A worker has gone to the company's panel clinic and obtained 1day sick leave. Instead of going back home, he was seen at a cinema located at shopping mall watching movie.
His actions was reported to the management and was suspended for 7days. On the last day of his suspension, domestic inquiry was held and subsequently was terminated from services.
what is your opinion on this termination.....justified or wrongful?

From Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

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In short, it's justified.
But what about the Doctor in the Company's panel clinic who gave the permission for the sick leave?
What action do you propose to take on him/her? Was any Inquiry conducted on his/her reason(s)?
Aren't BOTH the employee & the Doctor equally culpable for this act?

From India, Hyderabad
It is not justified since the doctor permitted in the panel to take rest. Since he felt ok he went for a movie. And one cannot be terminated for watching movie a warning could have been give to the doctor and the Employee. But for the sake of disciplinary conduct it could be somehow justified...
From India, New Delhi

Action is little bit harsh.
Sick leave was for rest and sitting in a/c cinema hall is also a kind of rest only.
Yes if he was found playing football or cricket we can say give punishment,but a restful a/c theatre hall is not all that serious an offence.
Legally the punishment can be justified,but one does not go for highest punishment for this type of offence.

From India, Pune
Since the domestic enquirer was conducted and he was found guilty, legally it is fine. I assume your standing orders provide for this.
I disagree that he can go for a movie because he was asked to take rest. This is a very clear case of misconduct. The Option of warning, pay cut, demotion or other penalty is always there. It's for the management to decide whether it values discipline and truthfulness above all. If so, obviously it's a warning to everyone else.....
If he was allowed to remain, it would take very little time for him to know who has complained and a new problem would probably start. I am sure the person was a witness in the proceeding.

From India, Mumbai
After his dismissal, the worker lodged a report with Industrial court with following outcome -

1. The company argued that the worker was rightly dismissed because he went to clinic, not feeling well and was precribed medications and given 1 day sick leave so that he could rest after taking the medicine. He cheated the company by going for a movie after reporting sick.


2. The Industrial court Chairman ordered the company to reinstate the worker as his dismissal was wrongful for the following reasons...

A. There is no written law to say a sick employee should only rest at home.

B. Sick leave is given so that the employee could rest and the employee has his rights to choose the place he wants to rest and cinema is also a place of relaxation and so is window shopping. Every individual has their own way of resting.

C. The issue of the worker need to take medicine and rest is not important because the doctor can only precribe the medication but the decision when to consume is solely the employee's right.

D. If the worker has gone to work for another company while on sick leave Or have involved in any stress related activities against his sick leave than the employee is wrong.

After the case the company has made compulsory for the panel clinics to state nature of sickness in the sick leave.

From Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
All I can say is that the Company lawyer handled the case badly--"not feeling well" can mean anything under the sun & the Court interpreted it the way it saw.
Even though of academic interest [unless your Company plans to go for Appeal], what exactly was the illness with this employee that he was advised sick leave AND what were the medications prescribed/given? AND were the medications given @ the clinic OR prescribed for the employee to buy from outside?

From India, Hyderabad
Complained neck pain and blood pressure was slight high and was given blood pressure pills. Medication was given at the clinic.
The case happened to my neighbour Company last week and they are not appealing as only 1 month salary is to be paid back but looking at options for better sick leave monitoring.
As for my company we are studying in upgrading worker's medical database by tracking the frequency of visits to clinic,type of sickness reported, medication precribed, clinics that the frequently going to.

From Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
I am not an HR expert. However, I can comment on the issue based on the comments so far.
I wish the bloggers clearly state the situation at the outset, to avoid people making comments based on their perceptions of the situation. For example, if I was prescribed a medicine that could make me drowsy, it would be advisable for me to be given a day off from operating a machine or drive a vehicle. However I could still go for a movie with a friend to relax, when on sick leave, unless my contract with the company clearly prohibits that.
If the blogger had said that he is posting an actual case that had been solved and was only seeking others' views to inform what really was the outcome, the comments from other experts might have been different. He also should have given complete information why the person at the clinic advised him rest.
In case I have hurt anyone by my comments, it's not intentional.

From United Kingdom
Dear Mr Simhan,
No worries Sir, your comments is appreciated and for me this forum is only to give ideas or solutions in HR matters but a very good learning centre on HR.
My posting was simple and a done case but my intentions was to find the opinions of the HR experts and without HR experience, is it right to go to a movie while on sick leave and termination is the right punishment.
To my opinion the company should not have terminated the worker and with the IR judgement...the loop hole has been introduced to the workers.
My sincere apologies.

From Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

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