iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
A former employee of Cisco Systems Inc. avoided arbitration when his plea was allowed by an appeal court. The appellant who has claimed that he was victimized because of his low caste has been allowed by the court to proceed with his lawsuit under a pseudonym.
The man, who is being referred to as John Doe, said that revealing his identity may endanger the safety of his family in India. Earlier, a trial court judge had ruled that the safety of family members staying outside California cannot be considered while ascertaining whether the appellant can be allowed to proceed under a pseudonym.
The appellant had then approached the state appeals court. On Friday, August 5, the state appeals court overruled the trial court judgement and said that “evidence of potential harm to family members anywhere is a legitimate consideration.”
The appellant had claimed in his plea that his supervisors at Cisco’s San Jose headquarters were not including him in meetings and were not promoting him because he is a Dalit. He also alleged that when he had complained about this partisan attitude, Cisco had retaliated against him.
Dalits are placed at the lowest run by the hierarchical South Asian caste system. A report on the Asia Edition of Bloomberg said: “The appeals court affirmed the trial judge’s ruling rejecting Cisco’s request to move the lawsuit to arbitration.” “The case is Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Superior Court, H048962, California Court of Appeals, Sixth District (San Jose).”
Cisco had sought to move the case out of the open court. The networking giant had claimed that the employee who had accused the company of bias had signed an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment.
“Writing for the court, Justice Adrienne Grover said Cisco could not compel arbitration because the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed the suit on the employee’s behalf and wasn’t a party to, nor had it signed, the arbitration agreement,” the Bloomberg report said.
“As an independent party, the department cannot be compelled to arbitrate under an agreement it has not entered,” the judge said.
The case is Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Superior Court, H048962, California Court of Appeals, Sixth District (San Jose).