Another Infosys employee has filed a harassment lawsuit against the company for reporting visa abuse.

Satya Dev Tripuraneni, an Indian American who worked for five years at Infosys’ Silicon Valley office in California, has accused the company of engaging in fraudulent practices including using B-1 business visitor visas for doing outsourcing work in the US.

This has resulted in the company evading paying taxes since the US tax laws mandate that work done out of the US are subject to local taxes.

According to media reports, when Tripuraneni took up the matter through the Infosys whistleblower mechanism, he was allegedly threatened and demoted.

He filed a lawsuit in a federal court of the Northern District of California.

When contacted, an Infosys spokesperson said: “Shortly after Tripuraneni filed his complaint with the Infosys whistleblower team, as per our policy we launched a comprehensive investigation of his allegations. That investigation is continuing. As for comments on the legal matter, we are choosing to concentrate our attention and resources on the investigation. We feel this is prudent and responsible course of action at this time.”

Infosys is already battling with another employee Jack Palmer in a US court. In the lawsuit, Palmer had alleged that Infosys was victimising him and that it had withheld his bonus for whistle-blowing on what he called the company’s practice of repeatedly violating business visitor visas.

Under scrutiny

Infosys has since been under the lens of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which questioned the legality of the company’s staff working in the US after it found a ‘significant percentage’ of errors in their I-9 form. I-9 is an employment eligibility verification form that has to be filled up by every employee at the time of joining and submitted to the US Federal government for working in the US.

The Jack Palmer case will go to trial on August 20 after attempts to settle it out of court failed.

venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 9, 2012)
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