07/10/2015 5:08 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Former Wipro Employee Who Was Told Her 'Blouse Was Too Tight' Sues Company For Sexual Harassment


A former employee of Wipro, one of the world's largest information technology companies, has accused the IT firm of sexual discrimination, unequal pay, harassment and unfair dismissal and filed a suit claiming 1.2 million pounds (12 crore) in damages.

Shreya Ukil, a 39-year old former employee of Wipro in the UK, alleged that she was subjected to a "deeply predatory, misogynistic culture" at Wipro, reported The Telegraph.

Ukil said the work culture at Wipro is so 'toxic' that it is almost impossible for women staff to work there.

In the suit, Ukil has alleged that she was paid far less in comparison to her male colleagues at similar positions. She has also accused former Wipro executive Manoj Punja, 54, who was her manager, of forcing her to have an affair with him.

Punja allegedly made sexual advances at her on several occasions.

On one business trip to Stockholm in 2013, Punja allegedly told Ukil the blouse she was wearing was "too tight" for her body type because of her "big breasts". He once allegedly described her as "a seductive dancer from Indian mythology."

Punja is the former head of Wipro BPO. He resigned last year for unstated reasons.

In a statement issued to the media on Wednesday, Wipro said both Punja and the woman were fired from their jobs as they had violated the company’s stated policy by having an "unreported personal relationship."

Ukil also alleges that several women left the company due to similar experiences.

"Women who are confident, capable and express their viewpoints are often called 'emotional', 'psychotic' or 'menopausal'. Women who supported women are called 'lesbians'," she wrote in the suit.

In a statement to The Telegraph, Wipro said that it is defending these allegations before the court.

"Wipro does not comment on its ongoing lawsuits and Wipro is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity and provides all our employees with a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment of any kind," the company said.

According to an earlier report by Economic Times, two-thirds of companies on the Nifty, a 50-stock benchmark index of the NSE, reported cases of sexual harassment in the previous financial year.

46 Nifty companies showed a total of 415 cases, with 80% of these in IT and banking firms.

In fact, Wipro heads the list with 100 cases. This is followed by ICICI Bank with 94. In the manufacturing sector, where women are less well represented, Tata Steel leads with 24 cases, followed by Cipla with 17.

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