The New Jersey-based IT services company IGate has been hit by yet another sexual harassment case, with a senior executive accused of harassing a female employee who resisted his sexual advances.
In a lawsuit filed in a California court, the employee, Karetha Dodd, alleged Mukund Srinath, her immediate supervisor in the company’s legal department, repeatedly sought a sexual relationship with her. Dodo has alleged she was promised a promotion, which never came. Things worsened after she complained about Srinath. “Unable to endure these conditions”, she resigned, she said in her lawsuit.
Dodd who was employed as vice president and head of legal (Americas) at iGate quit in August 2013. However, the man charged with sexual abuse, Srinath, continues to serve at the company as a senior vice president (Legal) and corporate secretary.
In her lawsuit, Dodd has asked for lost wages, other damages and attorney fees. She said her compensation package at iGate, including benefits and stock, was worth around $300,000 per annum. She has also asked for recovery of punitive and exemplary damages.
Dodd further said that during her employment, Plaintiff was subjected to retaliation by her supervisor and other senior-level iGate executives in the form of negative employment actions when plaintiff gave truthful testimony about the possible sexual harassment of another iGate employee, Araceli Roiz, at the hands of iGate's CEO Phaneesh Murthy.
In May 2013, Murthy was sacked from iGate for failing to disclose his relationship with a subordinate, Roiz, and alleged sexual harassment.
The case was settled out of court. Confirming the development, an iGate spokesperson said: "We have completed a thorough investigation into this claim, and have found that it is unequivocally without merit." iGate intends to vigorously defend this action.
The firm has zero tolerance policy on harassment of any kind and is committed to maintaining a caring and nurturing workplace, she added.
This was the second time Murthy had been charged for sexual abuse. Over a decade ago, the 49-year-old tech wizard had resigned from Indian IT bellwether Infosys on similar charges.
Dodd has claimed in the suit that Srinath was "close with all top level executives at the firm, particularly global head of human resources, Srinivas Kandula, former CEO Murthy and the CFO Sujit Sircar.
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