Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Harsh Kumar Mehta
Consultant In Labour Laws/hr
Manager - Human Resource
Adv. Manoj Liyonzon
Md- S.s Enterprise
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Private Consultant On Labour Laws
Hr, Ir, Law, Disc. Matters
Sr. Executive Hr
You need to elaborate more about their communication, only saying "you are lady be like a lady' can't be proved that, as threatening, is there any abused or any word he has used which effecting her professionalisam, personal, physically or mentaly.
So, let us know some more details, so, memeber can help you properly.
From India, Mumbai
He indirectly threatened her in front of all workers "Aap ek aurat ho aurat ki tarah raho, yahi aapke liye tik hai" , and misbehaved with her by speaking loudly and arrogantly, i just want to know what action as a women employee she can take against him as per law.
Thanks and Regards,
From India, Bangalore
The comment made was beyond sexism and a direct attack to her safety . Please ask her to report this with the management team or the authority responsible for the safety of the employees.
Under no circumstances can she take this lightly.
Please ask her to set a precedence to avoid every such threatening in future.
Our experts can guide you further on how rightly to resolve this.
From India, Mumbai
Yet, in this case, it is threatening and intimidating a management personnel, if we look at the attending circumstances. Hence as management, this must not be allowed to pass by and I would recommend action against the leader for the misconduct of threatening , intimidating etc as per the Standing Order clause. If further details are provided, more clarity could be provided. KK
From India, Bhopal
From India, Bangalore
I full agree with the views expressed by (Cite Contribution)1979 and such remarks should not be ignored. Such activities of union people should be reported to the seniors in the company. Though it is another issue whether action is taken or not against such union leader, but such report will serve a purpose of an example for taking action in case of repeat of such like misbehaviour in future by such union leaders.
From India, Noida
There are TWO ways of looking at the situation you mentioned--that would lead to 2 different responses.
1] Take-up the incident very strongly & report the matter with the Management or her boss & insist on some sort of apology [maybe that would be a strong word...but the essential intent would be that].
2] Agreeing with VKSajan & D Gurumurthy mentioned--that quite often Union Leaders utilize such situations to impress their followers--and letting it go.
Now looking @ the Pros & Cons of both the responses:
If Response (1) is opted for, would that solve this problem but create another new one? This lady is in HR--is she sure that she wouldn't need to deal/interact with this Union Leader again? If Yes, then this could be a good response. But IF the answer is No, then will she be able to interact with this Union Leader [or any other Leader for that matter] professionally in the future? Frankly, I doubt it--basic Human psychology would hinder such a professional interaction from BOTH parties to each other. Not sure IF this is what your friend wishes to have as a consequence.
If Response (2) is opted for, the chances of this Leader, & maybe others later, taking his/their behavior AS ACCEPTABLE by the HR function IN TOTO are quite high. I think it would be a folly to let such reactions/remarks go without any response from the Management side.
I would suggest her to take it up with her higher-ups & some sort of a indication/rebuke/suggestion [depends on HOW it's conveyed rather than WHAT is conveyed in such situations] be given to the Union Leader to avoid any such repeats--since that would be detrimental to BOTH HIM & the HR functionaries.
It needs to a combination of the 'carrot' & 'stick' TOGETHER. Else, the chances are that the situation would needlessly get blown out-of-proportion.
From India, Hyderabad
From India, Vadodara
I feel that, most of the managment of the company are helpless, they cant take any action against works very easy, specialy, when some one is union leader, then it will be more deficult as other works supports are there.
Therefore, mangment doesnt want to create any more contraversy by taking any action against it & it may clause in business disturbance as well as company reputation, so, most of the times, HR is helps without support of managment.
but, yes, if mangment is strong then, action can be taken, in this case, company can issue the warning letter against his misbehave..
From India, Mumbai
On practical ground, I have a few suggestion (Mr VK SAJAN is Correct)
1. Ignore what happened. 2. Inform management about it. 3. Next time onwards if possible opt for a video recording, so that later channels for suitable action remain open.
Boss, with Union Leaders, its difficult to fight. And those guys who think, sorry- all those respected HR's who believe, Management is always right, Go by standing order, go by rules and regulation mentioned in article of association during incorporation of a company for internal management, Sec 5,companies Act, go by labour laws, general laws .........these that bla ....bla.....bla....please don't do that.
Management is not always right & same is with Trade Union. I am not distinguishing Legal or Morale ground. What I mean to say, your life is more important then a job.
Eg: Say suppose a HR is forfeiting a certain percentage of Gratuity on termination of an employee, as employee caused some damages. Union is saying no. Then being a senior HR don't make a stupid mistake of teaching LAW, Payroll etc to labour or trade union, more then twice if you see environment is getting hot. If labours commit a rape & murder, who will suffer? HR right? Forget about court & case/police charge sheet etc. Who will bear the pain, lady HR right?
Don't you all think its much mature, to ignore such issue for sometime, so that management can be informed, precautionary measure can be taken for all employees safety - like informing cops, and in there presence a discussion can happen. If a party don't agree atleast will be afraid or scared to take law in hand.
And most important to all my HR friends, you all cant change psychology of people. Some nuts will always be there, who will say' app aurat ho toh aurat hi raho'. Situation become more complicated when politicians get involved in it. So, tackle it smartly.
And FYI I am saying these as I have handled a team of HR, as a Team Leader. Post Completion of regular 2years MBA-HR & Finance, I am pursuing CA & CS so that I can play with legal elements, which you all call -GO BY LAWS or POLICIES. THOSE who have read bare act here, knew very well how many proviso clause are there in Indian laws, so many loop & holes. Every where you all will get people like me, who will make you tempted and you all cant do anything be it by legal means or illegal means. I am from a business family so seen all these. Hence its better to ignore.
(SECRET : PEOPLE CALL ME THAT I AM MORE POISONOUS THEN 7COBRAS, BECAUSE OF MY BRAIN)- I cant use it in good work, always. what to do need money for myself & other employees. If I harass or insult a lady HR, I will do in such a way so that I wont break any laws. Means will utilize all loops & holes of laws, now you all tell me what HR should do, if I am an employee? Management & Administration cant do anything- Not done anything illegal. Personally HR cant do anything, politically connected, posses muscle power or money power. She have to adjust or ignore- if she love the job, else resign. ALL THESE STRATEGIES CUNNING TRADE UNION LEADERS USED.
From India, Mumbai
It is not that the members are incapable of suggesting a stern action against the union leader as you have pointed out in your 2nd mail rather you should be happy to get matured and reasoning advice from the members.It is not difficult for a MNC to take action to the extent of removing one's from his post or service, but the same has to be at the cost of the Company.For an example, suppose an action is taken against the said union leader and he creates a ruckus in the shop floor where the production is stopped for some hours. It is possible that by the intervention of higher management or any conciliatory authority, the matter is resolved but think this is done at what cost and ultimately who is loser. You have to understand that when we start our carrer as HR personnel, we have to be at the front to face the people's wrath and should never resort to show off the strength. A tactful handling of the situation always pays better.
I am sure during your college days, you must read about the Seven Basic Management Tools,which covers (i) Man (HR), (ii) Material (basic ingredient in management), (iii) Machines (basic tools), (iv) Money (capital), (v) Method (the art of doing), (vi) Management (functions of management) and (vii) Moral Values (the way business is conducted). The Man (HR) holds the first position, which indicates its importance, without which no business can start or function.
I liked the matured advice given by Sh VK Sajan where he has mentioned that one should not take such incident personally.He has rightly pointed out that the Union leaders at times resort to many tactics to get their work done including abusing the officers.Even it is seen that the union leaders fighting with the management to show their members during the working hours and after the working hours they sit and gossip together.
Member since Aug 2011
From India, Mumbai
I think the questioner has narrated the incident from the perspective of the complainant. Without knowing what has actually happened contextually - i.e.,- not only the statement " being a lady, you better behave like a lady ( of course it is my own script developed on the questioner's statement) alleged to have been made by the Union Leader straight to the Lady HR during the course of their discussion on a common issue - but also the context, the HR Lady's last verbal reaction that provoked the union leader to say so and whether he is an employee or outside leader and his age -- it is very difficult to suggest the remedial course. Some years ago, when I was holding conciliation talks as an Asst. Commr on a strike issue, a lady IR Consultant in her late 30s( interestingly a former M.L.A of a political party diagonally opposed to the political party's labour wing to which the striking union was affiliated ) represnted the management. The chief negotiator representing the union, a temporamental person though he was in his late 70s, was objecting to her appearance right from the beginning.I over-ruled his objection on the ground that she was an office-bearer of the Employers' Association in which the management was a member.In the last conciliation before me, the lady, in her excess of enthusiasm to make a point, quoted an old VERNACULAR adage mocking at the role of a priest of a particular religion sanctioning divorce. Unfortunately, the union leader belonged to that religion.Immediately in a bit of rage, the union leader shouted back at her that no virtuous lady would quote such a disapproving example in a conciliation forum and walked out with the workmen. The next day, the lady faxed a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner against me stating that I miserably failed to control the union leader and asked him to transfer the case to some one else.My D.C was a nice man and had confidence in my conciliatory skills.He called me to his chamber and coolly asked what had happened. After narrating the episode, I told him, " sir, a word and a stone, once thrown, cannot be called back.When I suggested an alternative to end the strike, It was the lady who suddenly provoked by quoting such a disapproving adage without saying 'yes' or 'no' and the other gentleman responded to it in an equally disapproving manner.Now I understand that I lost the confidence of the management and therefore consider transferring the dispute to some one else as desired by the management".Of course, later the dispute reached its natural resolution in the elimination of the union with the workmen settling their accounts. We should understand that most of the union people cling to the child's state of mind because of their pre-judgement that the management is always exploitative.So, a HR Executive should be in general very cautious in his/her verbal communication.Particularly, across the table he/she should not give room for one-to-one arguments.So, I ENDORSE the views of Sajan and others in this regard.
From India, Salem
We have best of our experts who knows how to get any work done under these circumstances , without ruffling any feather.
My point is rather neutral . Here's an incident of Late. Brajesh Sahay , who was murdered cold-bloodedly in front of his house in Jamshedpur. Brajesh was an AGM at Tata motors and had received threats, which were subsided with similar logic.
Here are the news on the case Story 1 Story 2
Safety or security is beyond any gender issue.
Loss of life might not be a priority , till it is .
Looking forward to understand more on this.
From India, Mumbai
Please don\'t ignore this. This is directly threatening to Hr person. She should escalate this issue to upper management people and ask for apology or any other preventive steps against this incident. Company should have safety measures for such incidents. Do whatever is appropriate according to you and after thinking in details but do not ignore this.
From India, Pune
I have different opinion on this. Arriving at any decision without knowing the context could be misleading. I will put one assumption here (please note that I am not saying that this would have happened). If the lady become aggressive and hold a guy's collar and in this context the guy utter these words that "you are a lady behave as a lady" realising that he cannot reciprocate in the same way as the lady did because she is a women then I think all the people who have given their comments here that it should not be tolerated will change their opinion.
So my opinion is the tone, context, opponents behaviour, body language everything matters. The person who posted this question should elaborate on all these contexts.
From India, Hyderabad
Actually, I didn't mean that the suggestion to take stern action against the Union representative for his overt threat is wrong.In industrial relations no right or wrong decisions but certainly there are appropriate and inappropriate decisions.In this esteemed Forum, while answering questions, what the respondents do is just brain-storming. My point is that a wordy altercation arose in a bit of instantaneous bad temperament and inability should not be blown out of proportion so as to escalate further. Another real example of violence in the line you indicated: Some 3 or 4 years ago, a young D.G.M (HR) of a Manufacturing Company in TamilNadu having a total work force of over 3000 people in its principal unit was brutally attacked within the premises that too during the course of negotiations by a group of angry workmen belonging to an unrecognized union and lost his life.For what? Nothing personal against him and he took up that job just 4 or 5 months back then.But it is said that on the very day of his assuming office, the CEO, pointing to the failures of his predecessors, firmly insisted that he should deal with the dissident union in such a manner that it dissipates in a short period.Imagine how much of mental pressure he would have had! The net result would have been that he might have undermined his counselling role to both the Management and the union and simply tried to ensure implementation as directed which resulted in the loss of employment of some workmen belonging to that particular union and ultimately in the loss of his own life.The irony is that the union was recognized by the management subsequently and cordiality restored now. So, the HR forerunner should realize that he is a buffer in between the mgt and the workmen and try to be dispassionate to the extent possible to avert any thing individual against him.
From India, Salem
what if she don't complaint and ignore this and cause of this nature union leader came in more confidence and next time he misbehaved in different manner??
what if she complaints and a warning letter or any action taken against that union leader but later someday he take revenge and it can be in any way..spc. in female case (rape, physical harm, mentally torture, family attack)
and i am completely agree with Bhandhavi.R. this is only one sided communication. and you all shared your views in favor of HR lady because generally union leaders misbehaved what if in arguments she said something and due to that his anger came out.
I would request to the person who started this post that she is a HR person. she can come here and discuss this in detail or on behalf of her you please discuss in detail. because with assumptions they all Sr. HR people sharing their views and these are very valuable sharing for every one. we all check out things here to handle the issues in our starting phase of HR.
From India, Gurgaon
I think it's so very simple issue you have not care about and don't not take it more personally, You'know, we just started a scientific survey about this kind of issues, it will be great if you take a part in over this link: http://goo.gl/w5YuSL or get it from my signature.
Anyway, Good Luck
From Egypt, Alexandria
Please report (Verbally warning)by .Mr./Shri./........
to your Reporting Manager marking Cc. to Factory Manager & HR Dept/Personal File. Take a received copy from union/s and file it in the personal file of the person/leader.
2. Pls understand it is the image of company/management and you are the face of management for Union/s. Therefore, they can not dictate in this way whether you are a male or female. It is the company who has appointed you to deal with them and not the Union/s.
3. This will clear massage to union/s from the management that nobody is above the laws/standing order.
4. Reporting in writing will become a file for future course of action. Which is good for management.
5. Make sure, your seniors should stand for you to support.
6. If they are matured Union/s, then they will understand and submit their representation.
7. But, don\'t forget to behave with them properly till you are an employee.
From India, Bangalore
I would like to thank MR UMA KANTHAN for his valuable suggestion & sharing valuable feedback. I want to share something, boldly & loudly, first I admit Indian education system is full of errors, that's why a person who deserve 90% gets 40% & vice -versa.
Anyway, the reason I shared these information because I feel some people here possess half knowledge. FYI Half knowledge is dangerous then no knowledge.
Those who are providing so many dialogues about laws, HR or accounts, audits bla....bla.....bla, they might have forgot that in India maximum lawyer cant afford own chamber, we call them ' Under the tree lawyer-Jokes apart'. My point is becoming a lawyer or HR manager or CA or CS is not harmful, but what is harmful is to become Judge & provide judgment with half knowledge of management, Law & accounts!
First, Management is not always right & same is true with Trade Union leader. Its better to be neutral while judging a situation. Some important points are:
1. MRS/MISS X may be HR leader, who went for a negotiation, but a company registered under companies ACT 1956 or Companies Act 2013 or a body corporate is not above law.
2. MRS /Miss X may went for negotiation with Trade Union, she may represent Management or Company, this does not certify that she will always be innocent , and as she is a female, we have to show sympathy for what ever she does. Whatever she will say, will be truth. And trade union leader will be liar.
3. Asking someone to stop & act like a female by a trade leader is not a crime, we must understand on what circumstances this conversation happened. If Trade Union leader, is not comfortable to speak with a female HR, then trade union must be given a chance to speak with Male HR of equivalent authority.
4. Even if trade union leader is guilty, management is no one to act beyond the scope of law & to sentence a legal verdict.
My friend, why are we not accepting the truth that Management prefer Hire female in HR domain as compared to male, as they want to save their ass. We are standing in 21st century, we are claiming that man & woman are equal. But if employee or labour face a grievance, wish to speak with HR, then he have to polite with the HR if she is female, else management or HR herself try to attract sympathy of public as she is a HR.
Management know very well, if they are connected with a forgery & do fraudulent activity , or suck blood of employees, still public cant misbehave or show anger if HR is female, sympathy issue. Thus management save their ass during heat of the moment. If someone challenge, or don't wish to speak with Female HR still management plays immoral tactics especially with Trade Unions via female HR, who use her female hood fruitfully during negotiation.
We all know the truth, why management prefer female employee in HR domain still we remain silent. Because Indians are still bonded labor! These days, management don't hesitate to draft in sourcing add, that they want only female. Why this discrimination? We all know the strategies of management behind this but still we have to remain silent. My FRIEND THOSE GOOD OLD DAYS OF PVT COMPANIES ARE COMMING TO END. ENOUGH OF SHARADA & STAYAM, WE DONT WANT MORE. THOSE WHO ARE IN TRUE MANAGER & A BIT EDUCATED, THEY WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD WHAT I MEAN TO SAY.
I have one simple question, being an employee of a company who is doing forgery, if I shout to protect my right, publicly, am I a criminal? HR as usual, will try their best to save the management , in order to save their job, if in anger I say ' Being a lady, you should shut up & act like a lady' , am I a criminal? I cant say, directly to that female HR- ' Are you a harlot of MD', as public will kill me, because of sympathy of public will be with HR ,as she is a FEMALE.
Now say, who is criminal & whose fault is there? Why does companies hesitate to hire male employees in HR domain as compared to female?
SO WHAT YOU ALL SUGGEST ?, FROM TODAY SHOULD WE NOT FOLLOW LAWS OF LAND BECAUSE I/WE MUST RESPECT HR-FEMALE, TREAT HER AS QUEEN, EVEN IF SHE ACT LIKE SNAKE/ OR FRAUD OR CRIMINAL. WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE SITUATION, WE SHOULD START GIVING JUDGEMENT BASED ON PRE-CONCEIVED NOTION. WE SHOULD BE MORE LEANED TOWARD FEMALE THEN MALE.
THEN LETS STOP LISTENING, LETS STOP PROBING AND LETS START GIVING JUDGEMENT BASED ON SYMPATHY.
From India, Mumbai
Those who wish to consider me uncivilized, they can consider me so. I am not against the sex female. I don't prefer to discriminate person on the basis of sex, colour, caste, creed , religion or sex. But what I have said are bitter truth, rather naked truth.
This is the way, these days management work, they utilize people very cleverly, sometimes people themselves don't understand the situation or reason. But these does not mean all female HR's are useless, all companies are corrupted & nothing is positive.
I am filled with +ve wipes, even I had chosen HR as career by getting inspired from two great lady HR's. Out of them, I consider one as my 'GURU', currently she is working as a VP -HR in a fortune 500 company, rather a Global Banking Network.
I am not proud of anything, but I hate these strategy of management of saving their ass , during heat of the moment ,by keeping female employees in HR domain. While making judgment, of situation we stress too much on sympathy.
We all know the truth, what happens these days in maximum PVT companies, how they treat employees, exploit, still we remain silent. To show the world that we are clever, we are highly educated. If we cant do anything good for others, then we have no right to harm others.
Union Leaders, are human beings, if they fight for survival, for their stomach. Its not that food is only for HR's, Management, or Mid-level employees, even the labors & their family require food. We know how management deal. We know how maximum HR deals.
I am not certifying that TRADE UNION LEADERS are always correct. IF SOMEONE IS ILLITRATE , LITTLE LESS EDUCATED, WORK AS LABOR, AND FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL, THEN HE SHOULD BE RESPECTED MORE THEN A MANAGING DIRECTOR.
LAWS ARE MADE FOR WELFARE OF PEOPLE & PEOPLE ARE NOT MADE FOR LAW. EACH SITUATION IS DIFFERENT, AND SHOULD BE ANALYZED SEPERATELY. BLOODY HOW MANY HR SHOUT FOR A LABOUR,WHEN HR OR MANAGEMENT TREAT HIM LIKE A DOG?
WE ARE IN CIVILIZED SOCITY, SO WE HAVE TO LIVE LIKE MONKEYS OF GANDHI, WHO NEVER SEE EVAIL, SPEAK EVAIL OR HEAR EVAIL.
Sorry, if I have hurt sentiment of anyone. I was student of Ramakrishna Misssion Rahara, follow ideology of Swami Vivekananda, so I also fall in the category of labour, even cleaned public high drains for hygiene. That's why cant accept that management is always right or Trade union is always right, or always HR follows LAWS, standing orders, they never use immoral or illegal means, or their judgment is always as good as almighty.
Biggest fact is, under such circumstances, management encourage female HR to tackle the irate employees/trade union leaders, a huge strategic advantage, legal vision & cunning course of action is there. HR MUST BE MATURE ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH SUCH SITUATION.
From India, Mumbai
From India, Mumbai
There may be many views but the most practical is to ignore the remark as show-manship, rather than aggravate the issue. Normally union leaders are very friendly in private discussions and she can tell him that the language/intent can be easily misinterpreted by others.
From India, Mumbai
If she is so desperate towards legal action upon the person, then ask her to lodge a complaint on the same to higher officials. On the same constitute a committe & let it conduct enquiry. Ensure the committee consist of a lawyer & 50% of committee members are females. Let the committee decide furtherance is the best & safest way.
Ensure you escalate upon a valid & truthfull reason
From India, Chennai
My suggestion would be to make the concerned union leader to give a presentation on the topic " ' you are lady be like a lady' and ask him to elaborate on a serious note and video shoot his presentation and next ask the lady concerned to explain her reason and point of view and both of them have to give their presentations in polite manner and not using any foul language. One thing you have to keep in mind is patch them up and see that they are responsible for the company.Do not resort to any legal action , when this thing can be sorted out on amicable and professional terms of conduct.
From India, Hyderabad
I would agree to some of my colleagues here who have mentioned that the case described here is only a one sided version, and it is very important to know both sides of the story before coming to a conclusion. Also, legal action is too extreme a measure, and yes, it may provoke the said Union Leader to cause more harm in terms of physical attack, attack on family, etc. towards the said HR Lady. So, being completely neutral, I would suggest that before resorting to legal action, let a senior official/member of management talk to the said Union Leader, of course "How" the message is conveyed is more important that "What" message is conveyed. If the dialogue was only a matter of "heat of the moment" and this was a first such offence of the said Union Leader, he may be relieved with rebuking and an apology to the Lady. For a second or third offence of such misbehavior, a warning letter can be issued and the matter can be handled more sternly. But a legal action/chargesheet should be taken if the said Union Leader has been committing such misbehavior a lot. Also, it is important to note the definition of misbehaviour in the company's Code of Conduct and Sexual Harassment Policy.
It is true that Union Leaders do resort to actions that would show-off their power in front of the workers, but it is also to be noted that repeated such behaviour should not be tolerated as it only gives an impression that such behaviour is acceptable by the management. It is important to protect the respect of the management staff, both male and female. The comment made in this case was a sexist comment, and it should be communicated to the said Union Leader that such remarks, made in any context whatsoever, is not acceptable.
From India, Bhubaneswar