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Indian H-1B visa employee alleges discrimination and retaliation in lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase

NRI PULSE STAFF REPORT

Plano, Texas, June 16, 2024: Prafull Khare, a former vice president of product management at JP Morgan Chase & Co., has filed a federal lawsuit against the financial giant, alleging unlawful retaliation after he raised concerns about race and national origin discrimination.

According to the Dallas News, Khare, an Indian citizen working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa, was employed at JP Morgan’s Plano office. He began his role focusing on cloud networking and security products in January 2023. The H-1B visa program allows skilled foreign workers to work in the U.S., with possibilities for visa extensions and eventual green card sponsorship.

However, when a sponsored employee is terminated, they enter a 60-day grace period during which they must either secure a new job with visa sponsorship, transition to a different immigration status that permits them to stay in the U.S., or prepare to leave the country.

The Dallas News quoted Khare’s attorney, Rod Tanner, stating that Khare and his wife are hopeful to stay in the U.S. despite the current challenges. “Their future hinges on this,” Tanner said, noting Khare’s desire to continue working and living in the country.

JP Morgan declined to comment on the pending litigation but emphasized their commitment to a bias-free workplace. “There is no place for bias, prejudice or discrimination in our company, ever,” a spokesperson stated.

According to the lawsuit, Khare’s work assignments at JP Morgan did not align with those specified in his visa application. He was given tasks with unrealistic deadlines and his completed work was misrepresented.

Khare alleged that his supervisors assigned him tasks outside the scope of his approved duties, which required prior approval from the U.S. Department of Labor. In a meeting with his supervisors, Khare claimed they were setting him up for failure because of his Indian origin.

In a meeting with his supervisors, Khare claimed that they “put him under a microscope, constantly searched for flaws, and misrepresented his work performance,” according to legal filings. Khare asserted that the supervisors disliked him because he was an Indian immigrant and “were trying to set him up for failure”.

The executives reportedly denied these accusations, attributing the issues to communication failures. However, after Khare complained about the perceived discrimination, he alleges that JP Morgan retaliated by firing him in April, just before his probationary period ended.

Khare was earning a base salary of $180,000 with a $40,000 annual bonus. In his lawsuit, he is seeking back pay and damages.

Khare is actively seeking new employment opportunities to remain in the U.S. beyond his 60-day grace period following his termination.

Cover photo: Background of JPMorgan courtesy Wikimedia.

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