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Federal Court Approves Class Action Status In Case Charging The Indian Conglomerate Tata With Systematic Violations Of The Rights Of Its Non-U.S. Citizen Workers in America
April 2, 2012
Plaintiffs’ counsel announced that U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken issued an order today granting plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in the groundbreaking litigation against Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd. and its parent corporation Tata Sons, Ltd. (collectively referred to as “Tata”), on behalf of its non-U.S. citizen employees who were sent to the United States from India to work in information technology jobs.
“More than ten thousand current and former Indian nationals working for Tata in America now may have their day in court,” stated Kelly M. Dermody of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and co-lead class counsel. “We look forward to demonstrating at trial that Tata breached the standard employment contract with these employees and violated California labor laws.”
“Tata IT employees in America are a significant step closer to obtaining justice and receiving compensation for wrongfully-withheld wages and payments for their work,” added Steven M. Tindall of Rukin Hyland Doria & Tindall, co-lead class counsel.
In their complaint, plaintiffs Gopi Vedachalam and Kangana Beri, both former employees of Tata, charge that Tata uniformly:
- breached the standard employment contract for its employees by forcing all non-U.S. citizen employees to sign over their federal and state tax refunds to Tata and by deducting their Indian salary from their compensation; and
- deprived its employees in California of earned wages and accurate wage statements in violation of the California Labor Code. Tata is one of India’s largest corporations with a major multinational presence.
Plaintiff Gopi Vedachalam commented, “I am very happy with the Court’s decision today. It means that my former colleagues and I are one step closer to holding Tata accountable.”
The Court certified the following classes:
- National class asserting breach of contract, consisting of all non-U.S. citizens who were employed by Tata in the United States at any time from February 14, 2002 through June 30, 2005, and who were sent to the United States after January 1, 2002;
- a California class asserting California Labor Code violations, consisting of all non-U.S. citizens who were employed by Tata in California at any time from February 14, 2002 through June 30, 2005, and who were sent to California after January 1.
Read further information about this lawsuit, including a copy of the Court’s order. Lieff Cabraser is also investigating other Indian and American companies that may have also breached employment agreements and violated state labor laws for Indian employees sent or transferred to the U.S.
Kelly M. Dermody
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Steven M. Tindall
Rukin Hyland Doria & Tindall LLP
(415) 421-1800 (x207)