Sunday, May 7, 2017

Carry On, But Remember

Menaka Gandhi has initiated a program to file sexual harassment complaint online. I applaud her. But those who investigate such cases must be very careful.
 
I want to share a real life story. The following anecdote is not a fiction.
 
Long time ago, in our company, there was a girl who was a first line manager. Her supervisor was a second line manager. One day, this girl, first line manager, filed a case within the company hierarchy alleging “sexual harassment” against her male second line manager.
 
The company wanted to avoid this case going to a public litigation because it will be bad for the company’s image and PR purpose. So the company decided to settle the case.
 
Mean time, the Second Level manager resigned his job. The first line manager, who complained, got an excellent cash compensation for her “suffering”. She also quit the company immediately.
 
They both got married a week later.

23 comments:

  1. This is a good step from Smt. Gandhi. However, there are serious issues of incompetence in investigation and harassment of the defendents.

    One more thing, why is the government only doing online complaints for eve teasing? Why not allow filing of all kinds of FIRs online? the Second Administrative Reforms Commission has stated that it is the job of the police to file reports (including FIRs) and to ensure that the crime statistics (including nnumber of pending reports) remain minimum, which creates a conflict of interest. They further recommend that the authority filing reports and the one investigating/prosecuting etc. (the police) should be different. Filing FIRs online is also recommended (For a summary, see points 11 and 12 on pages 96-97 in this pdf). I understand that different states have different police forces and slightly different working procedures etc., but as in the case of other things like MGNREGA, Soil Health Cards etc., the centre can easily make the states do what it wants using funding as a carrot and the lack of it as a stick.

    The event you mentioned from your one of your previous companies is one of the only happy endings I can envisage :-)

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    1. Thanks for your excellent comments Karunesh. Happy ending? For the couple may be. But not for the company. Actually, this couple cheated the company by filing false sexual harassment complaint.

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    2. Mr. KK has analysed nicely. As you said there is an attempt to hush up things in organisations. In that context online filing of complaints is a step forward.
      The incident you referred brought a smie!

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    3. Thank you for your comments Mr. KP. I am glad it brought a smile for you. Unfortunately, they both were working under me. I was livid when I came to know they both got married a week later. They cheated the company by fake complaint to make some money. That is the point I am trying to make.

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    4. You are right about that event not being a happy ending for the company.

      It is just that in my experience, companies do not care for employees. Sometimes companies even actively try to take advantage. From not being allowed to discuss salary to being laid off right at the time of being made permanent, companies do all sorts of immoral, if not illegal things. So as long as it does not end up closing the company and making everyone unemployed, watching someone go one over their company makes me a little bit happy

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    5. Thanks Karunesh for your comments. It may be with Indian companies. But not with most of the American companies. Let me give you an example.

      Coca Cola recipe is a closely guarded secret. A dissatisfied employee of Coca Cola stole that secret recipe and called their rival, Pepsi Cola. Offered to sell that secret recipe for an amount.

      Do you know what that Pepsi Vice President who received the call did? He agreed with her. Then made two phone calls. One to the FBI. Second to the Coco cola CEO. The seller was arrested.

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    6. I have neither been to America nor have I worked for any American company. But looking around some websites like news.ycombinator.com and reddit.com makes me believe that companies are no different, whether in India or elsewhere.

      Two very positive things that I have seen about America and the west in general are that first the laws are very strict and pro-employee there. And secondly, the enforcement of laws is very efficient there. Had coca cola and Pepsi been here in India, the belligerent employee might have gotten away with what he did. He might have been rewarded for it.

      Thank you for expanding my horizons, SG.

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  2. I appreciate the decent attempt of your politician .
    but as your post's ending show that some people take wrong advantage of such conditions,and therefore there need lots of investigation before the decision .

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    1. Thanks for your comments baili. Agreed. Need lots of investigation before the decision.

      Ms. baili, please visit here as often as possible. Thanks.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Vineeta. I agree with you.

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  4. In our country people look out for loopholes to cheat or maybe everywhere. Didn't it hurt their career later? They are cheaters. This incident should follow them and destroy their career. They might do it in the future also.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. If their prospective new employer ask for a reference, I will certainly give a poor reference,

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  5. I think those who really face sexual harassment don't have the courage to file a complaint while others take advantage of the system for their own benefits. That's sad actually.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Ash. Yes, it is very sad.

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  6. I think the complaint made online or written whatever, should be addressed well to redress the grievance of the coplainant.But making such things open and public, new wicked ideas crop up in teen minds and that may provoke them to try the adventure.So to a certain extent covertness is needed, of course without avoiding stingent punishment.Interestingly an apt plot for a short fiction.

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    1. Thanks Sarala for your comment. Fully agree with you.

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  7. If a punishment is awarded for false complaints, that will be a deterrent.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. False complainants must be punished. But this one did not go to the court. The Company settled the case.

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  8. Great initiative by Maneka Gandhi, real victims might be able to gather courage to raise their voices now onwards. As far as cheaters are concerned, they didn't have any problem with any difficult procedures anytime! As KK said, it would really be helpful if any kind of complaints could be filed online.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sindhu. Always a pleasure to read your comment. Hope the cheaters are caught and punished.

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  9. Wow, interesting how people take advantage of benefits, this is sometimes sad for the real/true ones who really go through sexual abuse and are scrutinized for it

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  10. OMG! Pretty well planned I must say. It's sad that such false cases make us question the genuine ones too and look at them with the lens of suspicion

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