'Tech Mahindra has vindicated my stand', says firm's ex-employee who accused manager of discrimination against homosexuals

“I wanted justice. I did not think that Richa Gautam would be sacked from her job. However, by taking action after my complaint on Twitter, Tech Mahindra has vindicated my stand,” said 32-year-old Gaurav Probir Pramanik, a former employee of the firm, in a telephonic conversation with Firstpost.

The IT major had faced criticism after Pramanik went public on Twitter with the charges against his former team leader. He had cited a 2015 incident where the manager concerned, during an address in a training room, allegedly made "sweeping generalisations and stereotyping of someone's sexuality." He also accused the manager of making "mocking judgments" on how his purported "effeminate" nature had affected his work.

Pramanik alleged he was forced to quit after the manager spoke harsh words against his mother.

File image of Gaurav Probir Pramanik. Image procured by Sulekha Nair

File image of Gaurav Probir Pramanik. Image procured by Sulekha Nair/Firstpost

Tech Mahindra has sacked Gautam, according to a tweet by the IT major. The firm said this was done after an investigation was carried out in the matter. “The concerned employee has been separated from the employment of the company with immediate effect," Tech Mahindra said in a tweet late on Saturday.

When contacted, Tech Mahindra said that another person has replaced the employee in question.

Pramanik, who is now on a sabbatical from work, said that he was "pleasantly surprised" by the quick action taken by the IT major. “I did not expect Tech Mahindra to act so fast,” he said.

Pramanik said that he had mentioned the reasons for quitting the firm in his exit letter. But he recalled from his own experience of having worked in the HR department that exit letters are not taken seriously by any firm.

“You are on your way out. And the grounds on which you are leaving do not really matter to the firm,” he said, adding that he wished his experience would push major organisations to ponder over similar such incidents, and conduct investigations if any allegation is made.

“If an employee who has quit makes allegations out of vengeance, such accusations should be dismissed. But they must be investigated,” he said.

Most corporate companies in India are quick to adopt various policies at the workplace, such as those pertaining to whistleblowers, maternity benefits or gender parity. However, Pramanik said that not many employees are aware of what these policies entail.

“These policies run into several pages and are full of legalese, which employees are often loath to read through. I think organisations should explain these things in a manner that employees are empowered,” he said.

He rues that he had no higher-ups at Tech Mahindra whom he could have approached seeking redressal for the harassment that he faced. “The harassment was from someone who was in charge of ensuring that it did not happen at the workplace. I could not go any higher as the lady in question was the higher-up,” he said.

He hopes that Gautam would "reform" herself. “I hope she ponders over her actions and understands the gravity of what she has done,” he said.


Updated Date: Sep 17, 2018 22:01 PM