Wipro fires 300 workers for moonlighting: One of India’s most famous IT company Wipro has been in the headlines for the past few days. The reason is from the company 300 employees have been sacked on charges of extortion.
Ever since this news came to light, moonlighting has become the talk of the town, especially among IT workers in India!
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Wipro alleged that these employees compromised the security of sensitive data, putting the company’s privacy at risk, which is in direct violation of norms.
What is moonlighting?
Moonlighting, if defined, can be seen as working at one job as well as secretly working elsewhere (essentially at a rival company).
Simply put, when an employee of a company secretly works for a rival company, it can technically be called ‘moonlighting’.
This type of second job or side job is also called moonlighting because employees of a company do these jobs mostly at night or on weekends.
Interestingly, just a few days ago, Wipro chairman Rishad Premji had strongly criticized the practice of moonlighting in a statement.
He said in his recent speech that;
“Moonlighting can actually be seen as a violation of the company’s integrity. People should be transparent with the company about this.”
“By having an open discussion on this issue, the company and employees can explore specific options to decide whether the company has a problem with such practices.”
Meanwhile, a major reason for Wipro’s dissatisfaction with the IT sector is also believed to be that these employees, surrounded by allegations of moonlighting, were working directly for Wipro’s main rival companies.
There are two opinions in the industry about moonlighting
Not that all companies or top executives of companies are against moonlighting. As is usually the case with most things, there are two opinions within the industry.
While some have termed the practice of moonlighting as cheating the company, there are many in the industry who see it as the need of the day.
On the one hand, from IBM to Infosys, Wipro is also taking a stand on ‘moonlighting’, while Swiggy has recently become the first company in the country to announce a moonlighting policy.
But the practice of moonlighting has grown rapidly in the IT sector in the last few years. Tech hubs like Bangalore have many workers who are working together for two companies in the same field. In such a situation, information security is also becoming a challenge for the IT sector.
What does Indian law say about moonlight?
In India, a person (employee) can do one job as well as another without breaking any law. But in the same case an employee working in another job may face allegations of breach of privacy. Therefore, most companies’ employee contracts include a clause on split employment agreements.
Meanwhile, Twitter too has mixed opinions on the matter;
Wipro moonlights and “lays off 300 employees to work for direct competitors,” saying they should have a “transparent dialogue about second jobs.” How many companies encourage this kind of dialogue? Is moonlight okay? Do we need regulations? Do employees have any meaningful bargaining power?
— Palki Sharma (@palkisu) September 22, 2022