Eighteen IT workers have filed a class action suit Molina Healthcare Inc., claiming that the company laid them off in order to hire H-1B workers from India. The lawsuit was filed in April in Los Angeles Superior Court against Molina, Amir Desai (its CIO at the time), and Molina’s outsourcer, Cognizant Technology Solutions. The suit contends that over a period of several years the U.S. workers were marginalized as the IT department became dominated by Indian nationals.

Although the problems expressed by the IT workers had been going on for a while (the plaintiffs claim pre-existing favoritism on the behalf of IT managers toward the nationals), the layoffs came one day last year when they were called into a so-called planning meeting while someone was rounding up their laptops. They were instead told about layoffs in the meeting.

Attorneys for Desai maintain that their clients was merely trying to keep costs down at the direction of his superiors. Doing this required looking at process and projects that could be outsourced at a lower cost.

But Laura Onufrock, Molina’s former IT department budget manager, who will testify on behalf of the plaintiffs, maintains that even after the mass layoff last year, the IT department exceeded its annual budget by over $5.5 million three months into 2010.

The lawsuit also maintains that even before the layoffs, the culture of the company had changed and became exclusionary toward American workers. For the complete story, see Outsourced and fired, IT workers fight back.

For one company’s differing take on outsourcing, look at Jason Hiner’s piece GE thumbs its nose at outsourcing, builds world-class data center.