Friday, July 19, 2024

Engineer Fired For Speaking In Hindi With Dying Relative

WASHINGTON: A 78-year-old Indian-American engineer was fired from his long-time job with a missile defence contractor in Alabama allegedly for speaking in Hindi with his dying relative in India over a video call, a media report quoted a lawsuit.

Anil Varshney, a senior systems engineer with missile defence contractor Parsons Corporation, filed a lawsuit alleging systemic discriminatory actions that left him jobless.

On September 26, 2022, Varshney received a video call from his brother-in-law KC Gupta, who called to say goodbye from his deathbed. Realising that he may not get another chance to speak with him, Varshney stepped into an empty cubicle and attended the call.

“Before doing so, he made sure there were no classified materials or anything else pertaining to work anywhere near him,” said the lawsuit. They spoke for about two minutes in Hindi when a Caucasian co-worker interrupted him. When told that video call was not allowed, Varshney immediately hung up. That was the last time they spoke before Gupta passed away.

The other worker was “intimidated by Varshney speaking in a language he did not understand” and “falsely and intentionally” reported that he “committed a security violation by revealing confidential information and/or accepting this call during a confidential meeting or with confidential information in the background”. Varshney was fired and blackballed, the lawsuit said.

With input of

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