Tata America’s Foreign Workers in U.S. Win Right To Court Hearing
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied Tata America International Corp.’s attempt to compel arbitration in Mumbai, India, and dismiss a class action by Tata’s noncitizen U.S. employees, who had been required to sign over their federal and state tax refund checks to Tata. The suit, Vedachalan v. Tata America International Corp., included a proposed class of thousands of current and former noncitizen U.S. employees of Tata working in the U.S.
According to plaintiffs’ representative Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, the complaint claims that Tata has paid its employees less than promised; has failed to pay its employees overtime pay and has misclassified them as exempt from overtime; and has failed to compensate employees for earned but unused vacation pay. The complaint alleges further that Tata required its noncitizen U.S. employees to sign power of attorney agreements delegating an outside agency to calculate and submit each employee’s tax return to state and federal authorities. Tata then required its noncitizen employees who received tax refunds from state and federal tax authorities to endorse the tax refund checks and send them to Tata.