Dinesh Divekar
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Dear All,
In our office, we found in surveillance camera that one male staff and female staff were found using the same dress change room for 10 mins. This is one of the discipline breach as per the company policy. pls suggest how to proceed with this case legally.
Thanks,

From India, Madras
Hi Kindly go by the code of conduct of your organization. Also refer to clauses in the appointment letter which speak of discipline issues. Regards
From India, Mumbai
Just remove them from the organization. Such case happened once in one of the organization and the company just terminated them.
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From India, Mumbai
HI YES . I go with Deepa’s point. No matter who they are , terminate them ASAP. THESE PEOPLE ARE SEVERE THREADS to the organization.
From United States, Santa Ana
You have not mentioned, for what purpose the male and female employees were found using the same dress change room, whether for change of their clothes, or have been found compromising their position for unethical purposes?
However, before terminating their services, you will have to observe the process/ provisions prescribed in the employee conduct & discipline rules, i.e., to issue show cause notice to them, hold domestic enquiry, and if found guilty only then you should resort to the termination of their services.

From India, Delhi
Dear Michael,

Mr PS Dhingra has given sound suggestions. You cannot terminate any employee without conducting domestic enquiry. Secondly, for the termination purposes, "misconduct" has to be defined. Supreme court has ruled that any termination that does not fall within the purview of "misconduct" defined in the standing orders of the company is illegal. Therefore, my questions is about having explicit definition of misconduct on "using the same room to change the dress by the persons of two opposite genders at the same time".

You might have prohibited entry of either gender into the dress changing room of other gender. However, transgression of this rule is sufficient ground for termination?

While writing above facts, let me apprise you that I am not taking side of the delinquent employee. My objective was to apprise you on the legal aspects of termination.

Secondly, how is the performance of employee? Are the employees good performers? Can they be counselled and given chance to reform? By using provisions of discipline like sledge-hammer are we crushing also option of reforming employee?

Take a broader view and think twice before you terminate them. Yes, what they have done is wrong but then by terminating employee will you get the same performer? By invoking harsh discipline are we becoming sanctimonious? We live in the same world in which we have "Saans-bahu" soap operas. Most of these soaps have extra-marital affairs as their leitmotif. How can you expect everybody to be free from the influence of the serials?

Indian society is no longer what it used to be. Days of the conservatism have gone. Take the case of live-in relationship. In the last generation it was unthinkable. But now it is there. Presently, in social media a news is making round about a 67 year old politician widower having fallen in love with a woman who is lesser than half of his age. Now both of them will get married once the woman gets the divorce.

On the one side we are the liberals who cry hoarse for the rights of LGBT community and on the other side invoke harshest rule for the deviation. Where workplace romance does not happen? Unfortunately the pair crossed the dividing line. Explore possibility of bringing them back within the line.

Thanks,

Dinesh V Divekar


From India, Bangalore
Totally agree with Dinesh. One can’t just terminate without following set legal procedure. In addition it is appropriate to try and visualise the larger picture.
From India, New Delhi
Hello Michael George,

Frankly, I think YOU OWE it to this Forum to give the FULL details of the situation.

What is the locus standi of the 2 employees--w.r.t. each other AND w.r.t. the Company? I presume they aren't man & wife--else you wouldn't be directing your thought towards the legal way. Are they co-employees planning to get married? Is either/each of them married other wise? Was this a repetitive situation OR the first time it happened? Or any other aspect(s) that is/are different?

Pl note that I am NOT AT ALL considering WHO these employees are--junior or senior. What matters is WHAT happened & in what circumstances.

I do hope that you realize that the Organizational Response WOULD BE DIFFERENT for each of the scenarios above....or at least NEEDS to be different.

Like Dinesh V Divekar mentioned, the world has changed...and so have the Rules & Regulations that govern organizations. I am not sure of the sector your company is in--your response options would depend a lot on this factor. If it's a Manufacturing sector--are you prepared for Union/Association action? If it's IT, then there's a chance that there may be a backlash from at least some of the employees--IF this has been more of an inappropriate rather than illegal behavior. Are you sure you are prepared for such a backlash--IF at all it happens? Suggest DON'T presume that some things may happen OR may not happen.

It's not for nothing that the processes/provisions prescribed in the employee conduct & discipline rules, i.e., to issue show cause notice to them, hold domestic enquiry, etc and calibrate the organizational response based on the Findings, which THEN may also include Termination--like PS Dhingra mentioned. When such Rules are framed, many brains--well-experienced ones at that--would have gone into all possible scenarios before coming-up with the processes to be followed.

Suggest pl give more details of the situation for the members to give the most appropriate & practical suggestions.

If, for whatever reasons, you can't give the details, the only option, I think, you have is to follow the Rules--ad verbatim.

Rgds,

TS

From India, Hyderabad
Dear friend

My attention was drawn to this thread by a senior member. The situation mentioned by you is not very common (if not unique).

I agree with the views expressed by our experienced members. As already suggested, please give a sequential narration of the event.

What kind of industry/business is yours? Is it a retail industry?

The dress change room, for which gender is it marked ??

Who entered there first ??

Who among them is the senior in employment ??

Please preserve the evidence.

Secondly, even if such misconduct are not specifically mentioned in your Standing Orders/ Conduct and Discipline Rules, there is nothing to worry, as the misconducts are only illustrative and not exhaustive.

This is a serious matter, and it has the potential to affect everyone concerned, esp. the higher management.

Meanwhile, also go through the Sexual Harassment at workplace Act. There is nothing to prevent anyone from taking recourse to it at a later stage. Being prepared is the best option.

Do give more information on the incident.

Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
I wonder where Michael George has gone after raising the query. I had see his post and did not respond as there was insufficient information about the scenario. However, as my attention was drawn to this thread again by a senior member, I will make some observations/comments.
The last post by Michael was in 2010 from and he was working for a recruitment firm. I wonder whether he is still working there!!
When people give insufficient information, experts can give general/conditional advice based on assumptions made. Experts have already given suggestions from taking stern action to conducting investigations, and have sought more detailed information, I will await a response from Michael George before making any comments.

From United Kingdom

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