United States District Court, D. New Jersey
DARRYL STACY, DONALD STEPHEN BRADLEY, and HESHAM HAFEZ, Plaintiffs,
TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES, LTD., Defendant.
Darryl Stacy, Donald Stephen Bradley, and Hesham Hafez bring
this action against defendant Tata Consultancy Services,
Ltd., alleging that its hiring practices amounted to
disparate treatment on the basis of race and national origin
in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and 42
U.S.C. § 1981. Defendant now moves against plaintiff
Hesham Hafez to compel Hafez to arbitration and to dismiss
the complaint as to him only.
deny the motion to dismiss as presented, order targeted
discovery, and allow the parties to raise the issue of
arbitrability on a motion for summary judgment.
purposes of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the well-pleaded
allegations of the Complaint are assumed to be true and all
reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the plaintiff.
See New Jersey Carpenters & the Trustees Thereof v.
Tishman Constr. Corp. of New Jersey, 760 F.3d 297, 302
(3d Cir. 2014). Because defendant's motion to dismiss and
to compel arbitration is directed only at plaintiff Hesham
Hafez, and not the other plaintiffs (See Def. Mot. at 4 n.
1), I summarize only the relevant allegations relating to
Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd. ("TCS") is an
Indian company that provides consulting, technology, and
outsourcing services. TCS has approximately 32, 000 employees
in the United States. TCS operates approximately 19 offices
in the United States, with its principal place of business in
Edison, New Jersey. (Comp. ¶¶ 1, 7, 9).
allege that TCS's U.S.-based workforce consists
disproportionately-approximately 80%-of persons of South
Asian or Indian origin. That state of affairs, Hafez alleges,
is the result of discriminatory hiring preferences that
disfavor non-members of those ethnic groups. (Comp.
¶¶ 1, 13).
is a resident of Bethel, Connecticut. He has advanced
training and job experience in informational technology
("IT") services, with over twenty years of
professional experience in that field. (Comp. ¶ 5).
Hafez is a U.S. citizen of Egyptian national origin and
Caucasian race. (Id.). He does not identify himself
as South Asian or Indian.
April 2015, Hafez began working for the Royal Bank of
Scotland ("RBS") in Stamford, Connecticut, where he
consistently received positive performance reviews and was
never disciplined. (Comp. ¶ 26). In January 2018, RBS
contracted with TCS to provide a large portion of the IT
services that RBS required. As a result, RBS terminated many
of its IT employees, including Hafez. (Comp. ¶ 27).
January 11, 2018, Hafez attended a TCS information session
for soon-to-be-terminated RBS employees. There, Hafez learned
that TCS was interested in hiring soon-to-be-terminated RBS
employees. One open TCS position was that of systems
administrator, the position then held by Hafez at RBS. (Comp.
next day, Hafez applied for the systems administrator
position at TCS, indicating that he had held the systems
administrator role at RBS since April 2015. (Comp. ¶
28). Hafez was the only RBS employee who performed the
systems administrator role in Stamford and was the only
displaced RBS employee who applied for the corresponding job
at TCS. (Id.).
often hires employees from clients who have outsourced their
in-house IT services to TCS. (Comp. ¶ 12). TCS has
recognized the benefits of doing so, noting that these
candidates are often well-suited for servicing a client with
whom they are already familiar. (Comp. ¶ 12).
January 24, 2018, Hafez interviewed with TCS for the
position. Despite calling and emailing TCS multiple times
over several months regarding the status of his application,
he never received a response. (Comp. ¶ 29). On February
15, 2018, Hafez received a termination letter from RBS
effective April 17, 2018. (Comp. ¶ 30). From January
through April 2018, Hafez was required to train the person
that TCS did hire for the systems administrator role. That
person, says Hafez, was a man of South Asian race and Indian
national origin who had minimal experience and was largely
unqualified for the position. (Id.).
alleges that TCS's conduct in not hiring him constituted
willful and unlawful discrimination on the basis of his race,
which led Hafez to incur financial and emotional damages.
(Comp. ¶¶ 35, 39)
moves to dismiss the complaint as to Hafez only, and to
compel Hafez to arbitrate his claims based on an arbitration
provision contained in the online application Hafez completed
when he applied for the systems administrator position at
TCS. (See Def. Mot.). Because the parties' arguments as
to arbitrarily potentially require the court to receive
evidence, I will deny the motion to dismiss, order limited
discovery to the extent necessary, and allow the parties to
raise their arguments regarding arbitrability in the form of
a summary judgment motion. See Guidotti v. Legal Helpers
Debt Resolution, L.L.C., 716 F.3d 764 (3d Cir. 2013).
the issue of arbitrability can be decided without evidence,
it will be, based on the application of the familiar Rule
12(b)(6) standard to the face of the pleadings. Failing that,
however, the Court will permit discovery and decide the issue
on a summary judgment standard, pursuant to the procedures
laid out in Rule 56. If there is a ...