September 11, 2019

Telangana High Court Asks Infotech Companies Including Accenture, Cognizant To Respond To PIL About Violations

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Telangana High Court has directed three infotech companies, including Accenture and Cognizant, to file their response on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with regard to alleged exploitation of employees in violation of the Shops & Establishments Act.

The court asked Accenture, Cognizant and Caspex Technologies to submit their responses to the court within four weeks. The PIL has been filed by Forum Against Corruption, a Hyderabad-based NGO.

Principal Secretary (labor), Telangana Government, Labor Commissioner, Director, Special Economic Zone (Ministry of Commerce, Government of India), and SEZ Vishakhapatnam are the other respondents.

The petitioner contended that the IT companies were violating the Shops & Establishments Act, 1988, by making the employees work for more than 48 hours a week. They were also allegedly not following the rules with regard leave policy and notice period.

Terming the exploitation of employees as “white collared slavery”, the petitioner said that Accenture and Cognizant were violating most of the laws.

Vijay Gopal, who heads Forum Against Corruption said that the IT companies have been violating the laws for the last 30 years and that the labor department failed in its duty to act against such violations.

“These companies are excluding break and lunch from the calculation of weekly hours. Thus the employees are being made to work for more than 48 hours a week. The companies are not paying them over-time and thus depriving them of their money,” he said.

Vijay also alleged that Accenture is making the employees sign a declaration to make them work for 11 hours a day.

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