Dear All, Need your suggestion urgently - I work in the BPO sector, The day before yesterday we terminated 2 employees as they fought badly in office.
Now I got to know they will do something against HR. As one of an employee is having a kind of Gunda background. Being a female I feel unsafe now.

From India, Bengaluru
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Nagarkar Vinayak L
Hr And Employee Relations Consultant
Sanjana8 Executive


Dear Sanjana,
You cannot initiate any legal action against such threats based on suspicion only. Apart just from your knowledge about one of the dismissed employees' criminal background, the information you received should be substantially true and the source must be a reliable one. Any way, if you are scared better bring it to the notice of the top management in writing.

From India, Salem
Dinesh Divekar

Dear Sanjana,

Though you have raised a question on your safety, first let me give my different take.

The day before yesterday, two employees fight at the workplace. Today, they have been terminated from the service. Why such hurried termination? Workplace fights or even physical assaults happen occasionally. Does it mean that your organisation should have given short shrift to the due process of law?

You (means your company) could have suspended these two employees and domestic enquiry should have been ordered. The Enquiry Officer (EO) should have investigated the incident as to what was the cause of the eruption of the fight. Many times the domestic enquiry goes on for several days. This helps in shifting the attention from HR to the EO. In fact, many times EO is hired from outside. This also helps in making the enquiry impartial. With hasty termination, the terminated employees might have perceived that they have been terminated because of HR. Their perceptions may be wrong but the one who is at the front always bears the brunt.

The enquiry would have helped you in understanding whether there was a system's flaw but you ended up punishing the people. By the way, when the fight ensued, where was the Manager? Why he did not step in to control the fight? What was his/her role in preventing the fight?

If one of the fighting employees demonstrated behaviour that bordered on criminality then why he was allowed to work at all? He could have been terminated by giving him some sweet poison. Take the meaning of "sweet poison" figuratively and not literary. The cause of the incident could be the lack of this foresight also.

Now coming to the solution. As the learned member Mr Umakanthan M has written, that one of the fighting employees could be hostile towards you could be just your perception. Yes, terminated employees do bear a grudge against HR. However, physical harm is a remote possibility. If at all if he were to take revenge then he should take it against his opponent with whom he had a fight. Therefore, you may not tilt at the windmill.

Take precaution for the next few weeks. Be vigilant while commuting to the office. Keep a pepper spray with you and observe all the rules of self-defence.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Nagarkar Vinayak L

Dear madam,
What right thing you should have done to two employees who fought at the workplace is not the question here. You have fired the bullet already by your action of terminating them.
It is not stated whether you followed due process of disciplinary action- chargesheeting, holding of domestic enquiry, assessing gravity of the misconduct , past record etc. If you have not , then your action of termination stands legal exposure. It's legality and justifiability could be challenged.
As an aftermath of this, being a lady HR, you apprehend some threatening posture from the terminated employees.
As a proactive action, suggest you file NOC in the nearest police station regarding likely threat to your safety with the concurrence of the top bosses and keep them in the communication loop regarding developments in this regard.
You be alert while commuting and carry chilly powder in the purse for self protection. But maintain cool as perhaps nothing untoward may happen.
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR and Employee Relations Consultant

From India, Mumbai

Keep your Company in the loop about your fears of safety.
Make your company write to the nearest PS with gist of the issue and ask for necessary support and protection,if threats are real.
Threats do get thrown around in the heat of the dismissal,but after a few days,better sense prevails.
Take precautions at office and while commuting up down.Keep people informed while leaving and after arriving etc.
But be bold and watchful.Such issues do crop up but in many cases just fizzle out.
Review your actions as HR and see where you may have been wrong and if so take steps to correct your actions in future.

From India, Pune

Dear Sanjana,
The action of termination though not your direct action but the person in HR has to confront t the repercussion because of their work nature.
The action of termination in the instant case was a hurried action without following the rules. Now appraise your top management about the threat perceived from the terminated employees because those employee considered you as key person. Your management should take it seriously and inform the police station in writing about the threat posed to staff from the terminated employee. Please do not discuss this threat perception with other staffs, avoid travelling alone and do not promote any such discussion if someone starts. You go through all the postings by learned members, hope this would give you learning for future action.

From India, Mumbai

Dear All, Thank you so much for your valuable suggestion.I am grateful after these suggestions only I got the solution of this issue.
From India, Bengaluru

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