Home >companies >Whistleblower files fresh complaint against Infosys: WSJ

New Delhi: Jack Palmer, a former employee of Infosys Ltd whose complaints in 2011 against alleged visa fraud ultimately resulted in the US government imposing a hefty $34 million fine on the company, filed a fresh complaint against the Bangalore-based firm for alleged wrongful termination.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Palmer filed a fresh complaint with the US Department of Labor in May.

According to the report, Palmer has alleged that Infosys and eight of its top executives had retaliated against him by denying him work, bonuses and promotions, and ultimately terminated his employment.

Mint could not independently verify the contents of the latest complaint.

Neither Infosys, nor Palmer’s lawyers, have responded to emails and phone calls seeking comment.

The latest complaint against Infosys comes less than a year after the software services exporter was forced to cough up a $34 million fine for the alleged visa fraud.

Infosys, on its part, vehemently denied the allegations, but conceded that it failed to maintain accurate immigration records—known as I-9 records—for many of its US employees in 2010 and 2011 as required by law.

I-9 forms are used by a company to verify employee identities and establish that they are eligible to be employed in the US.

“Infosys denies and disputes any claims of systemic visa fraud, misuse of visas for competitive advantage, or immigration abuse. Those claims are untrue and are assertions that remain unproven. The company’s use of B-1 visas was for legitimate business purposes and not in any way intended to circumvent the requirements of the H-1B programme. Only .02% of the days that Infosys employees worked on US projects in 2012 were performed by B-1 visa holders," the company had said in October last year.

The fine ultimately also led to the US government increasing scrutiny on other Indian information technology (IT) companies that have a large number of employees on work visas in the US at customer locations.

Palmer’s latest complaint also comes when Infosys is in the middle of the largest management transition in its 33-year history.

In July, Infosys named former SAP AG global product head Vishal Sikka as its first non-founder chief executive. Founder and chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy had relinquished his executive powers on 14 June.

Sikka will take over the reins of Infosys on 1 August.

The company is also grappling with a top-level exodus that has seen more than a dozen senior-level executives leave the company over the past 12 months.

Palmer’s lawsuit in 2011 is not the only one that has been filed against Infosys over the last few years.

Last year, a US-based IT professional called Brenda Koehler filed a lawsuit against Infosys, alleging that the company had discriminated against job applicants in the country by preferring to hire workers from South Asia to fill positions in the US.

In December 2012, a US court had dismissed the lawsuit filed by Satya Dev Tripuraneni, a former US employee of Infosys, who also had alleged visa fraud against Infosys.

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