Infosys faces lawsuit in US over non-payment of 1,000 hours of overtime

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Infosys is pictured inside the company's headquarters in Bengaluru | Photo: Reuters
A former employee of Infosys, Anuj Kapoor has slapped a lawsuit against the Bengaluru-headquartered software services firm alleging non-payment of overtime wages while he was working on a project in the United States. Kapoor, who was part of a CVS project in Rhode Island, had filed the suit against Infosys in June this year, alleging that the IT firm failed to pay more than 1,000 hours of overtime. which he had worked during this assignment.

In the court filings, Kapoor had claimed that while he was required to work 11 hours per day, at times he was only paid for eight hours as CVS refused to be billed for overtime wages. Infosys had responded to the lawsuit in August saying that the employee was an 'hourly' worker on an H1-B visa.

The Wage and Hour Department in the State of Rhode Island had initiated preliminary investigation into this matter and was looking at the possibility of whether Infosys had filed for H1-B visas under the ‘exempt salaried’ category despite using these employees as non-exempt hourly workers. Under exempt visa category, the employer is required to comply with fewer recruitment obligations. 

The second largest software services firm had faced a similar lawsuit regarding non-payment of overtime dues to employees way back in 2008. Infosys had paid $26 million to the California Division of Labour Standards Enforcement to settle the investigation in this case.

Lawsuits relating to labour disputes are not new to domestic IT firms as many companies had faced such allegations before. Wipro had been earlier sued by an employee on labour issues in the United States.

"It's not the first lawsuit and it will not be the last. These IT companies are now fairly large and they will vigorously defend themselves. I don't think, this kind of thing impacts the operations of the firms dramatically," said Shriram Subramanian, Founder and Managing Director of proxy advisory firm InGovern Research. "These are the costs of doing business. Even big US firms have faced lawsuits relating to labour issues," he added.