mukesh tank

Company Secretary
Hello Raj Kumar Ji,

I have no doubt about your wisdom and have no intention to prove myself. I believe that on this platform we exchange our views, share our experiences and understandings. Senior members have every right to guide us on occasions when we are not on right path/direction.

The query posted was ……………unfortunately the X company has its HO in singapore and they have given all the powers to a technical guy who doesn’t have any experience in to either management or sales. As a result he doesn’t understand any of the pain points of the sales guys, for which X has terminated its employee by giving one month salary, though the performance of the employee was good. They have not mentioned any reason in the termination letter but they have circulated a mail internally saying that it is because of un-ethical behavior against HR policies. Here the employee has not done any kind of un-ethical things like forgery, activities which damage the company assets/image nor any illegal things. Only thing he has done is protesting the manager when he was not supporting his profession.

Now as per my knowledge and understanding when an employee is terminated there must be some paperwork in place. Company has to issue memo, frame charge-sheet, give an opportunity of hearing to the employee, the final decision may be taken by Disciplinary Committee.

In the instance case no such action is taken, even termination letter not based on any reasons. Hence I felt that if any email communication to sent to all the internal employee stating that such an such employee was terminated due to un-ethical behavior against HR policy and employer is not in a position to prove such charge, I personally feels that in such even the employee can initiate a case of defamation.

Now the essential of defamation:

As per IPC section 499. Defamation

Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter expected, to defame that person.

Explanation 1- It may amount to defamation to impute anything to a deceased person, if the imputation would harm the reputation of that person if living, and is intended to be hurtful to the feelings of his family or other near relatives.

Explanation 2- It may amount to defamation to make an imputation concerning a company or an association or collection of persons as such.

Explanation 3- An imputation in the form of an alternative or expressed ironically, may amount to defamation.

Explanation 4- No imputation is said to harm a person's reputation, unless that imputation directly or indirectly, in the estimation of others, lowers the moral or intellectual character of that person, or lowers the character of that person in respect of his caste or of his calling, or lowers the credit of that person, or causes it to be believed that the body of that person is in a loath some state, or in a state generally considered as disgraceful.

Imputation means a statement attributing something dishonest (especially a criminal offense.

Publishes means to prepare and issue (printed material) for public distribution or sale.

The definition of public is very general, in the present case the mail was circulated to employees working in the Company, hence all his colleagues, friends had being served with an communication which was not true and was defamatory to his character.

Privilege communication means conversation that takes places within the context of a protected relationship, such as that between an attorney and client, a husband and wife, a priest and penitent, and a doctor and patient.

Inter office memo can be construed as privilege communication but circulating email asserting something untrue will come within the preview of defamation as per my understanding. Yes if the facts were true that an employee had being involved in un-ethical behavior then there is no case of defamation.

Hope I am on right path; seniors please enlighten us by your expert views and comments.

Sincerly yours

Mukesh TANK

From India, Mumbai
RAJ KUMAR IS CORRECT. If any employee is terminated from service for bad conduct or so whats ever may be noticed to others if the particular organisation desires to know the terminated employee's conduct. the previous employer may disclose under the cover " Private & Confidential". But one thing should have to be cautioned to the new employer " If for any reason the particulars submitted by the (previous) -------employer is disclosed the -------(said) organisation will not be held responsible for such acts or indeeds". P.B. Chakrabarti (Retd. Manager Per & HR) State Bank of India.
From India, Calcutta
Legally it was not valid. Employer or the officer incharge, who has been appointed as an acting employer can be circulate the termination order.
From India, Secunderabad

Dear Friends,
We follow one principle. Honourable exit. Even if the employee is not performing, we give opporturnity to improve failing which we advise the employee to put papers instead of treating it as termination, which will be a black mark in the employee's career. For internal communication, we send a simple message that the employee is leaving for personal reasons. Only if the employee is having liason with extenal agencies, then we communicate to them again it is the same message. As a HR we should not harass/victimise the outgoing employee. We should maintain a good relationship even with ex-employees.

From India, Bangalore
Hi Bhavan,

Thats a right thing to maintain the relation with the ex-employees, but there are people who want to screw up their own organisation by trying to create troubles to the employees. As mentioned in my previous tag, the employee was performing well and was giving good results, only thing is employee dint accept the person who was heading the company (basically a lead - customer support was made as a country business head) and also the country head was involving in giving and taking bribes. All these were protested by the employee and the country head felt that he is a threat for him and terminated him by calling him in to a meeting room and they took all his belongings with out telling him and simply they blocked his mail ID and asked him to move out. All this happened in 30 minutes. Fortunately the country manager's attitude is known to the nearer companies and the terminated employee is offered a job by 2 to 3 companies.

I need you advices and inputs what is the kind of legal action against the country head for circulating the mail saying un-ethical behavior and against HR polices internally. The employee has got the copy of the e-mail. there are no reasons shown to the employee for the which they have terminated the employee.

I would like to ensure that no other employee should suffer like me also want to take an action in the way that employer should not represent a person who is basically a corrupted guy.



From India, Bangalore
Raj Kumar Hansdah

Dear All

I appreciate the "fighting spirit" of our member Mukesh Tank.

At the same time, I think one should not mix-up sentiments and stark realities or facts.

I agree with the sentiments expressed by members, which is reflected in my first response as quoted below.

All I meant to say in my second post is, an employer can not 'publish' a malicious matter about an ex-employee. However, if an employer circulates a termination letter within the organization, then it is difficult to punish an employer, since
  • it can be construed as a routine practice for all separations;
  • "employment ethics" can be interpreted by the employer in his own way or as per his code of conduct;
  • an "internal communication" to other employees and related deptts. is considered in general, a "privileged communication" outside the purview of Libel laws.

One does not need to hire a "good lawyer" to know that any employee who is terminated is free to file a Court case and every company that terminates an employee, can be sued for 'wrongful termination'.

However, as a responsible forum for HR professionals, it would amount to an un-professional conduct if one instigates another member to file Court cases or encourages un-necessary litigation.

Hope it clarifies the issues and puts the matter on proper perspective.

Warm regards.

From India, Delhi

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