Ex-Cognizant employee alleges sexual harassment and discrimination against two Cognizant Executives.

An Ex-Cognizant female employee alleged sexual harassment and discrimination against two Cognizant Executives and filed a lawsuit seeking trial against the Cognizant in a US district court.

What happened.

  • According to the lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Florida court, Cognizant Technology Solutions hired Liliana (name changed due to privacy), a Hispanic origin woman in 2017.
  • Liliana allegedly faced sexual harassment between 2018 and 2019 and named two Cognizant executives for sexually harassing her in the workplace.
  • Liliana filed an internal complaint with the Cognizant HR and Compliance department; however, she faced retaliatory actions for raising the concern after which she filed a lawsuit against the company in a US district court.

Charges against Cognizant

The lawsuit added the charges that the complainant faced “sexually explicit language” and “unwelcome sexual advances” at the workplace. It also alleges that Cognizant has “a history of sexually assaulting and sexually abusing females in the workplace.”

Ex Cognizant employees also reported alleged discrimination with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on August 29, 2019, as a violation of 42 USC 2000e-3(a) that makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate based on their race, color, sex, or national origin. 

Cognizant Statement on sexual harassment charges

Cognizant responded to one of India’s top media companies, saying, This lawsuit is without merit, and we will look forward to actively defending ourselves in court.

Next Steps

Middle District of Florida court will review this case, and If proven, these are serious allegations, and Cognizant will face reputational damage in addition to the financial penalty. US court is taking workplace sexual harassment very seriously and had fined $168 million in damages in 2012 for similar cases for another US-based firm.

Cognizant and Lawsuits

It is not the very first time that a lawsuit is filed against IT services giant Cognizant. According to US court records, recently company agreed to settle a case for $5.7 million over allegations the global firm underpaid a group of US employees for overtime worked.

Cognizant was in the news earlier this year for thousands of layoffs at Cognizant. Many Cognizant Executives have left in the last 12-18 months.

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