Wipro sacks two IT employees over lawsuit in Britain

IT services provider Wipro has sacked an Indian male and a female employee working at its development centre in Britain over a lawsuit filed by the latter, the global software major said on Wednesday.

“Though we do not comment on ongoing lawsuits, both employees — Manoj Punja, 54, and Shreya Ukil, 39 — were relieved from service after an impartial inquiry established that they had violated our stated policy,” Wipro said in a statement in Bangalore.

The IT bellwether’s statement came in response to a media report in London that Ukil had accused the company of gender discrimination, unequal pay and harassment and sought compensation up to one million pounds (nearly Rs.10 crore).

According to the media report, Ukil filed the lawsuit with the central London employment tribunal, claiming that she was forced into an affair by Punja, a married man who was her superior as head of Wipro’s back office operations in Britain.

“I was also paid far less (75,000 pounds a year) compared with 150,000 pounds per annum paid to male colleagues,” Ukil, who was sales and market development manager, charged.

Ukil alleged that the company’s culture required women to be subservient and as a result, many other women employees had left owing to similar experiences.

The company, however, said its policy on conflict of interest required employees to disclose to it any personal relationship that could create conflict.

“Failure to disclose such relationships would result in disciplinary action, including and up to separation,” the company asserted in the statement.

Claiming that the company had serious objection to scurrilous allegations, the statement from Wipro said it would take legal action against insidious and defamatory charges.


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