Korean American Hoseong Ryu filed a lawsuit against Intel this past week claiming discrimination by managers in favor of Indian employees, reports The Mercury News.
The problems allegedly started even before he began working there.
According to the lawsuit, Ryu, 45, applied for a software engineering position at Intel in 2014 and was interviewed by a three-man panel.
The suit claimed that one interviewer, from India, had a certain question for Ryu: “I see you are from Korea. I know a Korean man named Sung Won Bin. Do you happen to know him?”
After the meeting, the man allegedly told a fellow interviewer that Intel shouldn’t hire Ryu because he was “Korean, married, and had a child,” and said that “it would be easier to hire a younger, unmarried Indian man.”
However, Intel still hired Ryu for its system integration team, where he found “the demographics of the worksite and its management have been heavily skewed toward employees from India or people of Indian or south-Asian descent,” according to the suit.
The suit alleged that one manager who is of Indian origin “openly favored the hiring and promotion of only employees from India, stating that ‘Indians work hard’ and ‘Indians are harder workers.’” That manager also supposedly encouraged a supervisor to hire only Indian employees.
In 2018, after Ryu had acted as a de facto manager of the team for about 18 months, the company was to appoint a new chief of the system integration team, but the position was given to a system debugger originally from India who had “no management experience and had significantly less experience with system integration than Ryu,” the suit alleged.
According to Indica News, Ryu claimed that his non-promotion in favor of the Indian man was retaliation based on a previous complaint to Human Resources.
Ryu also claimed that the team’s management favored Indians in granting vacation. “Most employees who are not Indian or South Asian receive only two to three weeks of vacation or leave per year,” the suit claimed. “But employees who are originally from India or of Indian descent typically receive additional leave time and sometimes receive as much as five or six weeks of leave per year.”
Intel said it does not comment on pending litigation. However, company spokeswoman Patricia Oliverio-Lauderdale said, “We believe diverse teams with different perspectives, experiences and ideas are more creative and innovative, resulting in a collaborative and supportive environment.”
Ryu is seeking unspecified damages for racial discrimination and discrimination on the basis of national origin, as well as for emotional distress and damage to his reputation.
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