Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Presently Working As Dy Manager Hr &
Team Lead - On Campus Recruitment Exec- Freelance
Trainer & Od Consultant
First about the heading of your post. Let me apprise you that affairs are always "Illegal" and never "legal". Therefore, the word "illegal" is extra.
Your location shows that you are from US. Is it true? I ask this question because much depends on the national culture as well.
Your post shows the how HR remains disconnected with the average occurrences of the company. By now HR should have got a feel the workplace affair. They could have taken steps to nip this affair in bud. That these things happen in MNC speaks volume of HR's role in the some MNC.
Workplace romance happens anywhere and everywhere. However, sooner HR comes to know this then they should step in and counsel.
Now coming to solution. What am I going to suggest could be insidious. You have to do this surreptitiously. You need to do sting operation. Try taking photographs or video of the pair who engages in the workplace romance. Send the clips by post to the Managing Director of the company. Send the letter anonymously. In the letter write where it is happening and how HR is passive to this. Write in the letter that if the affair is not stopped then the clips will be made public. Hope better sense prevails once matter reaches at the highest level. Never disclose to anyone what you will do.
Sometimes when you do not have sufficient power, you need to go against your conscious.
12th May 2014 From India, Bangalore
I am not sure about the legality of the situation. While I feel an extra-marital affair is certainly immoral and unethical; i'm not sure whether it is flat-out illegal.
Now coming to the situation, I wonder what the original post means by saying the employees are 'cornered.' If 2 people are having extra marital affair, I think the team members should not confront anyone as long as the work is not getting affected. Let's accept it, if it's happening my mutual consent, it is nobody else's business!
Now coming to the manager, what is his performance like? If he is spending 3 hours chatting and still gets his targets / KRAs on time, then I don't know if we can and should micromanage his daily activities and keep a very close eye.
To reiterate my view, I feel that the colleagues, line manager/HOD and HR should only get involved in the affair in so far as the work and the climate is getting affected.
Having said all this, my views are not definitive but rather tentative. I tend to be non-judgmental and detatched towards such murky (immoral and not downright illegal) behavior of people.
13th May 2014 From India, Mumbai
I request you to read the post once again. Following can be deduced from the post and my reply:
a) Nothing wrong in having "affair" as such, however, what matters is the choice of place. consensual or otherwise, why engage in sexual activities during working hours? There are abundant places.
b) Imagine some couple is flirting around next to one's cabin. Your post intends to say that others should be mute spectator since it is none of their business. Sorry, this is not professional conduct.
c) For this very reason, professional companies make "Policy on Workplace Romance". Attraction towards opposite sex is fine but let us keep it off the workplace.
d) The post says that for granting sexual favours, the subordinate woman employee is given concessions. She keeps on chatting during working hours. Is this right? Does merit has no value?
e) The most important point you have missed out is "Sexual Harassment". What if today's romance turns into sexual harassment case for tomorrow? Why we should get into this unwanted activity at all? It is better to keep the workplace neat and clean.
e) These instances vitiate company's culture. What if other managers start demanding sexual favours from their woman subordinates? Will it not convert workplace into den of promiscuous people? Secondly, under such circumstances working as male employee will become almost a crime because he has nothing to offer. Thirdly, what if some woman employee refuses to oblige? Fourthly, what if some woman smartly generates evidence of harassment and then reports to National Council for Women (NCW). Can you imagine the repercussions?
In my last post I have criticised HR of that company because it is HR who is protector of the company's culture. The response of the HR is muted one. These very people will go to some five star hotel and give lecture on leadership and back home develop cold feet for being forthright. That surprises me most.
13th May 2014 From India, Bangalore
Nothing is wrong to have extra marital affairs by the manager and subordinate outside the office premises. There no one question the manager and the subordinate who are involving themselves in extramarital affairs. Once they enter inside the office premises, then obviously they must behave like the manager and subordinate and not like other way.
The reply given by Mr. Dinesh is the correct way to handle the scenario. If the person caught by the wrong doers then also the problem is for the person who reported to the Management and HR Department. Hence sending the video clippings and photographs of the Manager and subordinate by maintaining the anonymity is 100% correct. Because the survival is must for the person reporting the wrong act.
13th May 2014 From India, Kumbakonam
I guess this gives how serious the issue is !
13th May 2014 From United States, Santa Ana
That's the reason Mr. Dinesh has advised you to maintain the anonymity in reporting the same to the MD & HR Department with video and Photograph proof. If this was not heard by both then you can approach the media by maintaining the anonymity or reporter.
13th May 2014 From India, Kumbakonam
13th May 2014 From India, Lucknow
14th May 2014 From India, Hyderabad
An ugly thing to experience at work. The damage done due to such awkward relationships is huge. With such occurrences,
The culture gets spoilt, it irritates the team witnessing it and being punished for questioning what is right.
Well, the approach to curb or nab such behavior is well hinted by Mr.Dinesh.
However, there are a few things which can be added to this;
1. Bring in a policy that bad behavior causing trouble to work or people demands an internal enquiry, with proof from camera surveillance which is the most practised way of taking action on such dirty behavior. If necessary it can be taken to the next legal procedure that the situation demands.
2. Never opt for closed rooms, which enhance such activity.My preference is an open cabin which can be seen from the outside or closed with glass without venetian blinds, so that such things cannot happen.
3. In case of closed conference rooms, keep a log on who takes the room for use and how long, which gets monitored by the MD. Again a camera in surveillance is essential.
Above all, sensible, righteous and disciplined behavior is a must for all of us a woman or a man. That is what makes us different from animals.
HR consultant - OD & Training
14th May 2014 From India, Tiruppur