Monday, Oct 06, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
In a teleconference from the U.S. today, Mr. Murthy told reporters that the lawsuit was "a blatant case of gold-digging''.
In a separate release, Sunil Wadhwani, Chairman, iGate Global Solutions, where Mr. Murthy is now the CEO, also said that the company had "done its due diligence'' and stood by Mr. Murthy.
Ms. Griffith, a U.S. citizen, who had worked for Infosys at the company's Fremont, California office, has filed the lawsuit in a Superior Court of California, in Alameda County. The lawsuit "generally alleged that Mr. Murthy had sexually harassed Ms. Griffith when he worked for Infosys'', a company release said. Mr. Murthy told reporters that Ms. Griffith had worked in an administrative position for Infosys. She had not directly reported to him, but had done a "writing assignment'' for him during October 2001.
This is the second such case brought against Mr. Murthy and Infosys, by a former woman employee, and a U.S. citizen. In September this year, Infosys made an out-of-court final settlement with Reka Maximovich who had also worked at the company's Fremont, California office. She had brought the first lawsuit against the company and Mr. Murthy, a year ago.
Now, her lawyers had come to him asking if he would settle with her too, "after the public announcement of the final settlement'' with Ms. Maximovich, last month, he said. He said he would fight this case with all the resources he could muster, and that his family stood by him.
Infosys in a release on Saturday said it was yet to be served with the lawsuit and was reviewing the allegations made by Ms. Griffith. Based on information available at present, Ms. Griffith's lawsuit would not hurt Infosys' performance, the release said. The company's results for the second quarter of financial year 2003-04 are due on October 10.
"As in the earlier case'', Mr. Murthy said he believed he was covered by an insurance policy, as the case related to the time he worked for Infosys. The insurance covered Infosys and its directors, "against charges under employment law and securities law''.
Mr. Murthy's lawyers, from the firm Pillsbury, had also represented him in the lawsuit brought by Ms. Maximovich. The lawyers who represented her, Dean McFee and Smith, were now representing Ms. Griffith, he said.
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