This Article is From Dec 07, 2013

Chennai: Manager, who acted on complaint of sexual harassment against company boss, is sacked and jobless

Human resource professional AS Rajarajan

Chennai: An award-winning human resource professional has been unemployed for the last two years after he acted on a complaint of sexual harassment by a woman colleague in Chennai.

AS Rajarajan was employed as a human resource manager with an US-based multi-national company, earning Rs 19 lakh a year, when a sexual harassment complaint was filed by a woman employee against the firm's director. A probe found the director guilty, and he resigned.

But trouble began for Mr Rajarajan after he wanted to report the matter to the government, as mandated by the Vishaka Committee guidelines on sexual harassment complaints at offices.

Mr Rajarajan alleges he was demoted three levels, and after he challenged the firm's decision in court, he was sacked.

"There was so much of pressure and incentives to hush up the matter since a senior member of the management was involved. But I did not accept. HR managers are authorised to take action need legal backing. I don't regret my action. Professionally I'm proud I did what law wants me to do though I'm paying a heavy price," Mr Rajarajan told NDTV.

The parent company in the US, which supported his action, let the Indian management have their way in terminating him, alleges Mr Rajarajan.

He says now no company wants to hire him. Presently, he has taken to his hobby of aero-modelling.

The Chennai firm has refused to comment on the issue, citing the issue is in court. Though NDTV e-mailed its parent company in the US, we are yet to receive any response.

In his petition to the court, Mr Rajarajan has challenged his demotion and has also sought compensation from the firm.

"This would be an unfortunate lesson for other HR Managers to not dare to take action when senior company officials are involved. Sexual harassment would continue when senior officials enjoy impunity," PVS Giridhar, an advocate, said.

Experts say Vishaka Committee's guidelines protect only the interest of victims and witnesses in sexual harassment cases and not of managers, who implement the law.