyenhofer v. Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd., 19-cv-9349, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).


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