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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Phaneesh case: woman is pregnant, sues him and iGate

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Washington, May 23, 2013
First Published: 16:10 IST(23/5/2013) | Last Updated: 08:36 IST(24/5/2013)

The iGate employee who was in a relationship with sacked CEO Phaneesh Murthy is suing him for sexual harassment, her lawyers said Wednesday, adding she is pregnant with his child.

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California-based law firm, Aiman-Smith & Marcy identified the employee as Araceli Roiz, 31, an investor relations employee currently on medical leave.

Aiman-Smith & Marcy had previously represented Reka Maximovitch in her sexual harassment suit against Murthy, which got him fired from Infosys in 2002.

“On behalf of Roiz, we are contemplating next steps, which will certainly include court action against Murthy and iGate,” the firm said.

Murthy was sacked by iGate board earlier this week for not declaring his relationship with Roiz. The company said it had found no evidence of sexual harassment, adding its investigation was continuing.

Murthy said the relationship lasted a few months, and that charges of sexual harassment were an attempt at extortion. He could not be reached for comments.

Aiman-Smith & Marcy has accused Murthy of sexually harassing Roiz by forcing her into a relationship starting 2010 and threatening to fire her whenever she moved to end it — both of which violate California's Fair Employment and Housing Act.

"As a result of Murthy's influence over Roiz, she continued the relationship with him and ultimately, became pregnant with (his) child,” the firm said.

Murthy wanted Roiz to abort the pregnancy, the law firm said. “When she refused, he told her to leave the company, quietly, to protect his position as CEO."

Roiz's lawyers have said questions remain about iGate, whether the company had done enough to keep an eye on Murthy given his “history of predatory actions toward female employees”.


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