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Dinesh Divekar

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Dear All,I met with an accident last week and had informed my reporting manager about it immediately.I had injuries and was advised bed rest by the doctors.unfortunately it was during the time of a project delivery and my entire team was on it.There was no call or response from my reporting manager.There was sarcasm in all the mails and messages she sent during that time.On the second day night at 9.00 pm,she calls me and says that it would be better that i put in my papers.She went on to sarcastically talk about my accident and also about how other reportees of mine are working hard ,went on to talk about my performance etc.I was shocked for a moment and said that will discuss this when i am back in office.After that she sends messages saying that she is happy that i could not come to office and praising my team members etc.She also started spreading romours in office saying i was asked to leave.I escalated it to my senior management as i could not understand whats the issue. if it was related to performance our appraisal just got over in december and there was no mention of it and my ratings were good.I am in the process of discussion with BU head and hr head of my company with whom my boss share a good rapport.They were trying to link it to performance,which i did not agree seems my boss has now denied the fact that she asked me to leave verbally.i could not record the conversation also.My salary component was not released as she told that i have not reported to office inspite of all the mails i have sent.My question is this.can a reporting manager ask an employee to leave calling up on the phone when the employee is on leave on medical grounds? Can the company hold back the salary component while an employee in on sick leave?How do i prove my innocense in this case?
From India, Bangalore
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Cite Contribution
Community Manager
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
+3 Others


The story is from one side and therefore it is not prudent to come to a finding on this issue on that basis.However is not a fair for administration to ask an employee to leave the job during his sickness more so when the emplployee wants to join the job after becoming fit.Now the question is no longer relevant since the reporting manger has denied it now. It is better for you to discuss the issue with your functional head as well as BU who are supposed to have good repport with her and find out the reasons for R.M's behaviour. Thereafter clear the msiunderstanding with the reportinging manager by taking teh help of mediators like your functional head and BU instead of directly engaging with the R.M.

From India, Mumbai
Dinesh Divekar

Dear citehr friends,

As Mr Saikumar has said, this post is one side of the story. Unless we hear the other side as well, it is not possible to comment on it. Nevertheless, if we assume that 20% of what has been written is true then also it is case study for the HR professionals. The post goes on to show that:

a) Organisation culture of the company. Policy on employee separation is not well defined.

b) How weak HR is and how it gets subjugated by Ops managers

c) If the salary is withheld then how HR has weak knowledge of labour laws

d) Poor manpower planning. While designing the manpower specifications, why the contingencies like employee's sickness were not taken into account?

e) Lack of protocol of communication

f) Administration on the whims and fancies of individual rather than system and processes

g) Why Ops staffs consider HR as useless department. This is because when it comes to unfair treatment to the employees, HR should stand for the employees. They develop the cold feet exactly in crisis.

h) How HR and Ops is impervious to employee attrition. This imperviousness is a result of their inability to calculate the cost of attrition.

This is a case study for Training Managers as well. When training managers organise the training programmes, they should take into account the above factors and assess whether the training will eradicate the malaise mentioned above. There is so much talk to "leadership' and "team building" but how it fails when it comes to execution is well evinced from this post.

For originator of the post: - Possibly you and your reporting manager were not getting well with each other. She was not satisfied with your performance. She could be using your accident as the alibi. Did you speak to her directly when you met with accident? Suppose if you were not in position to speak then was someone else from your family apprised her about your physical condition? Do you have sufficient evidence of your communication with your reporting manager? As a solution, ask for the release of the salary. If they do not oblige then you may approach the labour officer of your area. However, this is a risky route and think of your career as well.


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Cite Contribution

In addition to what Dinesh and B.Sai Kumar have contributed, please find my thoughts. The medical reports that states the requirement for the bed rest, remains your only respite.

The communication with the manager is lost. Please don't hunt around for sympathy.

Keep the discussions with the management team genuine and request them for an option on the humanity grounds. Seek guidance with the leaders you know have always been supportive.

A 'Stop-Payment' on the salary is initiated when the employee doesn't report for a fixed number of days. Its a legitimate process, with most of the firms. Its often automated, hence might not have been entirely targeted to harass you.

Take the supportive leaders in confidence and let us know how your communication proceeds.

When communicating with your reporting manager , while you are away from you work, please email the discussion and mark a copy to your personal id. Send registered letters to your employers, hereafter. Wish you all the best!

From India, Mumbai


If you were on leave on medical grounds, then I am sure you would have all the required medical docs to prove about your medical condition.

Secondly how did you inform about your leave - verbally or txting or mail. If you have texted or mailed then I am sure you have the proof. Irrespective of however your RM spoke apparently if you provide all the necessary documents alongwith evidence of keeping all the concerned informed I am sure your situation will be considered reasonably.

Nevertheless be honest and transparent while you discuss with seniors. It is a normal practice for companies to "Stop Pay" when employee proceeds on leave without intimation or is out of reach during a crucial time in the project. Afterall we need to understand when we are playing a crucial role we have to be responsible enough to maintain timely communication and also if possible extend support in whatever way possible so that deliverables are not impacted majorly and the team doesn't get overburdened.

- Gia

From India, Pune
subramani B

Irrespective of whether the situation described is true or not, the solution to such conflicts is based on 3 key factors

1. First & foremost, separate people & issues - an action from an individual or a response from them should not be used to judge a person. See the context & the actual issue & then evaluate the response. for example in this case, it is possible that the reporting Manager's actions were driven by frustration at not having a key member available at the critical juncture of project delivery. .

2. Resolution to issues is never achieved by trying to prove the other person wrong. The objective has to be to correct the impression and to subtly ( no show-offs or victory thumps) make everyone realize that you were not at fault. Facts & documentary proofs may come handy here.

3. Lastly, Everything can be resolved through a candid discussion. The moment you escalate the matter, it becomes a fight to prove the other person wrong. In this case, No harm is done by proactively approaching your reporting authority and seeking her advice on what her expectation from you were and how such situations can be handled in future. This will help remove any anger that the person may have towards you and at the same time give her time to reflect on how this could have been handled differently.

So the underlying theme is to focus on What is wrong instead of Who is wrong.

Hope this helps you . Best Wishes to you


From India, Mumbai

Dear all,

Thank you for your opinions.I am going through a toughtime after i have sent the mail to the senior management on this.I work in the middle management role and would like to further elaborate on what has happened.I have started working under this manager only since last 6 months.I was having a very good rapport with her also.For the past 2-3 months i have seen some differences in her behaviour.After my appraisal in december,i was given the feedback that my juniors have to be made more independent and i need to focus more on client relationship and i had started doing that.I stopped micromanaging my team and was more focussed on client relationship.I have noted that when ever client has given me an appreciation,my Manager has ensured that she finds some fault with something else and unnecessarily bring it on the table.Mine is a Market research industry and i was totally new to the field.When i was hired,the then manager was looking for person with operations expereince and has hired me since they did not need a core Market research person.But as my job demands it,i have learned 70-80 % of the analysis models.Infact i only need to ensure the job is done as it is the job of my Repotees to do all that.what i have noticed is that she some times directly comes and teaches something new to the team when i am not there and keeps saying that the team did not know it and she helped them.She was playing lot of double game with my team members like in my absence she calls them up and say things directly and says to me as to why they are not coming to you and not me. Then she keeps saying the team does not respect you as i am weak in technical aspects.She also says that the team should be afraid of you .The fact is that i never felt that my team disrespects me.I do not like to have a fear filled atmosphere in the team and believe that congenial environment should be provided.If there is any lag,i give feedback immediately and issue is solved.I have infact so many times discussed about my style of managing the team and told that i will manage things in the right way.She keeps talking about this "Respect" and "Fear".She also plays lot of politics with other team members to gain the appreciation of our super Boss.She acts very pally with me too when ever she wants to get things done.I was aware of all the politics she did to my earler Boss to chuck him out of the company and kept telling all the clients that he was asked to leave.When i met with an accident last week,my sister had immediately informed her as i was in hospital.Even i mesaged her after i was back from it.Subsiquently i have all mail proofs and doctors prescription advicing complete rest.She did not inform my commercial team that i have met with and told them that i was not reporting to office while she had all my mails with her.That was the reason they did not release my car hire cheque component which actually comes on every 10th.In our company there is really no winding up time and end up working 12-14 hours every day.When ever i raise the point of need of Manpower in the team,she says that compared to our units in other locations,our business is very less,but the fact is that since our unit has lot of new clients we end up doing everything from scratch and it is time consuming.On the night she called she was mentioning to others in my team working hard despite any problems.I was not sure whether she was angry with me that i was not available in the office when an urgent deliverable was there.But How can she expect me to work when i am injured and could not even move from my bed.Also since i had already made all plans for the deliverable,her only job was to guide the team.Not even once she called me up to enquire about my health.The only call i got was asking to put my papers.Also the later SMS's she sent was also very sarcatic.I wrote an email to the higher ups asking for what exactly is going on.I was going through so much physical pain and this was giving me mental trauma too.Now after the discussion with the unit heads they are saying it could be based on performance.On the night that she called(which is on my 3rd day of leave),she has written about my performance and other things to the vertical head.During that night I also got many mails saying the errors committed by my team and i should have been careful.Had i'v been there,i would have surely checked it.I feel that she was using my absense to frame me up and ask to leave.I dont even think that she has discussed it with anybody and was trying to push me out silently.Though she had given me ok kind of ratings stating her expectaions are different,my first Boss had given my high ratings-Put together i had decent ratings.But even after repeated reminders she has not yet shared the normalized ratings with me..But now when i have highlighted this issue,it is being framed as performance issue which i am sure is not the reason.When i showed them the sarcatic sms she had sent,they told that i might be interpreting in a wrong manner.There is no proper HR system or a grievance cell in our company.But i am surprised the way company is also supporting the unprofessional approach of my manager.Can a company just like that ask some one to leave without giving any indication or prior notices/warning letters.In the last discussion that i have had they informed me that she has denied calling me up.But she has gone and spread rumors that i was asked to leave.I was shocked to hear all this when i was back in office this week.Today she told me not to talk to any of our cleints or deal with anybody.I feel i am being bulldozed by her for reason unknown to me.She has asked my team members not to talk to me and also told them that i was asked to leave,while there is no such mails or proofs or anything.I know that she is very close to the senior management and now they are also just dragging this case unnecessarily. I feel that she want me to get frustracted and quit and go..She has been sending some mails to senior management,but all after i have highlighted this issue to them.My question is that can a company support all this?If the management is also not giving a prompt response,what is the next step an employee can do?.In fact the Ceo has been marked in all my mails,even then i dont seem to see any just response from them.Should i take it up with a labour commissioner as the only proof i have is that my payment was held back by the commercial team,now that she has denied she has asked me to quit.I need help here as this is the first time that i am facing such dirty politics in my 9 yrs of career.

From India, Bangalore
Cite Contribution

You have two clear choices. First is to fight till the end and present all the proof of what she is doing, to someone in the leadership team , who is willing to listen and might be able to bring in a change.
However, it seems she is favoured by the top management. Hence, please do not try to fix this. No matter whatever the reason, why they choose to turn a deaf ear. Begin with the premise, that they are agreeing to buy her statement than the facts.
You can stay immuned to all what she is doing and continue to work. No matter how much she tries, when the things will go wrong, the company will need you to perform.
This wouldn't make your situation bearable, but of course an option, for sure.
Alternatively, you may just drop all that is happening or will continue to happen and create a career beyond the firm. This brings the stigma that she worked so hard. The choice is yours.

From India, Mumbai


I am IN-TOTO with what (Cite Contribution) mentioned in her last response--above.

Frankly, I empathize with your situation--since I have seen it happen earlier.

Like (Cite Contribution) mentioned, your Top management's responses become VERY critical here. If you feel that they are favouring her, then just make your next job move. Whether they learn the hard way--that they made a mistake or not of siding with her--IS NOT your problem.

With your present medical situation, I am not really sure IF going on the offensive in this company is worth it. Maybe, you could utilize your efforts & time BETTER in hunting for your next job.

Having said this, you also need to meet someone in the company's senior management level for a heart-to-heart talk--especially since you need a reference for the BCs [and Market Research sector isn't very large--so even IF you leave the slightest chance for 'her' to be in the picture in any BC, you know the end-result].

There can be also ANOTHER option--IF your company can move you to another Division/Department under a different boss AND where your function wouldn't cross her's, that could, in a way, keep your options open as far as what (Cite Contribution) mentioned ['.........when the things will go wrong, the company will need you to perform'].

You haven't mentioned the duration of medical bedrest. To an extent, your next step would depend on this aspect too.

All the Best.



From India, Hyderabad

Both (Cite Contribution) and tajsateesh have guided you well as to how to respond to the situation with maturity. The need of the hour is to act with discretion and but not show of valour looking to the fact thatyou may not recieve any support from te management either.The need of the hour is to maintain calm and go about doing your work without reacting to any kind provocation till you continue there as you need to have peaceful exit from the comapny with relevant certificates of servce and look for another job.

From India, Mumbai
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