On a regular brighter Friday morning, everybody walks inside office rollicking and rolling towards their cubicle, looking forward to a great day at work and more importantly, the weekend which is staring and smiling back at them. The feeling on a regular Friday of the week is admittedly radically different from any other working day and it indeed is the day everybody longs for. This undeniably is my ideal Friday.
But again, what if, on that very grand Friday evening, at about four past forty-five minutes, a letter is placed on your desk which rattles off details of how you have been a burden to the organization after over 10yrs of service, and getting even more humiliating…the letter orders you to leave and vacate the premises at the very spur of the moment.
Feels like a slap on the face
After running your eye balls through the violent and ruthless letter addressed to you, you almost go out of breath…desperately throwing your hands to grab the air pump to calm those tensed and strayed bronchioles inside your lungs. You then gather your nerves and wits together, and like a true Gandhian you non-violently walk out of the office, bidding goodbye to the company which is so dear to you.
Well, this is exactly what happened to a person I know…and putting myself in that person’s shoes, I can imagine the disgraced and the revengeful feeling that life takes you through at that point in time.
Different situations demand different actions
Today most organizations are grieving bad weather conditions due to global recession which has hit this planet big time. Only if we could do business with another planet…things would breakeven. But then, since we do not have that choice, corporations follow the retrenchment route towards reducing cost.
Well, then there are those organizations which face theft, fraud or dishonesty committed by their employees. Corporations then get busy taking disciplinary actions against such cunning and devious minds. Reminds me of Mr. Ramlinga Raju, founder of the once prestigious company, Satyam Computers, who siphoned off 40.8 million dollars raised by the company.
Then there are those set of people who are mere non-performers belonging to the lower strata of the organization tree. These are vulnerable employees that organizations use as scapegoats to fulfill their profit aspirations.
The person who is mentioned in my real story is someone who belonged to the low-cadre, who indeed fell victim to the gory acts of the management. In fact, the organization ripped off her fundamental rights of dignity and social justice by blatantly giving her only fifteen minutes till she could assimilate the fact of her dismissal. The victim was made to feel like a criminal who was caught for draining out money from company accounts.
Well, a food-for-thought to the management is that, if you really have to ask an employee to quit because of poor performance, you need to make sure that you give that employee a dignified exit, without straying away from his constitutional rights.
Know you rights
It is very important that employees know their constitutional and fundamental rights that are applicable irrespective of the position he holds in the corporate tree. The Industrial Dispute Act (IDA) applicable to all workers in India is a very important document which stresses on how the accused employee must be given a chance to defend himself and then only he/she should be pronounced as guilty.
“It is the duty of the organization to legally issue a show-cause notice to the employee, giving him a chance to explain,” says Advocate Wasnik, who carries 40yrs of experience in the field of labour laws. It was my privilege to discuss with Advocate Wasnik who gave me an insight saying that employees in the support roles (who are mostly victimized) have more legal rights than those who belong to the managerial cadre. Furthermore, he said that IDA is applicable only to the workmen category…and that if the management is unhappy with employee performance, the company not only has to evidence the facts, but also needs to give the employee the right to explain and justify.
So, it is very important that we know our rights and the laws abiding with it. But, only wish that the legal procedures and processes were simpler for employees, challenges would have been much easier to tackle.
To get a dig into the Industrial Dispute Act, download the IDA at Download
Post script: Well, in that case, educated souls in the management who make such illiterate and illegitimate decisions need to attend a diploma programme in Gandhian studies…which will teach them to rebuild their conscience without losing out on competition.
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Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!