Friday, May 24, 2013

Roiz pregnant with Phaneesh's child, to be sued for sexual harassment


Roiz pregnant with Phaneesh's child, to be sued for sexual harassment
New Delhi, May 24 (DHNS) : Sacked iGATE Corp chief executive Phaneesh Murthy will be sued for sexually harassing the firm’s investor relations head and allegedly making her pregnant, the law firm representing the victim said on Thursday.

 Araceli Roiz, iGATE’s head of investor relations, issued a damning statement through her lawyer on Thursday saying that she was pregnant with Murthy’s child.

She alleged that Murthy had manipulated her into having a relationship with him soon after she joined the firm.

A statement from her lawyer Randall Aiman-Smith said Murthy’s conference call on Tuesday had forced the “victim” to issue a statement to counter “Murthy’s very public, false statements.”

“Had Murthy not convened a very public press conference in which he attempted to make himself look better by lying and slandering Roiz, she would not have endured the embarrassment and humiliation of making these facts public; however, she has been forced to do,” Aiman-Smith’s statement said.

Randall Aiman-Smith is a founding partner with Oakland, California-based law firm Aiman-Smith & Marcy. The firm previously represented Reka Maximovitch and Jennifer Griffith in sex harassment lawsuits against Murthy while he was employed at Infosys.

Aiman-Smith added that steps, including court action, were being contemplated against Murthy and iGate, which being Murthy’s employer could be made a party to his acts.

Roiz joined iGate in May 2010 and remains employed, though on medical leave at present, Aiman-Smith said. While her nominal supervisor was iGate’s CFO Sujit Sircar, it was Murthy who was her day-to-day supervisor.

Accusing Murthy of insinuating himself into Roiz’s personal life using the pretext of business necessity, Aiman-Smith said Murthy was able to induce Roiz into behaviour and action that she would have “found unthinkable at the beginning of her employment”.

“The only reason Murthy was able to engage in these abusive and harassing actions is because he was Roiz’s employer. The CEO of any company, as Murthy was here, has tremendous economic and personal power over his subordinates.

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

When she tried to extricate herself from the relationship, he reduced her responsibilities, threatened her continued employment, and pressured her to continue the relationship,” the statement said.

As a result of Murthy’s influence over Roiz, she continued the relationship with him and, ultimately, Roiz became pregnant with Murthy’s child, Aiman-Smith said.

“When he discovered this, Murthy pressured Ms Roiz to have an abortion. When she refused, he told her to leave the company, quietly, to protect his position as CEO,” Aiman-Smith added.