Dear Members,

I work in a mid-size company and am responsible for the business development. I had asked by my reporting boss to raise invoice for the business which has not happened. He compelled me to send a mail in this regard to our billing department for raising invoice. Though, I did send the mail internally, I had personally informed the concerned not to raise the invoice as the business has not happened. And to this date the invoice for the same has not been raised.

I was in the office on 11th Feb 2009, our CFO, called me to his cabin at 6.30 pm and asked me to be on official leave for seven days, from 12 feb 2009 to 18th feb 2009. The reason he told me was that - they want to do an independent enquiry in to the discrepancies in the invoices. However, this was told orally to me without giving an official letter in this regard.

I was shocked and I felt humiliated because I have been very ethical and I had put the company integrity as first priority in delivering my official duty.

As of now I do not have any records to prove my innocence. I am totally lost. My 18-year long professional career is at stake. Yes, I had time and again brought in to the notice of the management about the ineffectual behavior of my boss. But to my surprise, he is till today enjoying in the system.

I am emotionally broken down because I am paying the price of being honest to my work and organization.

I want to know is there anything else that I can do instead of waiting for the 18th Feb. What will be the impact of this to my further career?

From India, Bangalore
Outsiders do not know your plight and your office internal issues therefore merely guess will not work in this case..
You are working under somebody who is responsible and you are paid salary for the work you do. Your ethical values are not companies ethical values..This is where you made mistake where you believe your ethical vaule is right and your boss's ethical value is not right whereas you are paid for following your company's ethical values.
One must understand the individual's role and authority in span of control as well as delegation of authority. If your are asked to do something you must perform that function what is right is not your responsibility.
This is disobdiency and insubordination case....

From Saudi Arabia
Dear Rekha,

When you wrote mail to billing department did you mark CC to your manager? You could have added a sentence stating that you are sending the mail under the behest of your manager.

Whatever has happened is happened but it appears to me that it was ploy to remove you from your job. You cannot be unfriendly with fish while in water and you cannot remain in job if your superiors are unfriendly with you. Secondly, it appears that your company is unprofessional also wherein systems and process are not stabilised.

While conducting enquiry, your company should give freedom to defend yourself. If they don't do this then enquiry will be vitiated and can be treated as null and void. When your manager had told you to write mail, you have written mail to billing department. So this is not disobedience per se. However, if your manager has given oral orders and washes his hands off of having done so then you have no defence.

If they don't follow these principles of natural justice, you can approach Labour Officer of your area. Labour Officer will treat it as industrial dispute and he will call both the parties try to settle the dispute. In case if the dispute is not resolved you can approach labour court.

Approaching labour officer or court is quite messy and nasty affair. You should be prepared for long haul. My general knowledge says that in Bangalore average labour case lasts for around 10 years.


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Rekha Murli,
From the limited knowledge of this case, I can analyse following :

You have committed procedural mistakes while discharging duties. In the 1st para you have generated the mail as per your boss's instruction then why you informed the concern not to raise it ? Infact, if the instructions of generating fake bills are for company's benefit why you tried to stop it ? By doing so you put both, your boss as well as the billing dept. in uncomfortable position. So you have invited the trouble. Now the official leave etc. are procedural part and ethics point have been nicely addressed by above two ( Badlu & DVD). Since, the records and ethics are against you so only way out for you to apologies to your boss and close the matter sooner possible.

Dear Seniors,
Thanks very much for your valuable suggestions. I am only surprised with the limited rescue that we have in our corporate world. At one time, we do not want cases like Satyam to repeat, but at the same time we are victims of the systems that surrounds the corporate world.
I am still coming to the terms of the company's ethics. I just wanted to be truthful to my work for which I am paying the price.
Rekha Murali

From India, Bangalore
Hi Rekah,

To be very simple in terms If you are discharging your duties with honesty then dont worry nothing will happen...., wait for your official leave and enter to the office and assume you don't know any thing about the issue and if any query is been raised by your CFO just be cool and answer. who knows the instruction was given by your CFO for raising the invoice.

IF the question will be - why the Invoice has not been raised

then you answer that I have sent mail on approval, but just thought to get the confirmation again, because the transaction has not happen

IF the question will, why you have sent mail for raising Invoice if there was no transaction, just be simple in replying stating I have sent mail based on the approval, but I have kept on hold because there was no business tranaction.

Rekha....You just explain only what you know and what you have done, I don't think so because of this your job is in trouble if you have good carrer records.

and to be more simple - If you don't have this job there are lot of Job


From India, Mumbai
Dear Rakeha,
I agree with Dinesh, you should have marked a copy to your Boss also. Any have past is past, look for the future. Why don't approach the MD of the company, explain your situation and seek his intervention.

From India, Madras
Follow Krishna Kumar Pandey advise......
when you have to choose between right and wrong always buy peace....You must admit your apoligies to the management in the manner Mr.Pandey expressed..
Partho Ghosh

From Saudi Arabia
Hi Rekha,
By mistake my inputs went into a new thread.
Good luck.

From India, Jaipur
Respected Members,

I tried out all the ways. First I wrote to the management/chariman of the organisation stating the minutes of the proceedings and also apologised stating "this was done under the influence of oral instructions, i do not have any thing in writing to prove my innocence."

Yes, I bought peace, by talking to my reporting boss, and then I said i would report at 9.00 am sharp on the 19th. He said OK. When I reached office at 8.55, he told me to speak to the CFO. Waited until evening before I could speak to him, and he asked me to continue on official leave until Tuesday, when they would have a review meet where in Chairman will also be present and they would decide on this.

As of now, I presume that I have no other options but to wait until Tuesday.

Everything is surprising to me and each day I am breaking out emotionally. Each day I come out of the house and spend the whole day on the street, not knowing what exactly is life on to. I cannot tell this at my family, as they will not let me continue my professional career. I am really at a fix.

I trust my experience would be a lesson to few out there struggling hard for a professional career.

Best of luck to all!!!!

From India, Bangalore

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