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Infosys stares at fresh US visa row

Last updated on: August 10, 2012 10:38 IST

Infosys stares at fresh US visa row

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BS Reporter in Bangalore

Just a few days before the trial of the alleged visa fraud case filed against Infosys by one of its US employees, Jack Palmer, the Bangalore-based IT services company is set for another legal battle of almost the same intensity.

The latest blow has come from one of its former employees, Satya Dev Tripuraneni, who has filed a lawsuit alleging harassment by the company after he reported visa and tax fraud incidents by the managers there.

In the lawsuit filed in the Federal Court in California on August 2, Tripuraneni, a US citizen, has alleged that Infosys routinely brought foreign workers to the US on short-term business visas and billed its clients, thus evading taxes.

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Image: An employees walks past a signage board in the Infosys campus at the Electronics City IT district in Bangalore.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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Tripuraneni, who worked as an accounts manager with Infosys for almost five years, claimed that after reporting these issues, he was subjected to harassment by his seniors and subsequently forced to quit.

On being asked, Infosys said it had started a detailed investigation on his allegations.

"Shortly after Mr Tripuraneni filed his complaint with the Infosys whistle-blower team, as per our policy, the company launched a comprehensive investigation of his allegations. That investigation is continuing," the company said in an emailed statement.

"As for comments on the legal matter, we are choosing to concentrate our attention and resources on the investigation. We feel this is the prudent and responsible course of action at this time," it added.

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Image: Employees walk in front of a building dubbed the 'washing machine', a well-known landmark built by Infosys at the Electronics City IT district in Bangalore.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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Infosys stares at fresh US visa row

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The fresh visa abuse charges come at a time when the lawsuit filed by whistle-blower Jack Palmer is set for trial in the Federal Court in Alabama on August 20 after the court-directed mediation process fell through last month.

Palmer, who continues to be an employee of Infosys, had also alleged retaliation by Infosys after he brought visa irregularities to the fore.

Infosys has alleged the copies of email communication with the company Jack Palmer submitted as evidence were forged.

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Image: An employee walks out of an iconic pyramid-shaped building made out of glass in the Infosys campus at Electronics City in Bangalore.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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However, Palmer's attorney has refuted the charge and said since Infosys manages the server where the emails are stored, it is not possible for his client to tamper it.

Indian IT services companies are heavily dependent on H1B and L1 visas to send employees on deputation to work at clients' sites in the US.

However, the visa rejection rate has gone up significantly in recent times, according to industry insiders.


Image: A man walks past a billboard of Infosys Technologies office in Bangalore.
Photographs: Jagadeesh NV/Reuters
Tags: Palmer , US , H1B

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