Apple becomes first tech company to explicitly ban caste discrimination
The report notes that the update came in June 2020 when California's employment regulator sued Cisco Systems on behalf of a low-caste engineer who accused two higher-caste seniors of blocking his career.
Tech World : Most tech giants have broad anti-discrimination work policies, but unlike some disciplines - like they don't explicitly call out caste-based discrimination. But Apple has become one of the first tech giants to explicitly shut down and ban caste discrimination in the company. Given the increasing prevalence of caste in India, it has been decided that managers and employees in the US may not be familiar with caste, Apple has also started training on the subject so that its workers can better understand the new policies. Apple updated its General Employee Conduct Policy to prohibit race-based discrimination about two years ago, but it had not been reported until now. The report said the update came in June 2020 after California's employment regulator sued Cisco Systems on behalf of a low-caste engineer who accused two upper-caste seniors of blocking their careers .The incident was seen as the first US employment lawsuit regarding alleged racism. Apple reportedly confirmed an update to the policy in publication. It said the company "updated the language a few years ago to reinforce" that it prohibits "discrimination or harassment based on race". It states that the training given to the employees also clearly mentions the caste. The Cupertino-based tech giant also said, "We have a diverse and global team and we are proud that our policies and actions reflect this." In addition to Apple, IBM also updated its policy to include anti-racist rules. Other big tech players such as Amazon, Dell, Facebook owner Meta, Microsoft, and Google do not specifically and explicitly refer to race in their core global policy.
A few months back in June, Google, whose CEO Sundar Pichai has Indian roots, canceled a talk on caste discrimination where Dalit rights activist Thenmozhi Sundararajan was to make a presentation. The talk was organized by Google employee Tanuja Gupta.
After news of the cancellation surfaced, a report said that Google canceled the conversation because it was causing animosity within the company. Tanuja was put under investigation for allegedly violating the company's code of conduct. He left Google soon after. He also claimed that discrimination based on caste was rampant among tech companies, including Google, and that tech company needed to talk about it.