Steven Heldt alleges in a civil complaint filed in the US District Court in San Francisco that he experienced "substantial anti-American sentiment" and was fired by Tata Consultancy after working at several of the company's US offices for 20 months because he was a Caucasian American.

"Tata has engaged in a systematic, company-wide pattern and practice of discriminating in favour of South Asians and against individuals who are not South Asians in hiring, job placement, and termination," Heldt said in his April 14 complaint.

Tata is the only defendant. Heldt accuses it of threefold discrimination: hiring 95 percent of its workers, most of them from India, on H-1B, L-1 and B-1 visas; hiring a disproportionate number of local South Asian workers; and discriminating against non-South Asians in promotions and firings.

Heldt says that Tata made more than USD 13 billion last fiscal year, more than half of it from North America, and the "vast majority" from the United States.

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