A US judge has approved a class action suit against Tata Consultancy alleging that the firm unfairly kept the US tax refunds of Indian employees working abroad, court documents show.
The ruling on Monday allows all non-US citizens employed in the United States from February 14, 2002 to June 30, 2005, and those sent to the United States after January 1, 2002, to take part in the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs accuse the company of forcing its Indian employees to sign over their US tax refunds to the Mumbai-based company, according to the Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein law firm, which is representing them.
The complaint also alleges that Tata did not pay its employees the amount it promised them before they came to the United States.
"More than ten thousand current and former Indian nationals working for Tata in America now may have their day in court," Kelly Dermody, co-lead class counsel, said in a statement.
"We look forward to demonstrating at trial that Tata breached the standard employment contract with these employees and violated California labour laws."
The plaintiffs seek "compensation and damages for current and former employees who were not paid what they were promised, who were deprived of their tax refunds, and who faced unauthorized Indian salary deductions," the law firm said on its website.
Tata Consultancy Services, part of the Tata industrial conglomerate, could not immediately be reached for comment on the case.
The information technology and outsourcing consultancy firm employs some 214,000 people in 42 countries, and had revenue of $8.2 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, according to its website.