Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Harsh Kumar Mehta
Consultant In Labour Laws/hr
Nathrao
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Cite Contribution
Community Manager
Riteshmaity
Labour Law Advocate
Mahajansahab
Director
Transpersonal Coach-Khursheed Kanga
Psychotherapist & Executive Coach
+3 Others

Dear Members,

Our company is a small company and has 3 branches across India, Its a partnership firm with 3 directors.

I started a Whatsapp group and added all employees for casual interaction, ideas exchange and quick connect, so whoever is on whatsapp is part of this group. There is one very senior employee who is in another branch in different location, in this group who is part of the company since its inception, his contribution towards this company is very big. But on the whatsapp group he posts useless long posts and twice he even posted cheap and vulgar pictures of female. Being the group admin I had warned him, but 2 days back he posted a very vulgar pic and when I confronted him he said its just a joke and I should not take it personally coz if i do then there will be a big problem, at that time I chose not to continue the conversation as I was deeply disturbed and figured that right words will not come out of my mouth.

Ours is a partnership firm, he is a very important employee and I doubt if any action will be taken against him. My question to you people is should I report him to the directors? Or should I handle this on my own?

Thanks

kavita

From India, Pune
Dear Kavita,

Gone through your post. If all the members of the WA group were employees of the company then what was the need to create the group itself? If at all the group was created, it should have been used for professional interaction only. Why you wanted to do "causal" interaction with the fellow professionals? Did you define the rules of the group? If yes, then did you define the meaning of casualness? Did you define where casualness ends and where offensiveness starts?

What is your designation? Did you take approval from the authority for the creation of the group?

Now a days, almost every person is on WA. Nevertheless, when a group of employees is created on WA, it should have been used to circulate notices or to pass some urgent information related to the work. Even if the WA group was created informally then you should have checked whether the particular member falls on the same wavelength. Now your problem is that you did not anticipate the differences in perception. What is "casual" to him is "unsavoury" to you.

The senior employee who is WA, what he has done cannot be construed as "harassment' as such. Possibly, he might have transgressed IT Act, 2000. But then do you have courage to file a complaint with cyber police for violation of this act? IT Act prohibits transmission of sexual content or any other offensive material. What is offensive to you, will court consider it as offensive? That is a big surmise!

Let us not forget that Supreme Court has not just lifted ban on dance bars but it has also directed Maharashtra government that the dance bars open by March 15. When skimpily clad women dance in front of menfolk, it is perfectly within the precincts of the law, that is what the apex court has observed.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar


From India, Bangalore
I will suggest an escape route-try and get yourself changed from being administrator of the group or be bold and remove the employee from the group.
In case he questions(which he will) tell him that members found the pictures offensive and there fore you had to do this.
Frame rules and post them on the group for all to know.
Do not be scared of taking action to stop something which is offensive to your mind.
Has anyone objected to the pictures?

From India, Pune
Dear Kavita,
This is in addition to what I have written in my post. What is the necessity of the WA group? If the necessity is not there then you may disband the group. Disbandment of group will send a message to one and all that it has been done to protest against uploading of the offensive material on the group.
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
1. Dear members, the person who is uploading offensive and vulgar messages/images on any public group shows / exhibits his mind and thinking and as opined by Sh. Dinesh Divekar ji, it is appropriate or safe to either disband the said forum, or block such person who is uploading such offensive material.
2. I am member of some forums created on facebook or google. Some times, I have noticed offensive material being published in said forums and in such cases, I generally leave the group immediately. My own prestige or self-respect is in my own hand.
3. However, in case you are an officer in your company/establishment or HR etc, having dealing with employees, I will suggest to immediately disband the group or leave the said group. This is important and essential to maintain your impartial and good image in the establishment where you are working.

From India, Noida
Hi Kavita,

Did you speak over phone personally to him concerning this? Just a few thoughts on this:

- Not sure what your position is (HR etc) but if you can connect to your counterpart in the other branch where the senior person is and maybe just get a 'feel' from some colleagues there regarding him, his nature , it might give you a better idea as to how to proceed.

- I tend to agree with Dinesh regarding figuring out why you formed the gp in the first place- n if its casual, what can be offensive to one can be a joke to another.. did you get some views from other female workers in that group concerning the pics? What do they feel? There is nothing wrong with forming a gp but it might be a good idea to lay down specific outlines at the start about what to post/not post.

- My only concern is you said that when confronted by you he said " should not take it personally coz if i do then there will be a big problem,.." - What do you think he meant?

- I think at the end of the day, if he is a senior he should be knowing his limits and the fact that you already warned him twice, you can go ahead and talk to some senior person in your branch or HR concerning this before you take it a step further.

All the best and I hope it resolves soon !

Ms Khursheed

Transpersonal Psychotherapist & Coach

From India, undefined
I totally agree with Mr. Divekar, when he questions the very necessity of such a group. More so when in an organisation where different age-groups and different levels of employees exist.
I suggest you tell all like minded people to withdraw from the group, with or without posting the reason that the group is being misused / abused by posting vulgar messages. When most of the persons withdraw the group will lose its relevance. Then disband the group.
A S Bhat

From India, Pune
Thanks everyone for your reply..
I am in HR department only. Before I joined here the department was not very functional towards employee relations, interactions, activities. there was barely any work except salaries and leave approval and other basic work, that's why I was hired. It was a combined suggestions from everyone that we must have a group for quick interaction and ideas exchange. And yes I did set up basic rules at the time of starting this group.
(Cite Contribution) : - Thanks a lot that you understood this matter and you focused to give me a solution rather then asking questions.. I really appreciate it.
Update is I spoke to the management, but before doing so I messaged on the group reminding everyone why we were here. The management decided to talk to that senior.
thanks
kavita

From India, Pune
Dear Kavita,
Thankyou for the feedback and update. Please keep us posted incase you need any help to resolve it further.
Additionally , I request you to consider a session on sensitization of employees on Sexual Harassment. There are numerous agencies offering that as a 1 day course. Please consider investing into it. That alone will keep every such incidence at bay.
Most of the times, we are not aware where exactly a line gets crossed and if at all we should raise our voices against it. Implications are deep, hence let's keep everyone informed about it.
Must say as a lone HR in the firm, you have made a good start. Keep us posted on your growth.
Wish you all the best !

From India, Mumbai
Hi,
I would recommend to use AlertZap. Its a 1 way messenger wherein you can create a broadcast and all company employees to the broadcast. Only you can send messages to them, this prevents idiotic chats on company channels.
Also alertzap does not restrict subscribers, you can have 10, 100 or 1000 employees in your channel, they just need to subsribe to your broadcast channel.
Let me know if u need more help on usiing the app.

From India, New%20Delhi

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