US-based outsourcing firm iGATE has been slapped with yet another sexual harassment suit by an ex-employee, claiming that she was sexually abused by the firm’s Legal Head and her supervisor.
Karetha Dodd, a US national, has sued iGATE and her supervisor Mukund Srinath on charges of sexual harassment at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in September last year.
Dodd has also alleged that she was targeted at iGATE after she testified against its then CEO Phaneesh Murthy who was accused of sexually harassing Investor Relations Head Araceli Roiz.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Dodd worked at iGATE as Vice President and Head of Legal (Americas) and resigned from the firm in August 2013, while Srinath is at present working at the company as a Senior Vice President (Legal) and Corporate Secretary of iGATE.
In her complaint before the court, Dodd has alleged that “she was subjected to harassing behaviour by her superior (Srinath) and when Plaintiff (Dodd) refused to have a sexual relationship with him, he retaliated by taking negative employment actions against her.”
Dodd further said: “… 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.
Dodd has claimed in the suit that Srinath was “close friends with all top level executives at the firm, particularly Global Head Human Resources Srinivas Kandula, the CEO Murthy and the CFO Sujit Sircar.”
“Thus, and significant to these allegations, plaintiff became aware that the only persons to who she might go with any problem with Srinath were, in fact, totally allied with Srinath,” the lawsuit claims.
In her lawsuit, Dodd is asking for lost wages, other damages and attorney fees. She said her compensation package at iGATE, including benefits and stock, was worth around USD 300,000 per annum.
She has also asked for recovery of punitive and exemplary damages.