Terminated for speaking against harassment and corporate politics in a MNC

Posted by Diana Sequeira-Rathi
August 19, 2017

Self-Published

I seek your support in my Fight for Justice!!
Demotivated, appalled and infuriated are few of the emotions which I had gone through during my stint in Landis+gyr. I have been a HR professional for the last 13 yrs. And, I have always believed that HR team lead by the HR HEAD is a custodian of the company’s ethics and values. But my belief was completely shaken while I was working with Fathima Farouk, Head HR Landis+Gyr.
I had been with Landis + Gyr HR department for six months, when I realised there was something very wrong with India HR. There were certain individuals who were extremely callous and abusive in nature and they would display this behaviour openly towards their team members and no one would question them. As a HR professional and a lady I thought the HR head would be able to empathise with a harassed and abused employee. Moreover, it is a company’s HR head’s responsibility to ensure that all the issues are sorted out conscientiously. But, Fathima had different set of rules and regulations for different employees and later it came out that she had a strong backing from the CEO, Sandip Mukherjee who also did not care about ethics and COC.
Prior to my joining, a girl had been dismissed from Landis. Nothing new in that, but then I realized that she had taken Landis+Gyr and the third party vendor through whom she came, to labour court for unfair termination and won the case. On further investigations, I realized that there was more to the story.
The young girl, who was an employee in HR team, had reported about sexual harassment by IT Head, Mohammed Ranapurwala to Fatima. However, Fatima traded in with the victim and promised to give her maternity benefits equivalent to an on-rolls employee if the victim stayed quiet. Since, the girl was worried about her career and was pregnant she agreed. But, once the matter had settled down, Fathima terminated her contract in the 9th month of her pregnancy. Even worse, the lady wasn’t allowed in to the premises and stopped by the guards on her last day upon the order of the HR Head and treated inhumanly. She was handed her relieving letter in the reception itself and her belongings are still in some of the drawers in the HR department!! (P.S: I have evidence of every word I am speaking)
Similarly, an IT Manager also underwent abusive behaviour at the hands of IT Head, Ranapurwala. However, when he reported this to Fatima, she instead of helping him went and reported the complaint to RP and the employee’s probation was not confirmed and he was asked to leave. He even tried approaching the CEO, his skip level manager to report this abusive behaviour and lack of support from HR, however the CEO refused to listen to his grievance.
A whistle blowing email was sent to the Global Management team stating all these facts and the company started an investigation and narrowed down the whistle-blower to couple of people (one of them was I) within the company. Though, she couldn’t find any irrefutable proof against me, the HR Head’s behaviour became very unpleasant to me. Her behaviour bordered on threat and criminal intimidation. Job loss threat and publicly accusing me of deceit became common vein in her conversation. Finally, the day I was let go from the job, she resorted to my wrongful confinement in a guarded room. When confronted she said that she has full authority from Sandip Mukherjee, India CEO and Global Management (I have electronic evidence of our final conversation).
All this, because I brought to the company’s notice the prevailing sexual harassment and abusive behaviour of certain employees.
Is it wrong to stand up for ethics, stand up for wrong happening in society, stand up for what you think is right??

Friends, I have been through hell and might continue to be there for some time more….. I need your support in standing up against this unethical practice and the harassment at workplace…..Join me in this fight for justice!! 

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