Sexual Harrasment: Making institute realise that it's not only touch but much more
Sexual Harrasment: Making institute realise that it's not only touch but much more
Women sexual harassment at workplace is not restricted to physical touch only. This also consists of harming the modesty of a women, making hostile environment and many other categories.
In Punjab, There was a series of incident starting from Jan, 2017 to Mar, 2020. Complainant (female) was Lecturer(Mental Health) in College of Nursing. College of Nursing is within premises of Hospital. Accused (male) is Sr. HR manager. Complainant was staying in hostel (family accommodation) within Hospital premises on rental basis. Upto 7 years of her duty until 2016, everything went fine. Had good relationship with HR manager, Principal and other staff. But in 2016, HR Manager, Principal position got new entries. This HR manager was very unprofessional, always seeking flattery. On the other hand, Principal, she used to be a scared person who always have a burden to save her job. One day afternoon (to favour one of his flattery woman who was residing in next room of complainant accomodation), HR manager forcefully entered in Complainant's accommodation without her permission with other 2 male members without any prior notice. she her husband and her 1 yr old daughter was there. After confrontation, he said, "I can come anywhere anytime. I am a Sr. HR manager)." She confronted again by saying, "No you cant. You cant enter in female accomodation without permission. You should have knocked atleast. My family is here and I am feeling not safe. I could have been in casual clothes, could have feed my baby or other personal things. This is invasion of my privacy". He replied, "Why you need privacy with your husband? How your 1 year old daughter(born in same hospital) is staying with you without my permission. Take permission from me in every 3 months. Otherwise you can't keep your 1 year old daughter with you. Also vacate this portion for other lady". She replied, " Sir, this is family accomodation and this is my privacy. Have you got any written request/complaint from her about this? please show? Also electricity bill is for full portion. And I am paying the bill. Are you planning to change that also?" Accussed replied," If you want to keep your daughter, give me written request and in same letter permit to vacate this portion also". With no other choice, she agreed because keep daughter with mother was her first priority. She gave written orders to permit daughter for 3 months and renewal is required in every 3 months from HR. She again confronted and asked, "Is there any policy change. Can you show?" No reply. She complaint to Principal same day and reply was, " I can't do anything. He is HR".
Her one room got vacated within 2 hours. Also she had to visit HR in his office to submit written request in every 3 months. And he used to have inappropriate conversation about his past sexual life. Like "Mei r ek ladki rehte the Mumbai mein ek sath pr hmare mein sexual relationship nahi tha, yahan to kisi se baat krte lgta hai ki kahin Mera rape hi na ho jaye". Very uncomfortable. One time complainant was feeling difficult to visit alone and husband accompanied her and witnessed same. After 2 consecutive requests (every 3 months) for permission to keep daughter with her and every time face this very uncomfortable encounter, she finally asked " Sir, is this rule applied to all parents residing in campus? If yes, then this rule must be applied to neighbour also because she is staying with his 11 year old son. Have she also had taken permission?" With this, his flattery person got scared and suddenly agreed to not take vacated portion. And after that no HR visit, no need of child permission (because complainant didn't go 3rd time for permission and nothing happened). Everybody was silent. So was it a rule to ask for child permission or not? Why forceful entry, intimidating behaviour, inappropriate questions, and inappropriate comments? If this is not according to any rule, how he gave written orders of child and vacate room in written letter?
Few months passed, then he sent another written official letter to her by saying, "No male/ no female can come in your accommodation". But why? many families stayed in same accomodation prior to me and I am also staying in same way from past 2 years" and this time she again requested to show changed policy?. But No published policy was (even today) available or not shown to her, not on their website, not on notice boards. He said "My verbal is official policy" Means maid/nanny (personally hired) stopped, no family member allowed. No crèche in whole premises. Husband also not allowed (previous faculties stayed in same premises for many years, but rules got changed suddenly). How to take care of 1 year old daughter during work hours? Complainant reached to higher management against this no male/no female customized policy (unpublished and only for her) and instructed him to revert back this to any female can enter. When they left, he gave orders to allow only maid and mother in special circumstances that too after informing HR. Mother died in same hospital few years back. Staff already knew that. She requested to change 'mother' to 'sister'. He refused.
When she raised voice (verbally and in writting to higher management), Head of Operations called her personally and said, whatever happened forget about it ("Jo hua so hua"). Complainant came back and sent this also by mail to record every statement in front of Principal, Head of Operations and other higher management. Again, everybody got silent for next few months. She even sent 2 reminders to get reply to her queries about Accussed actions, discrimination between employee to employee, forceful entry and intimidating behavior. But no reply. Atleast she was happy that she raised voice in writting to higher management.
After next few months pass by, During COVID, She was forced to vacate campus accommodation either by shifting in unsafe having close proximity of gas cylinder and sleeping area within one small room or vacate overall campus accommodation within 2 weeks, otherwise market charges will be applied (letter signed by this accused). But by asking for accommodation policy 4 times in writing, nothing provided. She even requested for rental flats available (where this Accussed himself and few doctors and few other administrative staff was staying from many years). But no reply. Why not? No reply. Not even by saying, It is not available. So he stays there alone and me and my daughter can't? Upto this time, she got her 2nd scheduled promotion and became "Assistant Professor". This time she again asked, "there must be accomodation policy rank wise applicable to all employees". No reply. But she sent mail to Hospital owner by giving proofs of harrassment and by saying " I can't bear it anymore". But result of this, she got more humiliated by this Accussed and his management friends (in front of Principal). Finally she left campus accommodation and rented place outside by mentioning reason as "lack of policies existing". But harassments didn't get stop here. She got demoted from HOD (Mental Health) which was since last 10 years. She officially complaint in ICC (Internal Conflict Committee), they dismissed complaint (legally they can't) without removing him from his position (Manager in ICC) during enquiry. She filed a case in court. After 3 months one evening, he sent immediate disassociation letter (signed by his junior) after work hours. She didn't receive letter by mail so went to work as other usual day. He instructed guards not to allow her to enter not only in college but even in common area also (OPD- Hospital) and hijacked her belongings. He sent guards in College to check if she by any chance had entered in college. On the other hand, she came back home and asked administration by mail that why suddenly she got stopped, please provide reason. No reply. In evening, after 3rd mail by her, Principal replied, " There orders are from HR, not from me". While students started asking about their teacher, Principal and vice-principal threatened them by saying, "will register FIR against you all. So write an apology that you will not ask about your teacher again. Otherwise you will not be allowed to enter in hostel tonight. Where you will sleep?" 'No dues' were signed next day by mentioning "Abstensia". Principal, College of Nursing always used to get scared of her job. She always used to say," He is HR, what we can do? Just accept what he wants." So she also signed on 'no-dues' with reason 'abstensia' (exactly same time when complainant was sending mail to ask for reason)
This is HOSTILE environment & it is a Sexual Harassment
Raising this petition to remove this accuser (harasser) from administration immediately. Publish fair employee policies on their official website (history of change version) which was, is and will be followed to all employees and revert decisions if not according to published policies. Give her respect, dignity and employment back with her belongings.