DC Renews Obamacare Website Contract For Company Accused Of Discriminating Against Americans

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Font Size:

The Council of the District of Columbia voted Tuesday to extend the contract to build the city’s Obamacare exchange website to a company that is being sued for allegedly discriminating against American workers.

In 2013, the district awarded a $51 million contract to the India-based company Infosys Public Services Inc. to implement the city’s health benefit exchange marketplace. The website is intended to allow D.C. residents to shop between competing insurance plans, though it hasn’t yet launched.

A lawsuit filed in 2014 by four former Infosys IT workers claims that the company intentionally discriminated against Americans in hiring and promotions, in favor of “South Asian individuals.”

The complaint alleges that around 2011, Infosys began a deliberate effort to purge non-South Asian employees in its United States offices and “engaged in a systematic pattern and practice of discriminating against non-South Asian employees and in many instances replacing them with South Asian employees.

Some members of the council, though, were unaware of the lawsuit facing Infosys when they voted to extend the company’s contract.

Councilman David Grosso, who voted present because he is opposed to the council’s role in approving contracts, said he didn’t have time to look at it.

“Mr. Chairman, given the fact that this is a $51 million contract and I haven’t had time to really invest in studying it, I’d like to be recorded as voting present,” he told Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. He then reiterated the amount of the contract. “Fifty one million dollars.”

Tiffany Brown, a spokeswoman for Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, who introduced the legislation, said she hadn’t heard anything about the lawsuit, but people in her office would look into it.

“I know that hasn’t come across our office,” she said.

Layla Bolten, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, claims Infosys interviewed her in its Washington, D.C. office to be a “Test Lead Analyst,” but instead hired her as a “Test Analyst,” which has considerably less responsibility and pay.

Bolten claims she was passed over for multiple promotions because she was not Indian, and she was routinely harassed because she did not speak Hindi.

Just three of the 100 employees working on D.C.’s healthcare exchange website were American, according to the complaint. Demographic data Infosys reported to the federal government showed that of Infosys’s 59 offices in the United States, 21 have 100 percent Asian employees. At 53 of the 59 offices, at least 94.5 percent of employees are Asian.

Another of the plaintiffs in the case, Kelly Parker, alleges that in 2012 she was contracted by Infosys to provide IT services to Harley Davidson. In 2013, Parker claims the company decided not to hire her permanently and terminated her contract in favor of an Indian worker who “Parker herself had trained and moved to Tomahawk to replace her.” (Related: Disney Forces Tech Workers To Train Their Foreign Replacements)

In May, Infosys moved to have the discrimination lawsuit dismissed, and while a federal judge dismissed some of the plaintiff’s claims, she ultimately ruled that the central claim of the case could proceed.

Follow Josh on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact