Cognizant Is Paying Rs 42 Crore To Former Employees For Unpaid Overtime Work
Leading IT company, Cognizant has lost a class action suit against its employees and will now be paying them a hefty sum of $5.7 million. The money will be paid as a compensation for their unpaid overtime working hours.
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Cognizant Loses Class Action Suit Filed By Former Employees
The complaint was first filed by Cognizant’s former employee Debi Mishra and other employees. They were all a part of the class action lawsuit and worked in the quality engineering & assurance (QE&A) team of Cognizant.
As per reports, Mishra worked for Cognizant’s client Blue Shield based in California and he resigned in 2015. He complained that the Cognizant underpaid the overtime and failed to include certain amounts when calculating the regular rate of pay.
Employees Paid Much Lower Amounts Than Promised
As revealed by the court document, It all started when Mishra received a letter in 2012 which stated that the terms and conditions of his employment had changed. Cognizant had informed Mishra that his “position has been classified as overtime eligible”. He was also informed through the letter that he was guaranteed to earn no less than $62,100 and that the bonus would be added to keep his annual income at the same level.
However, he received much lower payments than he was promised. Mishra’s counsel asked an expert forensic economist for a review and analysis of the data. The expert concluded that the total potential damages for all employees involved were $11,219,891.
Cognizant Denied Charges Of Paying Less; Loses Lawsuit
Cognizant slammed the accusations, blaming the plaintiffs instead. The company said that Mishra and other employees “did not actually work overtime hours and instead merely recorded overtime as a means of obtaining faster and more evenly spread pay.”
And now, as per the latest settlement agreement, Cognizant has accepted an agreement of paying Mishra and his employees half of the damages that were argued by the complainants.
This is not the first time Cognizant has been in the courts for overworking its employees. It was only September last year when three IT employees from Hyderabad, along with activist group Forum Against Corruption filed a PIL against Cognizant. In the PIL they accused that there is “white collared slavery prevailing in the state in the name of employment.”