Muslim Indian files discrimination lawsuit against Accenture

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Accenture, one of the largest consulting firms in the United States, was sued last year by an Indian employee, Elton Kent, who claimed that he and other employees were being discriminated as he was paid less than American employees along with receiving fewer benefits and last week, the company was sued yet again by a Muslim Indian man, Mohammed Ali.

Ali, who also claimed that he was paid a lower salary, demoted and didn’t receive an annual bonus because of his race and religion, told Bloomberg that even though he regularly exceeded annual sales targets, with the exception of fiscal year 2015, he was paid less than his counterparts when they had sales targets of $30 million and he had $50 million, ending the fiscal year with $40.9 million in sales.

According to the complaint, Accenture “shorted” Ali on other deals “so as to falsely deflate Mr. Ali’s sales production for the year” and he was demoted shortly afterwards.

“The discrimination has caused Mr. Ali significant economic harm—in the neighborhood of seven figures,” the lawsuit stated.

His manager, who is white and knew that Ali was a Muslim when justifying the elevated target, even told Ali that he “wasn’t going to be like Bernie Sanders and give handouts,” according to the complaint and said that he agreed “with all of Trump’s views,” these statements were made during the first half of 2016 when then Republican candidate Donald Trump was calling for a Muslim immigration ban.

Bloomberg reported that in a statement, the company said it’s committed “to inclusion and diversity” and “that no one should be discriminated against because of their differences,” however, company spokeswoman Stacey Jones told Bloomberg that Ali’s claims “are without merit.”

Mark Oberti, Ali’s attorney, declined to comment.

The Bloomberg reported that Accenture is a support structure of sorts for corporate America and that such companies are hired to bring in outside expertise, look into industry trends and help with corporate restructuring.

Accenture said it works with more than 75 percent of Fortune Global 500 companies and just last year, 34 percent of the company, or 16,262 people, were Asians.

Many Muslim Americans say that they are facing an increasing amount of discrimination both in the workplace and outside of it.

According to a Pew Research Center study conducted from January to May, this year, almost half of them said that they had faced at least one incident during the 12 months prior to the study and more than two-thirds of the respondents said that Donald Trump has been adding to their fears.

Although Muslims make up only one percent of the U.S. population, about 40 percent of religion-based workplace complaints that were filed with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission in 2015 were Muslims related.

Suman Raghunathan, the executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together, a nonprofit advocacy group, told Bloomberg that there needs to be more emphasis on implicit bias training and zero tolerance policies against discrimination at companies.

“Corporations are in the position to safeguard their South Asian and Muslim employees’ civil rights. We believe now is the moment for responsible corporations, workplaces, and other entities to take a stand themselves. The moral high ground and the arc of justice we believe is increasingly lying in both civil society as well as responsible corporations,” she stated.