IT professionals seeking legal options as speculations over Cognizant firing 6,000 employees in India gather steam

Cognizant is likely to lay-off around 6,000 employees in India and the apparent news has spread like wild fire.

As the news of Cognizant hiring more US professionals and reportedly firing 6,000 Indian employees in the current appraisal cycle spread, IT professionals from Chennai started seeking legal options and preparing for conciliation proceedings with the state labour department. However, Cognizant president Rajeev Mehta told ET categorically there is no retrenchment.

As per several reports, Cognizant may also increase involuntary exits from its workforce during the appraisal cycle.

In this backdrop, the Forum for IT Employees (FITE) has sent representations to assistant labour commissioners and the state labour commissioner. They have called Cognizant’s lay-offs as "illegal termination.

"We have submitted a representation with the state government as of now. The plan is to formally file for conciliation, which is the first step before the issue can be taken to labour courts,” Vinodh AJ, general secretary of FITE, told ET.


A similar incident had happened two years ago when the forum won a stay on the firing of a TCS employee in the Madras HC, which also directed the state government to ascertain if employees with IT companies can be covered under the Industrial Disputes Act.

Meanwhile, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has always maintained hiring trends will change and demand for niche skills will go up.

Besides, Cognizant is trying to trim costs and in this bid, it recently rolled out a VRS programme for its senior employees.