IT Employees File Case Against Accenture, Cognizant For Long Work Hours, Leave Policy; Court Responds
This can be a landmark case in the history of the IT industry in India.
In one of the first instances, employees of leading IT companies have filed case against their employer, for long working hours, no incentives, bad leave policy and more.
And the most interesting part: The Court has ordered these IT firms to respond within 4 weeks.
IT Employees File Case Against Accenture, Cognizant
The case is a Public Interest Litigation, which has been filed by three IT employees from Hyderabad, along with activist group Forum Against Corruption.
The PIL has been filed at the Telangana High Court.
In the PIL, the techies have argued that “white collared slavery prevailing in the state in the name of employment.” should end.
In the PIL, several leading IT companies have been named, which includes Accenture, Cognizant and Caspex Corp.
The Court has accepted the PIL, and have asked the mentioned companies to respond within 4 weeks. The Court has also sent a notice to the Telangana state government, so that the companies are compelled to respond.
What is The Case All About?
As per Vijay Gopal, the president of Forum Against Corruption, the PIL has been filed to make the lives of the IT employees better, and stop work related exploitation by the companies.
There have been cases wherein employees have worked for 10 hours, without any extra pay, forcefully spending 4-5 hours in daily commute via office cabs, not allocating the leaves in time, and more.
What Does The Law Say?
Now, if we talk about the laws, especially applicable in Telangana, Hyderabad and other IT hubs, then it becomes even more interesting.
The Andhra Pradesh Shops and Establishments Act of 1988, which was renamed to The Telangana Shops and Establishments Act of 1988 states that:
- Employees cannot be asked to work for more than 48 hours a week and/or 8 hours a day
- Overtime can only be imposed for 6 hours a week and 24 hours a year
- Every employee must be given 15 days of paid leave, 12 days of casual leave, and 12 days of sick leave in a year
However, in 2002, a Government Order was passed, which allowed IT companies to bypass these labor laws, in order to encourage more IT firms to set up their offices in the state (then Andhra Pradesh)
Total of 6 sections were allowed to be bypassed, which include opening and closing hours, daily and weekly working hours, holidays and provisions to protect an employee in case of termination of service.
Since 2002, this GO has been given extension, and the last extension was given in 2019, for another two years.
The PIL now aims to change this exception, and allow employees to follow the rules as mandated by the Telangana Shops and Establishments Act .
Another interesting fact: Govt. can impose a fine of only Rs 100, in case any IT firm breaks the law.
We will keep you updated, as we receive more news regarding this case against IT firms.