Anonymous
25

Dear All, I am working in facility management industry in HR. I would like to take suggestions from learned members of this forum.

One of our female employees complained against her reporting manager to IC that he was verbally harassing her due to which she is unable to work. Before raising this issue with IC she had discussed these issues with General Manager. He didn't take any action him. After 3 such tries to seek support she finally complained to IC. IC initiated the investigation and the respondent was not allowed to work at the same place but was allotted to work in separate branch during the investigation period.

But during the investigation time he has instigated his team members to write against the complainant to IC though he was working at different place. He also was saying to his colleagues that He was in senior position and the complainant will not be able to stand against him. Even some senior members of the management team were supporting him. The investigation was happening around two months and The complainant had 3 hearings with the committee.She was under tremendous stress and She was offered to transfer for which she clearly refused.

No communication from the IC team for the complainant regarding the final status of investigation but we came to that Respondent was transferred from our workplace to different city and state(Happens to be his native place).

Now again after 6 months we came to know that the same guy again had a sexual harassment case against him in his new work place, but this time during investigation the the lady who have raised the complaint had recorded few videos of the investigation and published in social media.

she has violated the confidentiality of the investigation process and the guy threatened the company that he will sue them for letting this happen. Now this time the lady was somehow made to resign and the guy is roaming guilt free in my organisation.

Now my question is:

1.Does he have the right to go for legal proceedings against the organisation?
2.Though it was wrong for the lady to do so, is it right to force her for resignation?
3.The guy happens to be a repeated offender, is it not the organisation's responsibility to take stringent action against such people?
4. Please note that it is a MNC company with strong support system, but i as a HR i feel that they failed miserably to inculcate the values and work culture in their employees.

From India, Mettupalayam
PROFESSIONALS AND BUSINESSES PARTICIPATING IN DISCUSSION
Drsivaglobalhr
Doctor Siva Global Hr
KK!HR
Management Consultancy
Sudhapradheep
Sr. Executive-hr
+1 Other

Dear Colleague,

The details furnished are painful to note and this is the sorry state of the present scenario. But one should not get tired to establish the facts and justice is only available after long long fight. One should be untired to prove the facts and it is really painful. Persons who do wrongful activities are very clever and may times truth and justice are not getting established because those are not fighters in mind and circumstances are making time to withdraw. This is a fact which everyone has to be focused and fight against till end.

Coming to specifics:

1. Does he have the right to go for legal proceedings against the organization?

In my opinion, the is no locus standai for such person to raise legal proceeding and the organization can defend with the IC report and related documents. Even if some litigation organization will have good ground to fight it out.

2.Though it was wrong for the lady to do so, is it right to force her for resignation?

Such publication in the Social Media is the outbreak of the inability and because of the IC mechanism is failed. Here it is not fair to force her to resign. Both may be treated as independent acts.

3.The guy happens to be a repeated offender, is it not the organisation's responsibility to take stringent action against such people?

If it is left unattended now, in the near future, the organization will lose its reputation and fairly there will be more complex work environment will get created and the organization is likely to end up in facing many Governmental enquiries apart from going disrepute.

4. Please note that it is a MNC company with strong support system, but i as a HR i feel that they failed miserably to inculcate the values and work culture in their employees.

It is a very genuine feeling. More than the internal members, the Member from NGO can play a very good role in educating the MNC and put down and demand that the IC should function properly as the membership is external and will have strong hold. In future use this channel to educate the Management and IC members for effective attending of any such grievances.

Overall such incidents to be attended with all seriousness and genuine approach. Your feelings are appreciable. Very well you can shake the system by enrolling the NGO member to keep the voices raised, listened, proper redressal is given. Otherwise it will go to the level of Crimes under IPC and such persons will be taken in to task.

From India, Chennai
Dear Sir, Thanks for your valuable inputs.
From India, Mettupalayam
Hello;
In the first place, if the complainant feels that required investigation is not done, she can approach Police under IPC. Secondly, it is unfortunate that the collegues and seniors of Accused are supporting Accused. Thirdly Complainant violated the law by breaking confidentiality. That is a misconduct and she has to be punished for that. But fourthly, for that reason, the Accused need not be let free. Investigation is done, with videos, and if he is held guilty, he must be punished.
Q1. For making it public, if the Accused has suffered any damage to his reputation or any other thing, then he will have to first approach the IC or Employer. Breaking confidentiality is an offence against the company, not Accused. But in the process, if the Accused has suffered any damage, he can seek remedy with employer first, failing which, in court of law against complainant.
Q2. It is wrong to force Complainant to resign. Complainant should not resign. Let the Employer take action against her. If making it viral is so damaging, that dismissal of Complainant is eventual, then as a compromise she may offer to resign.
Q3. The Accused is again involving in harassment. This is not to be tolerated by Employer. Irrespective of making it viral by Complainant, the Accused must be punised severely. Dismissal is not the only answer. There are other punishments also such as demotion, compensation, transfer and so on.
Q4. It is not a question as such. Whether MNC or Indian Company, it has to care for the effect on other employees. No sane employer will take milder view of such a situation. If Accused is kept free from action, all women employees will be demoralised. Even the male employees will value the Employer. That will be a big damage to Company.
Vi0bhakar Ramtirthkar, Pune.

From India, Pune
Can a sexually aggrieved male employee rise complaint to IC committee??
From India, Mumbai
About a male employee complaining of Sexual Harassment.
The Act is named as The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace ........ This clearly means that law deals with sexual harassment of women. So officially, legally, male employee cannot approach IC.
None the less, as a caretaking employer, it is a complaint by a male employee. May not be under POSH Act. But employer has to deal with it. Now who is capable enough to investigate such a complaint? Obviously IC. IC can investigate, may not be under POSH Act but under the service rules of the organisation. Male employee also needs to get his complaint redressed.
Vibhakar Ramtirthkar, Pune.

From India, Pune
KK!HR
1271

The accused offender cannot have any case for legal proceedings against the organisation for letting the complainant to record the proceedings and later disclosing it in the social media. First of all, the organisation has not let it happen, it was done surreptitiously without its knowledge. Secondly there is no specific provision of law for an accused to go against the employer. Section 26 on the penalties that can lie against the employer does not mention such type of action as an offence under the Act. Section 19 giving the duties of employer also is silent in this regard. Section 16 is a general embargo on publication of the details and here only the complainant can be said to have violated the provisions by publishing the proceedings in social media. The general provisions in criminal or civil side regarding defamation are not attracted in this matter against the organisation, at best it can lie against the complainant. It looks like more an empty threat.
From India, Mumbai

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