Pregnant with Phaneesh Murthy's child, employee to sue him

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Bangalore, May 23: Phaneesh Murthy would be sued as iGate employee, who was learnt to be pregnant with his child, accused him of sexually harassing her.

Days after Murthy's statement overruling all allegations against him, California-based law firm appointed by Araceli Roiz disclosed information regarding its client's pregnancy.

According to the press release of the law firm, Murthy had asked Roiz to terminate pregnancy. However, Roiz, who is investor relations chief in iGate, refused to do.

Phaneesh Murthy

The press release says, "...When she refused, he told her to leave the company, quietly, to protect his position as CEO."

Speaking about relationship between Murthy and Roiz, the release says, "...Murthy was able to induce Ms Roiz into behaviour and action that she would have found unthinkable at the beginning of her employment."

Dismissing Murthy's statement that their relationship began just few months ago, the release said, "The CEO of any company, as Mr Murthy was here, has tremendous economic and personal power over his subordinates."

"Thus, Ms Roiz was dependent on her continued employment for her basic living expenses and, further, Mr Murthy conditioned her further employment and career advancement opportunities on her entering into a relationship with him which, eventually and reluctantly, she did," it added.

The release also added, "When she tried to extricate herself from the relationship, he reduced her responsibilities, threatened her continued employment, and pressured her to continue the relationship."

Despite sacking Murthy following the sexual harassment allegations against its former CEO, iGate too would face legal actions. The release said, "Under California law, because Mr Murthy was an officer and director of iGate, his actions were the actions of iGate, and iGate, too, is liable for the acts of Mr Murthy."

"There remains the question of whether, given Mr Murthy's history of predatory actions toward female employees, iGate did all that it should have done to oversee and control Mr Murthy and to provide some method for women at iGate to report his actions," the release added.

49-year-old Murthy earlier had claimed, "I am not certain if the employee will file harassment charges in court. I will fight all harassment charges vigorously in court. I have not received the letter, only company has received the complaint."

This was the second time when Murthy was asked to leave IT company following some sexual harassment allegations. Earlier he was asked to leave IT major Infosys.

However, the case was settled out of court in 2002. After leaving Infosys, Murthy launched his own company called Quintant which later was bought by iGate in Aug 2003. iGate now has appointed Gerhard Watzinger as interim chief executive with immediate effect.

OneIndia News

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