The caste system is India’s biggest open secret. And while it continues to plague the country, time and again it has travelled abroad to discriminate against marginalised people doing their jobs. in countries like the USA. 


According to a report by Reuters, California regulators have sued Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O), accusing it of caste discrimination against an Indian-American employee and allowing the harassment of said employee of ‘lower caste’ by two managers of ‘upper caste’. 

The Week

While the lawsuit doesn’t name the victim, it states that he was born at the bottom of the Hindu caste hierarchy as a Dalit, once referred to as the ‘untouchables’.

According to the report, Cisco’s workforce includes a lot of Indian immigrants, most of whom belong to Brahmins or other ‘upper castes’. 

Deccan Chronicle

The lawsuit names two such men- Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella, accusing them of harassment for enforcing caste hierarchy at the job. 


Cisco spokeswoman Robyn Blum spoke to reporters and said: 

Cisco is committed to an inclusive workplace for all… We were fully in compliance with all laws as well as our own policies.

According to the lawsuit, the company had reassigned and isolated the victim. After which they had allegedly rejected a raise and other opportunities that would have led to a raise and then denied two promotions.