Whistleblower's Lawyer Turns up the Heat on Infosys

Don Tennant

The attorney for Infosys employee and whistleblower Jay Palmer on Tuesday filed an amendment to Palmer's lawsuit against the company, in which he outlined additional steps Infosys has taken to harass and retaliate against Palmer since he began cooperating with the federal authorities who are conducting the criminal investigation of Infosys.


The attorney, Kenny Mendelsohn, filed the amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, where the case is slated to go to trial in August. In his motion to amend, Mendelsohn explained that the amendment "sets out additional facts supporting Mr. Palmer's claims for wrongful conduct by Infosys since the filing of this lawsuit and since Infosys learned that Mr. Palmer was cooperating with Federal Criminal authorities investigating with Infosys and cooperating with the United States Senator Charles Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security." Mendelsohn also made it clear that he had "advised Infosys' counsel of these additional facts and gave Infosys the opportunity to question Mr. Palmer about these facts during the deposition of Mr. Palmer held on February 3, 2012" (see my post, "Infosys Flounders, Deposes Whistleblower Despite Dismissal Motion").


Here is the full text of the amendment to the lawsuit:

33A. After the filing of this lawsuit, Infosys learned that Mr. Palmer had retained on his laptop emails, screenshots and other evidence of Infosys' criminal activities and learned that Mr. Palmer was a cooperating material witness in ongoing Federal criminal investigations of Infosys led by the State Department and Department of Homeland Security. Infosys then increased its harassing, retaliatory, intimidating and outrage tactics against Mr. Palmer, including, among other things, the following:


A. Infosys, through its criminal defense lawyer, threatened to discipline or fire Mr. Palmer if he did not turn the laptop, which the Federal investigators needed as evidence, over to Infosys;
B. Infosys' employees tried to remotely access the laptop;
C. Infosys put Mr. Palmer "on the bench" in April 2011, meaning he has not been assigned to any project which is causing Mr. Palmer to lose bonuses and other compensation;
D. Infosys completely shut Mr. Palmer out of Infosys' system limiting his access to company information;
E. On July 26, 2011, at U.S. Senator Charles Grassley's request, Mr. Palmer submitted a written statement to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security which was presented and filed at the Hearing on "The Economic Imperative for Enacting Immigration Reform." When Infosys learned that Mr. Palmer was cooperating with Senator Grassley, a strong supporter of Americans' right to work, and had submitted a statement regarding Infosys' illegal conduct, Infosys and Paul N. Gottsegen, Chief Marketing Officer of Infosys, issued public statements which were published across the world falsely accusing Mr. Palmer of being a liar and a fortune-hunter and falsely claiming Mr. Palmer's Senate Statement was "full of inaccuracies, exaggerations and falsehoods;" and
F. Mr. Palmer has received death threats from Infosys employees and Infosys has failed to take any actions to protect or support Mr. Palmer as required by Infosys' Whistleblower Policy.


33B. Infosys has a pattern and practice of punishing employees who report criminal conduct and rewarding employees who go along with illegal activities. Among other things, certain Infosys employees who refused to cooperate with the Federal authorities investigating the crimes have since been promoted and received raises while Mr. Palmer and other Infosys Whistleblowers who reported crimes were subjected to harassment, retaliation and outrageous conduct.

Although there's nothing in the amended complaint that I haven't already reported in this blog, having this damaging, embarrassing information recorded in court documents no doubt puts significantly more pressure on Infosys, and likely makes it even more evident to Infosys' executive team that this problem isn't going to go away. They would be well advised to end the retaliation now, and avoid giving Mendelsohn yet more fodder for his case. If Mendelsohn has to file another amendment between now and August to detail more egregious behavior on the part of Infosys, the company's employees, customers and shareholders will have very good reason to be even more worried.

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