Speaking in Hindi with a dying relative, Indian American Engineer fired


Anil Varshney files a lawsuit for alleged systemic discriminatory action that cost him his job.

Our Bureau

Washington DC

An old-timer, a 78-year-old Indian-American engineer was removed from his long-time job at a missile defence contractor in Alabama, US for speaking in Hindi with his dying relative in India over a video call, as per a federal lawsuit filed by him.

Anil Varshney, a Senior Systems Engineer with Huntsville missile defence contractor Parsons Corporation, alleged that systemic discriminatory action is responsible for his job loss in October last year.

Varshney in late 2022 received a video call from his elderly brother-in-law K.C. Gupta, on his deathbed in India who called to say goodbye to Varshney. Facing the dire situation that he may not be able to speak to him ever again, Varshney moved into an empty cubicle and accepted the call, the suit said.

However, a white co-worker of Varshney heard him speaking to a relative in Hindi on the telephone call. The call lasted for two minutes in Hindi when another worker interrupted Varshney and checked with him whether he was on a video call, which he confirmed.

The other worker informed Varshney that the call was not allowed and Varshney immediately hung up. The call was the last time they spoke before Gupta passed away. Before doing so, Varshney ensured that there were no classified materials or anything else pertaining to MDA’s (Missile Defence Agency) or Parsons’ work anywhere near him, claimed the lawsuit.

Parsons has denied it engaged in any of the wrongdoing as alleged by the plaintiff and denied any relief, requesting for the suit’s dismissal.

In 1968, Varshney immigrated to the US, settled in Huntsville, and became an American citizen. Varshney’s wife Sashi has worked at NASA since 1989.

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