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Dear Experts,

I am working as an AVP at a MNC Bank. I have been subjected to humiliation, mental and sexual harassment from the time I joined. i escalated several times. Due to this, the HR schemed with the senior officials and did an unfair appraisal. I was being forced to either accept the rating or take a showcause.

I was unlawfully confined to a meeting room and threatened for almost 3 hours.

I had to call at 100 to seek help. They let me go subsequently.

I escalated to top most officials. I was told to stay at home till investigations are conducted. I was then called for a meeting. No discussions on the escalation were held but was told that the HR is there is to help. I asked for support in either transfering me or if i have to resign then extend help in extending notice period till i find a job. While it was verbally agreed, they did not commit in written. i documented it, and got a revert through a text message asking me to resign first and then they would review the discussion points.

I was waiting for them to revert. Now all of a sudden i recieved a couriered letter of termination dated 28th feb and it is effective same date.

The contract says tht the company has the right to terminate without assigning a reason, but I have not breached any company policy. In fact I have been a victim all throughout.

Please suggest if i can disagree on the termination and file a legal suit.
Anonymous

4th March 2014 From India, New Delhi

PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION:
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Kannanmv
Hr & Administration
NavneetSarin
Tax & Labor Law Advocate
Adv. Manoj Liyonzon
Lawyer - Madras High Court
Manish Bali
Head - Ir/hr
Asha Xavier
Asst Manager Hr
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
Sushilkluthra@gmail.com
Consultant In Legal Matters
Dsaurav
Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, Outbound
JayDG
Hr Professional
+8 Others

Dear friend,
What has happened with you is quite unfortunate. That these things should happen in MNC exposes their dark underbelly.
As of now what you want from us? In fact AVP is a quite senior position. How come you did not catch the undercurrents of hostility? You may challenge the termination. However, what kind of evidence you have to show that the termination was unfair? Everything depends on the evidence. Contact some good labour lawyer. This is the only suggestion that can be given.
All the best!
Dinesh Divekar
4th March 2014 From India, Bangalore
Anonymous 
Thankyou Sir, for the prompt response. Yes, I did experience the hostility. U fortunately the company has a legacy where a lot of people have been ill treated. In fact there has been a police case by another employee in the past, against the 2 SVPs.

As for evidence, I have the following:

1. All emails to HR minuting the discussions that I had with them or my supervisors.

2. I had a panic attack at work due to the harassment. They rushed me to the hospital. So the medical records of the same.

3. My medical leave letter that they sent due to the above.

4. My mid year appraisal that was decent.

5. They shared the objectives on which the appraisal was to be conducted on the eve of final appraisal. I requested on email that this be discussed as I had no clarity on most objectives.

6. Call at 100 (police helpline) that I made from office premises when they unlawfully confined me.

7. Escalation email to the chairman and other senior officials.

8. Meeting minutes after my discussion with the investigation Team. It is a different thing that they were not acknowledged.

9. Text messages exchanged with the above personnel (He is a SVP HR and was here in Gurgaon to investigate my allegations).

10. My complaint at NCW, dated 7th feb, 2014.

The termination is sudden with no discussion, revert on my requests for support, report on the investigation or warning. This can jeopardise my career and is damaging to my reputation.

I would like to know if i can refuse to accept the termination, asking for reasons for it?

If i file a FIR and sue the company under criminal sections, is my case strings enough?

What labor laws are applicable to me?

Can I sue them for the unfair termination?

Can I demand an apology?

Can I sue them for damages?

What other legal actions can be taken?

Regards
4th March 2014 From India, New Delhi
Avika 102
You can go to court against the MNC Bank contesting your unlawful termination.
Further, you mentioned that you were subjected to sexual harassment. In case you have the proofs, you can file an FIR with the Police under the law against Sexual Harassment and proceed as per law.
However, it will be better if you can seek advise from a Lawyer who will give you an opinion based on the actual documents and facts. As you have made a complaint to NCW, you should also seek the opinion of their experts.
4th March 2014 From India, New Delhi
Firstly u have to go to police station with all these proof.. Better u go with an advocate.
As per my understanding you didn't get any support from the Management side. Better, no need t work with them here after. But u can legally move against the company. So that they may come to ur path.. Because companies dnt want to spoil their Goodwill.
Be Confident
May God guide you in a right path
4th March 2014 From India
Well your case seems very unfortunate. I never heard such extend of hostility from an MNC bank.

reading your case, what I can advise.

Firstly, please check if there are any loopholes from your side (any like performance, behavior, discipline related etc). If your side is clean then you have a case.

what is not clear is, how long did you work there (hope 3 months or more). You have also mentioned sexual harassment but from your claim it is not evident.

Remember, police will do nothing as its a civil matter.

In my opinion, you need to first discuss strongly with your current employer about a descent severance pay & a proper relieving letter.

Also you can ask to justify or give proper reason for the termination, if they don't reply then a RTI can be filed. Although its subjective, your employer can refuse to give reason stating reason as trade secret but it will put pressure on them.

Since its an MNC bank so you can also try reaching to your global HR team. If it is an European bank then Iam sure they would be very sensitive towards employee harassment issues.

Start building a series of communication with your current employer as well as global team. Try to sound professional in your mail communication and be punctual with the regular follow-ups. Iam sure you will not hear a proper acceptable reply from your employer.

In the meantime, consult a lawyer dealing in such employee-dispute related matter. Also go and visit the office of respective labor commissioner in your area.

After you have done all this, you can serve them a legal notice and drag them to court.

But remember (in my view) court will help you get descent compensation but if you have already got the same through your F&F then the whole exercise may not be that productive.

But you can consult a lawyer and examine what you want. Also you can lobby with other employee who had been victim of same exploitative work culture.

Also don't accept the termination, ask for the reason and start following up through mail communication.

In the end, don't loose hope...don't think too much about this episode that you loose sight of your career ahead.
4th March 2014 From India, Delhi
Anonymous 
Dear All,

I sincerely appreciate your responses. It has given me some hope and confidence as I have been extremely distraught due to the whole incident. Below are some more details:

1. It has been a year since I started working here

2. My record has been clean in terms of behavior and discipline or for that matter company policies etc.

3. I escalated to HR when the hostility became unbearable by the department head

4. Bullying has been to the level, that we were asked not to be seen with the friends of our choice

5. The senior VP who started bullying me, has a police against her in the past too of intimidating and torturing another employee. I contacted her but she refused to help.

6. I have records of all the emails that i have written to HR to seek help.

7. I reached out to the chairman and the current CEO at group level who sit of Global HQ but received no response from them.

8. Senior HR in India reached out to me and assured. Proper investigation. But they did not revert with any findings or discuss anything with me.

9. It has been over a month since i had a meeting with them. While they seemed compassionate on the face, they have sent the letter of termination and given me 3 months salary in lieu already. I was entitled to annul bonus in March but due to termination, they have mot given that too.

10. I have spoken to a lawyer but I want to make sure my case has some meat so that it is worth fighting for.

11. Sexual harassment was verbal like asking my age, giving me compliment, getting into my personal life etc by my male boss.

Regards
4th March 2014 From India, New Delhi
Are we not all subjected to unjust,unfair and unreasonable treatments by the persons in authority at one time or other? Depending upon seriousness of the situation we decided either to adapt or quit.The other alternative is to fight.For this alternative one has to assess the probability of success,loss and possible gain.
So far as third alternative is concerned no evidence is absolute.Same facts and law can be interpreted in any way as the justice provider pleases.Therefore,facts and law remaining the same interpretation can be anything as the interpreter lordship pleases.
Therefore, you are the best judge of yourself but if you err you will be ditched and none can help.Best of luck for an error-less decision at this juncture.
5th March 2014 From India, Delhi
Dear Ra_ag,

well it seems you have been a victim of bullying boss. You can surely take-up this matter with the company.

I remember a case, where employees forced HR to either face legal notice or terminate the bullying boss. Finally the boss was transferred.

In your case, the HR seems compassionate & your F&F is already done, so you can decide accordingly as what do you want.

You want to move ahead or want to teach them a lesson.

Your VP boss was a lady and your also faced sexual harassment from your male boss. You would have details of call made to police control room for unethical confinement in the office, if the timing was late then it makes your case even more solid.

You can definitely file a case against your male boss as complementing female colleague etc is a kind a sexual harassment.

You have now nothing to loose, take it strongly with your HR/top leaders. Try to involve other employees who have faced similar problem.

Firstly decide as what you want-

Then try to pool other employee, consult a good advocate, collate all proofs & build your case by sending e-mails to your top bosses, check with your advocate about lodging a complaint for sexual harassment, if that goes through I can assure you your boss will fall on your knees for begging. Try visit the office & meet labor commissioner. Record all your conversation which happens with your employees.

But please pick your battle thoughtfully as what you want.
5th March 2014 From India, Delhi
Dear Rajshree Vohra, It seems you are living in a just world with full of certainties. Does such a just world really exist where people live with their own terms?
5th March 2014 From India, Delhi

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