Dear HR Experts

I had filed a written complaint with my boss who was the founder and CEO of the company regarding our CFO misrepresenting profit numbers to the company from which funding was being raised. As the Chief Data Officer of the company, I was involved in providing data and felt the numbers were incorrect. I was concerned that I would be found to be on the wrong side if an investigation happened into the numbers. I think this can be considered as a whistleblower complaint.

The CEO then colluded with the Board and served me a termination notice (without cause). No investigation into my complaint was done and the CEO never got back to me. My understanding is that the company cannot terminate a job like this and that it is required to investigate such a complaint.

The CEO and the company acted illegally. What can I do about this? Could there be a legal course? If yes, under what section of the law?

Kindly suggest.


From India, Gurgaon
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Sr.manager - Hr&admin
Hr Manager
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Data Sciences

Dinesh Divekar

Dear member,

I wish you had written whether your company is a public limited or a private limited. If it is the former, then you may file a complaint to SEBI or the Company Law Board (CLB). However, whether it is appropriate to file a complaint or not will be confirmed by senior members of this forum like Mr Nathrao and Mr Saswata Banerjee.

In many companies, the CFOs dodge the numbers or engage in shady deals. However, they are in cahoots with the CEO or the MD. Many times the CFOs are pressurised to give false numbers. Willy-nilly, the CFOs oblige.

Now coming to your termination. Any termination has to be preceded by domestic enquiry. Not that terminations do not happen without conducting a domestic enquiry. They do happen. However, if the termination is challenged in a court of law, then it becomes the responsibility of the company authorities to prove why the domestic enquiry was not conducted. Whether to challenge your termination or not is your call.

Your post was Chief Data Officer. Therefore, I assume that you had a few subordinates. Under such circumstances, the provisions of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 do not apply to you. Since these provisions do not apply, you cannot file a complaint in the labour office.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore


First of all your termination without any enquiry / notice is not ethical. Please check your employment contract terms for separation / termination of contract.

You had submitted a writen complaint to your CEO about the misleading profit numbers shared by CFO to the Company. In turn this had resulted in your termination without any enquiry/ notice which was approved by the board members. Now with the limited information provided by you my apprehension is that CEO and CFO might have some behind the screen secret dealings and providing wrong data to the Board? Since you brought the things limelight CEO might had fired you?

However your statement your Boss is the CEO and founder of the company is contradictory. Is it a Public limited company with shareholders?

You can very challenge the decision of CEO legally. It is suggested better hire the services of a Labour Advocate.

From India, Madras
Thanks for the responses Dinesh ji and Lakshmi ji.

My company is a private company. They had filed the DRHP, which was approved by Sebi but the company did not file the IPO.

My employment contract says that either party can give 2 months notice "without cause". My company took advantage of this.

I think they should have done a proper investigation of my complaint. Terminating employment shows malicious intent.

From India, Gurgaon

"As the Chief Data Officer of the company, I was involved in providing data and felt the numbers were incorrect.'
Have you got proof that the figures are incorrect?
They have taken advantage of the clause of 2 months notice and terminated your employment.
This clause gives them a backing unless you can substantiate that malicious intent has motivated the termination.
Again it a question of evidence of wrong doing and your highlighting the wrongdoings has caused termination.
You will need proper legal advice of an advocate who can help you.The details of data which is incorrect needs to be looked into.What was the intention of incorrect data and proof that numbers do not tally or falsified- all are vital before you can take a decision.

From India, Pune

"I had filed a written complaint with my boss who was the founder and CEO of the company" is giving some confusion. In a private Ltd. company scenario, persons (employees) working and reporting very honestly shall be lauded. Thus, your boss should have appreciated you for bringing surface, about projection of wrong figures.Instead, he has fired you.

Considering your position in the company, you will not get any support from the statutory angle. The only option available to you is to discuss this with a lawyer specialised in Civil & Employment Laws and act, as per his advice.

All the best.

From India, Aizawl
I do not have hard evidence of the numbers not matching.

My company is trying to raise funds from Private Equity. The investment bank that was acting as a liaison between the company and PE noticed that gross profit numbers reported by the CFO are not matching with what I had reported. I found this to be suspicious. Preliminary investigation showed that numbers reported by the CFO were not correct. Also, my boss did not want me to be part of this data sharing exercise although I was the Chief Data Officer and as part of my profile, I am responsible for the data of the company. This requires me to be involved in such dealings. If not, I am leaving myself open to legal scrutiny by the PE company.

Before, I could investigate further, I was given the relieving notice.

My point is that when I had shared my concern with my boss, he should have conducted a formal investigation, and apprised me. Is my expectation correct?

CXO roles are senior and responsible roles and I thought it was my duty to report the potential wrongdoing.

From India, Gurgaon

"I do not have hard evidence of the numbers not matching"

When you did not have any concrete evidence of mis match, you should not have
highlighted the matter to your boss, who is the CEO of your company. This was done by you and
you faced the music. Now either you exit the company immediately and come out by raising your head. Else, you make an unconditional apology to your boss for the error on your part, and
request him to reinstate in service. But, Please note, if you choose to select the latter,
you will have to be an obedient worker to your boss.

Please weigh these and decide, what step suits you the best.

From India, Aizawl
Does a whistleblower complaint have to be with hard evidence? Is it not sufficient to state that there is discrepancy being observed in set of numbers and this should be followed by some investigation? As a CDO of the company, is it not my duty and right to ask to be involved in a process where data is being exchanged esp coming from a system that I have developed and am responsible for? Data governance is the prime responsibility of a CDO.

Otherwise, how is a CXO different from a junior level employee of a company? The fact that I was trying to do my job was not respected by the CEO.

All this points to potential wrong doing.

From India, Gurgaon


Now that you were no part of that Company, what is important now is proper evidence which you claim you don't have.

Even if you want to challenge the decision of CEO legally you should have some strong evidence.

What was the content of the termination order. Did they quoted any reasons and just terminated the contract without assigning any reasons.

What I fee is better you ask for proper relieving and full and final settlement till your last working day and close this once for all. I don't see it worth following.

From India, Madras

If You Are Knowledgeable About Any Fact, Resource or Experience Related to This Topic and Want to Be Part of Such Discussions in Future - Please Register and Log In to Cite Community.

About Us Advertise Contact Us Testimonials
Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms Of Service

All rights reserved @ 2023 CiteHRŽ

All Material Copyright And Trademarks Posted Held By Respective Owners.
Panel Selection For Threads Are Automated - Members Notified Via CiteMailer Server