(Reuters) - California regulators sued Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) on Tuesday, accusing it of discriminating against an Indian-American employee and allowing him to be harassed by two managers because he was from a lower Indian caste than them.
Former Cisco engineering managers Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella also are defendants in the lawsuit, which accuses them of harassment for internally enforcing the caste hierarchy.
At Cisco, the unnamed employee reported Iyer to human resources in November 2016 for outing him as a Dalit to colleagues.
Iyer allegedly retaliated, but Cisco determined caste discrimination was not illegal and issues continued through 2018, the lawsuit states.
Hindus traditionally grouped people into four major castes based on ancestry, and Dalits in India still struggle with access to education and jobs 65 years after India banned caste-based discrimination.