For talking in Hindi, an Indian-American was fired
An Indian-American engineer, Anil Varshney, aged 78, has filed a lawsuit against missile defense contractor Parsons Corporation and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, alleging that he was wrongfully terminated from his job for speaking in Hindi with a dying relative on the phone. The incident occurred on September 26, 2022, when a white co-worker falsely reported that Varshney had revealed confidential information during the call, leading to his termination without any investigation. Varshney denies that there was any confidential or classified information near the call, as the cubicle was empty and no sensitive information was being exchanged nearby.
Indian-American engineer, Anil Varshney, who had been providing engineering support for the development of integrated and layered missile defense systems, had worked at Parsons’ Huntsville office from July 2011 to October 2022. He was recognized as “Contractor of the Year” in systems engineering and had received a letter of recommendation from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) for saving $5 million on the ground-based missile defense program.
In response to the lawsuit, Parsons denied any wrongdoing and requested the dismissal of the case with prejudice, along with Varshney paying their attorneys’ fees and costs.
Varshney’s lawsuit seeks his reinstatement to a position comparable to his former one, along with the restoration of privileges and removal of any disciplinary records in his file. If not reinstated, he seeks front pay, compensatory damages for mental anguish and emotional distress, as well as punitive and liquidated damages, and attorneys’ fees.