In a hurriedly arranged conference call with the media on Tuesday, Infosys CEO and Managing Director S. D. Shibulal said the company was pleased to consider the matter relating to its employee Jack Palmer “as officially closed.”
Referring to a similar lawsuit filed against Infosys by a former employee, Satya Dev Tripuraneni, which is pending before a court in California, Mr. Shibulal said the company’s own investigation had revealed that the allegations of abuse of B1 visas and harassment of whistle-blowing employees by the company “are completely unfounded.” “Our lawyers are preparing for the defence,” he added.
Mr. Shibulal said the judge had dismissed the case filed by employee Jack Palmer about one-and-a-half years ago “entirely,” and that his claims “have no basis in applicable law.” He said Judge Myron H. Thompson’s ruling showed that Mr. Palmer’s case “did not have enough merit to be tried.” He said the judge observed that since Palmer’s case against Infosys “would fail,” it was not even necessary to look at evidence presented by the company.
“The fact that Palmer had falsified and materially altered several critical documents probably did not help his cause,” Mr, Shibulal observed. He said the judgment vindicated what the company had been saying during the duration of the case. Mr. Palmer’s allegation of “retaliation by Infosys was completely unfounded,” he said. He said the “core values” of the company were founded on “leadership by example, integrity and transparency.” “These “core values,” he said, would continue to determine the company’s treatment “without exception” of its employees.
Mr. Shibulal confirmed that Mr. Palmer remained on the company’s rolls, but that he was on the “bench,” just as 30 per cent of the company’s workforce of more than 1.50 lakh currently were. Asked about the status of the case of alleged visa fraud by the company that was being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a Federal grand jury, Mr. Shibulal said, “We do not have any further updates.”
Asked if the case meant that whistleblowers would be hesitant to raise issues in the wake of the judgment, Mr. Shibulal said Infosys had a “well-defined whistleblower policy.” “The judgment shows that we do not retaliate against employees,” he added.
Mr. Shibulal refrained from answering questions pertaining to the judge Thomson’s observation that threatening calls received by Mr. Palmer were “deeply disturbing.”