New Delhi: Infosys Ltd, India’s second-largest software services firm, faces a whistleblower suit in the US, barely 10 days before it stands trial in that country for allegedly misusing business visas.
Satya Dev Tripuraneni, an US citizen who worked at the company’s Bangalore office, on 2 August filed a complaint in a California court in which he said Infosys launched a retaliation campaign against him after he notified its management and US federal authorities that Infosys was routinely requesting business visas for foreigners to work in the US in violation of its immigration law.
The Infosys campus in Bangalore. Madhu Kapparath/Mint
Tripuraneni is suing Infosys for monetary damages, including punitive damages and the costs of the lawsuit.
The case is similar to the one filed against Infosys by Jack Palmer in February 2011, which accuses the company of widespread misuse business visas. The Palmer lawsuit will go to trial on 20 August.
Infosys is investigating Tripuraneni’s allegations, a company spokesperson said by email.
Infosys is also facing a US grand jury investigation into its visa use. In April, Infosys said in US regulatory filing that the department of homeland security was reviewing its employer eligibility verifications after it found a “significant percentage of errors in Forms I-9 of some of its employees working in the country”.
Form I-9 is required by the US citizenship and immigration services for employment eligibility verification. Infosys’s American depository receipts are traded in the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.
Tripuraneni’s complaint has attracted attention of Iowa state senator Chuck Grassley, who has written to US attorney general Eric Holder, homeland security secretary Jane Napolitano and secretary of state Hillary Clinton to look into the misuse of the B-1 visa programme, and Infosys’s alleged misuse of it. The B-1 is a short-term, non-employment visa.