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Class Action Against Cognizant By 3000 Staffers

Over 3,000 employees of Cognizant who work as content moderators for Facebook have filed a class-action complaint against the IT company and Facebook for allegedly causing psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The complaint said the claims exceed $5,000,000 in the aggregate.

This is a fallout of Cognizant’s announcement in October that about 6,000 of its employees in the content moderation business for Facebook may be asked to go. The company had then said it would exit this business, and would try to find new homes for the employees involved. Content moderators remove online material that violate the terms of use for social networking sites or applications.

The initial summons and complaint were served to Cognizant on February 11. The plaintiffs, Debrynna Garrett and Clifford Jeury, then filed an amended class-action complaint on March 7 and demanded jury trial. The class members are citizens of Florida and Arizona.

The amended complaint makes claims for intentional tort – or deliberate concealment or misrepresentation of known danger and negligence. The complainants also alleged that members suffered PTSD and other psychological disorders, physical injuries including heart attack, stroke and epilepsy, lost pay, lost future earning capacity, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. When TOI contacted Cognizant, it declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The complaint seeks a medical monitoring fund for the benefit of affected people. It also seeks compensatory damages, including but not limited to lost pay, medical expenses, lost future earning capacity, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life and reasonable litigation expenses and attorney’s fees. The affected moderators have requested baseline screening, assessments, and diagnostic examinations to assist in diagnosing adverse health effects, secondary interventions to reduce the risks of PTSD, and tertiary interventions to reduce symptoms of those suffering from PTSD, and evidence based treatments to help individuals recover.

―Times of India

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