“ … there is absolutely no evidence of any sort of retaliation ... his claims are completely unfounded.” — Infosys spokesperson

Infosys today said that it has completed its ‘comprehensive’ investigation into Satya Dev Tripuraneni’s allegations and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

The former Infosys employee, an Indian American who worked for five years at Infosys’ Silicon Valley office in California, had accused the company of threatening and demoting him after he resorted to blowing the whistle on the company’s fraudulent visa practices.

An Infosys spokesperson said: “We can unequivocally state that there is absolutely no evidence of any sort of retaliation against or directed at Tripuraneni. This investigation has confirmed that his claims are completely unfounded.” According to reports on Thursday, Tripuraneni has filed a lawsuit in a federal court for the Northern District of California. He accused the company of engaging in fraudulent practices such as using B-1 business-visitor visas for outsourcing work in the US. Foreign companies require H-1B visas to send their employees to work for US clients.

US tax laws mandate that B-1 visas are handed out for temporary visits and work done out of US is subject to local taxes, which Tripuraneni has alleged that Infosys has evaded. Tripuraneni, who was one of the managers in Infosys, was asked to falsify billing records and convince a client to be billed for dummy employees in the US.

Software companies bill their employees on an hourly basis in some contracts. Infosys is involved in a similar case with another employee, Jack Palmer. He has alleged that Infosys was victimising him and that the company had withheld his bonus for blowing the whistle on what he called the company’s practice of repeatedly violating business-visitor visas.

The Jack Palmer case will go to trial on August 20 after attempts to settle it out of court failed. After the Palmer case came into light in May 2011, the Department of Homeland Security questioned the legality of the company’s employees working in the US after it found a ‘significant percentage’ of errors in the I-9 form of its employees. I-9 is an employment eligibility verification form that has to be filled up by every employee at the time of joining and needs to be submitted to the US Federal Government for working in the country.

venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 10, 2012)
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