Legal Standoff: Impasse Reached in Caste Discrimination Lawsuit Between Cisco Systems and California Civil Rights Department (CRD)

Jun 16, 2023 - 02:28
Legal Standoff: Impasse Reached in Caste Discrimination Lawsuit Between Cisco Systems and California Civil Rights Department (CRD)

According to a court document made available on June 13, 2023, Cisco Systems and California Civil Rights Department (CRD) have reached an impasse on their mediation and settlement efforts on the alleged caste discrimination lawsuit. Earlier, on being threatened by sanctions by the individual defendants for fabrication of evidence, the CRD withdrew their complaint against both the individual defendants, Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella. Contrary to their past actions to keep this in the Court, the CRD approached Cisco Systems, yet again, for mediation to keep their fabrications out of public scrutiny.

After the case against Iyer and Kompella was dismissed by the CRD on April 11, 2023, Cisco Systems and CRD agreed to mediate on the matter in the California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara. On June 8, 2023, the parties to the state court matter informed the court that their settlement efforts had reached an impasse. The state court has scheduled a further case management conference for August 1, 2023, and will develop a schedule to hear outstanding motions, including other motions to intervene.

Right after the alleged discrimination charges were brought, Cisco System conducted two rounds of internal investigation and found no evidence of any type of discrimination, including caste discrimination. Cisco then released a blog giving a clean chit to Iyer and Kompella, and also expressed dismay at the highly unusual tactic of naming the managers, “who would face abuse on social media with no chance to be heard or defend themselves.” Further, Cisco mentioned that CRD and Doe have insisted on keeping Doe’s identity confidential, a courtesy neither Joe nor the CRD extended to Iyer and Kompella who had to go through three years of witch hunt. Cisco also categorically stated that “Given our principles, had we found discrimination or retaliation, we would have remediated it, regardless of the fact that there is no legal basis in the US for a claim of caste discrimination.”

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the CRD which in contrast to Cisco’s thorough investigation, fabricated claims and acted in the most corrupt way possible. CRD has also engaged in unethical tactics like working with activists to start a trial by media and has become a monster. Ironically, even after all these violations, the California Department of Justice funded and Governor Newsom handed over the “CA vs Hate” hotline to the abusive CRD! What’s even more ironical is that California Bill SB-403 will also be implemented and enforced by the very same CRD which does not hesitate to start witch hunts by making false claims, fabricating data, and forcefully assigning an Oppressor “Hindu Brahmin” caste to people who have declared themselves to be publicly irreligious. CRD already has left a damaging scar on 30+ Cisco employees and ex-employees who are demanding a public apology from CRD. We hope that good sense prevails in the California leadership, and they can start with providing the much-awaited, above-mentioned apology, shelve SB-403, and restructure/revamp the CRD so that it can protect and uphold civil rights instead of trampling upon civil rights.

Abhijit Bagal Abhijit Bagal is a Healthcare Analytics technologist at a managed care organization specializing in publicly funded behavioral healthcare. He holds a master's degree in software engineering and an MBA with a specialization in comparative international health. Abhijit is a part-time law student with a focus on civil rights, due process, and equal protection of the law. Additionally, Abhijit is passionate about eco-sustainability and actively works on home projects, including a rooftop solar array with a whole-home battery backup system. He also manages an in-ground vermicomposting system to convert food waste into organic fertilizer, promoting a sustainable future.