After Tech Mahindra hit the headlines last week for firing an employee over the phone, the recording of which went viral, the Hyderabad High Court has admitted a writ petition filed by four laid-off employees of the IT firm. The court has also issued a notice to the IT giant asking it to explain the unlawful job cuts.
Not just the firm, Justice M S Ramachandra Rao has also issued notices to Telangana and its labour department officials and they now have three weeks to respond to the same, reported the Times of India. A Satyaprasad, the counsel for the laid off employees, told the court that Tech Mahindra in Hyderabad was carrying out mass layoffs and said that the Human Resources department was forcing the firm's employees to resign.
With this, Tech Mahindra has reportedly violated Sec 47(2) of Shops and Establishments Act, as per which an employee cannot be terminated if there is a pending petition with the Labour Commissioner.
Now that the high court has issued the notice, the Forum of IT Professionals (ForIT), an organisation that works for the wellbeing of IT employees in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, said that it was happy that such a step had been taken.
"ForIT expresses its happiness that the High Court has taken cognisance of the IT retrenchments by admitting this writ petition. Issuing notices to Tech Mahindra is a positive development. We, the IT employees, need to realise that there are laws that protect our livelihoods, and we should fight to retain those rights," Money Control quoted the organisation as saying.
Tech Mahindra is yet to comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, Mahindra Group's executive chairman Anand Mahindra apologised for the way the employee was fired. The HR representative had asked the employee to resign by 10 am the next day and said that the layoff was a part of the company's restructuring plan. Even though the employee requested the representative to give him some more time, the HR told him that he needed to leave with immediate effect and cited the condition in the employment contract, which says that the employer can ask an employee to leave with immediate effect.
"I want to add my personal apology. Our core value is to preserve the dignity of the individual & we'll ensure this does not happen in future," Mahindra tweeted, along with an CEO CP Gurnani's apology, which said: "I deeply regret the way the HR rep & employee discussion was done. We have taken the right steps to ensure it doesn't repeat in the future."