Indo-American CEO charged with callous treatment of worker in US
An Indian-American CEO of an IT staffing and consulting firm has been charged in the US with callous treatment of a domestic worker, who had come from India to work for her.
The Department of Labor in its complaint alleges that Himanshu Bhatia, the CEO of Rose International and IT Staffing, paid her domestic service worker USD 400 a month plus food and housing for work being performed during 15-and-a-half hours a day seven days a week at her home in San Juan Capistrano and other luxury residences in Miami, Las Vegas and Long Beach, California.
According to the complaint filed by the US Labor Secretary Thomas E Perez on August 22 in the US District Court for the Central District of California, the domestic service worker identified as Sheela Ningwal was subject to callous abuse and retaliation.
She was forced to sleep in the garage on a carpet alongside Bhatia’s dogs when she was ill, and was left without food when Bhatia would leave her residence for days, the complaint alleged. Also, Bhatia confiscated Ningwal’s passport, restricting her movement and gave it to her only when she had to travel to perform domestic service duties at Bhatia s penthouse in Miami, it said.
Bhatia terminated Ningwal in December 2014, after catching her researching the topic of “labor laws” online and after the domestic service worker refused to sign a document that Bhatia authored, stating that she was being paid an adequate salary.