Wipro slapped with Rs 10-crore suit over sexual discrimination

Wipro slapped with Rs 10-crore suit over sexual discrimination

A 39-year-old former business development manager at the United Kingdom office of India’s third-largest IT firm Wipro has filed a lawsuit against the company before the central London employment tribunal for a compensation of around £1 million (Rs 10 crore), alleging sexual discrimination and unequal pay.

Besides accusing it of a deeply predatory, misogynistic culture, her complaint against Wipro cites gender discrimination, unequal pay, harassment, and unfair dismissal. She also alleged that the company had paid her far less (£75,000 a year) compared with £150,000 per annum paid to male colleagues.

The former Wipro employee, who worked as a Business Development Leader, Technology and Process (Business Transformation), alleged that she was forced into an affair by Manoj Punja, 54, a married man who was former chief executive/senior vice-president, BPO business.

A media report from London quoted her as saying that “the culture within Wipro requires women to be subservient”. She also said that she was treated like “dirty goods” after ending the affair and lodging complaints about her treatment.

But Wipro issued a statement on Wednesday, stating that she, along with Punja, had been dismissed from the company.
 
“Wipro’s policy on conflict of interest requires employees to disclose to the organisation any personal relationship that could create conflict. Failure to disclose such relationships would result in disciplinary action, including and up to separation. Following an impartial inquiry, both Manoj Punja and she were relieved from the services of the company after it was established beyond reasonable doubt that they had violated the stated policy,” the Wipro statement said.

The company further said: “Wipro takes serious objection to the scurrilous allegations made against the company and will initiate legal action to defend itself against insidious and defamatory allegations.  The company has built its business over the years by ensuring it adheres to the highest standards of integrity, fairness, and ethical corporate practices. Any transgression of these beliefs and policies are dealt with expeditiously and with the strictest action. Our guiding principles have always been matters of the highest priority for our leadership and they have consistently set the tone from the top, through examples in action and thought.”

The Bengaluru-based Wipro employs over 1.50 lakh people globally had annual revenues of around Rs 47,318 crore in FY2014-15.

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