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Techies drag IT companies to court over long work hours, bad leave policies

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Does the IT firm you work for make you work more than 48 hours a week, not pay you overtime and give you less than 45 leaves a year? A group of techies have now challenged these conditions, terming them a violation of Fundamental Rights Against Exploitation as guaranteed under the Constitution of India. A Public Interest Litigation filed in the Telangana High Court by Hyderabad based activist group Forum Against Corruption, along with three city-based techies hopes to tackle the “white collared slavery prevailing in the state in the name of employment.”

The Andhra Pradesh Shops and Establishments Act of 1988 – renamed as Telangana Shops and Establishments Act of 1988 – says that companies cannot make employees work for more than eight hours a day, and 48 hours a week. It also stipulates that if employees are made to work overtime – a maximum of six hours a week and 24 hours a year – they should be paid for the same. Further, employees should be given 15 days of paid leave, 12 days of casual leave, and 12 days of sick leave in a year. However, for the past 17 years, IT companies in Hyderabad have been exempt from these laws because of a Government Order (GO).

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