Add “Caste” To Identities Protected by CA Law

Add “Caste” To Identities Protected by CA Law

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Aditi Ramaswamy started this petition to California State Assembly Member Ash Kalra and

The South Asian caste system is a deep-rooted method of perpetrating systemic prejudice, wherein "savarna" ("upper-caste") people are given more respect and opportunities than Bahujan (Indigenous and "lower-caste") people. In the US, the severity of caste discrimination is mostly unknown, as it is often thought that caste is no longer something South Asian people care about once they immigrate. Unfortunately, this is untrue. Just as Dr B.R. Ambedkar predicted decades ago, members of the diaspora often still carry these prejudices with them: last year, the Cisco caste discrimination lawsuit broke, in which employees accused their savarna managers of discriminating against them on the basis of their Bahujan status. As an Indian-American, I was horrified to hear about this issue. I am aware of the generational privilege I myself have, and I am firmly of the belief that everybody should have access to the same opportunities and respect I have been afforded throughout my life.

The lawsuit, based on California's existing prohibitions against ancestry-based and race-based discrimination, was dropped. The fact that this lawsuit fell under a grey area––that it could not be filed specifically on the basis of caste and needed to be tied to other, more ambiguously related identities in order to be considered––is why we need to add caste (specifically Bahujan identity), to the list of protected identities specified by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Please help me do so by signing this petition in order to bring this issue before Kevin Kish, Director of the DFEH!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
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