Sexual Harassment @ Workplace in Luxury Trade

imagesWe are all so sympathetic and conscientious about sexual harassment at workplace while chatting in our drawing rooms but are we the same when it happens in front of us? Most of us ignore and give it a blind eye when we get to know of sexual harassment at a workplace. Then our conscience goes for a toss and we don’t wish to get into “others’ affairs’.” 

fendi_dlf emporioIn Januaray 2017 I came to know of a sexual harassment incident at an uber luxury retail store in DLF Emporio – FENDI. The store manager was the culprit and the victims were the sales girls. It was verbal sexual harassment indulged by the boss who called his women staff – ‘whore, bitches, sluts’ repeatedly. I took it upon me to bring the mater to the superior’s notice who felt calling a sales girl as a ‘whore’ is no big-shit. On my moral upright stance and educating them about the Vishaka Guidelines of law, cosmetic damage control was done. Alas all was temporary.

DEL5-002Few days back two distraught girls; aged 20 and 21-years-old shared the hell that they are going through as employees of PLAZA PREMIUM LOUNGE at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Terminal 3, I was shocked when I heard their story. The company also operates a ‘Concierge Service’ – ALL-WAYS Meet & Greet licensed to them by GMR. The girls are employees of this division. The company General Manager, Francis Gill has multiple times touched these two women employees in wrongful manner and the girls made their objection vocal. When in a car the GM made an indecent proposal to one of the two victimized girls and kept his hand on her upper-thigh. Unbearable onslaught lead these girls to make a formal complaint to PLAZA PREMIUM LOUNGE’s head office in Hong Kong and the copies of the complaint were sent to HR department also. No action was taken. The two young girls went to the Police Station that comes under IGI Airport, T3’s jurisdiction and their FIR was not filed.

I have copies of the complaint made by the victim girls to the Delhi Police Commissioner’s office via Email on February 23rd 2017, it was forwarded to DCP Airport and DCP Crime by Police Headquarter but till date not a single police officer contacted the victims and the Police Station still refuses to take the FIR of the girls.

This is the real world. This is the real life on the ground. Nobody to help two distraught girls aged 20 and 21 who have been asked to be in a room with the GM for career growth and whose promotions were denied because they refused to be in bed with the company GM. I am not resourceful enough to help these girls but I will try my best.

Any conscientious reader who has JUGAAD at PLAZA PREMIUM LOUGE or know the DCP Airport or the Commissioner of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, or any resourceful individual who can get justice to victimized girls, please come forward.

14 thoughts on “Sexual Harassment @ Workplace in Luxury Trade

  1. jack Post author

    @Vee would really appreciate if you do it…it will make an impact
    I m a small fry so me crying out for justice may not fall on right ears
    Thanks

  2. Colossial

    Can you mail this article to DGCA India and national women helpline. They will terminate the services of the manager and get an inquiry done for them. Girls if you are reading this go ahead and launch a complain. Please do not stay quite on this issue.

  3. VML

    Jack, the Vishakha guidelines have been updated into the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013. As per the Act the police has to register the FIR. It’s mandatory and the employer must support the victims in filing FIRs. As such workplaces should have Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). If both these don’t work, then check for the Local Complaints Committee (LCC). Each district in every state should have a LCC and the District Officer is the chairperson of the LCC. So please check for the LCC office in Delhi. They have to register and investigate as per the 2013 Act. Also, you can flag the lack of ICC at these places (if they don’t have that is). They’ll be taken to task. A lot of workplaces have ICCs on paper. They are non-functioning though.

  4. mcmxlv

    I am guessing you have also heard about the allegations against Arunabh Kumar and TVF work culture. This is all very sordid.

  5. Alcie

    Hi Jack, how about a petition? You can collect it electronically and sent it to the HR and the CEO? There needs to be pressure on the company to do the right thing. Girls, if you are reading this – sorry to hear your story 🙁 It’s absolutely unacceptable that sexual harassment is not being taken seriously by the upper management.

  6. Vml

    Jack, any luck in getting the LCC details in Delhi? Also, I checked that as per the 2013 POSH Act, the police cannot refuse filing a FIR.

  7. jack Post author

    @Vmi I know people who know top-cops but help not coming forth. Instead people advising me to stay away from al this. Such is life!!! But I won’t stay away. In fact a lady has promised to take me to meet couple of top cops this weekend and I am hoping for the best.
    People are more interested in knowing my agenda to pursue this matter.
    I am really disappointed by the response.

  8. jack Post author

    @Alcie the girls have made complaints to HR, wrote email to Premium Plaza MD at Hong Kong, went to Police Station where there FIR was not filed and finally they emailed a complaint to Police Commissioner and received a reply that concerned officers will contact them. The email from Police HQ was on 24th Feb. 2017 so three weeks have gone and nothing happened.
    What happened in fact that the culprit – Francis Gill has penalized by not promoting them and removed the Manager who the girls reported to since the manager gave excellent feedback in his appraisal report about the victim girls.
    Hats off to these two girls – 20 & 21-year-old who haven’t left their job against all odds.
    I know people who know the Police Commissioner, DCP Airport, Commissioner of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the Secretary Civil Aviation and even Dinesh Jhunjhunwala who is the Indian partner of Plaza Platinum Lounge Worldwide but they don’t want to ‘get their hands dirty’ and I can only request them, can’t force.
    But yes I am still trying. A ‘small-fry’ really can’t do much but I am still on it.

  9. Alcie

    Gosh! these girls are very brave. I experienced sexual harassment from a previous boss but in subtle ways. That said, it made the work environment hostile whenever he was around. I finally left when I realised the negative impact of complaining against him could have on my future career prospects. When you work in a small industry, it becomes very tough to sometimes do the right thing – risk being ostracised or keep your career. Absolutely detest the power imbalance and how managers and directors abuse their position. I feel for these girls, and I salute them for not giving up. If only there is a not-for-profit legal aid organisation who can fight workplace sexual harassment when the HR fail to take action.
    @Jack, you are doing the right thing here. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Indian bureaucracy. Did you try emailing Francis Gill just to let him know that we are watching him? Not that shame will make him to the right thing, but I hope he stops harassing these girls! What an asshole!

  10. Vml

    Jack, it’s good if you can meet some of the top cops but please don’t wait form them to respond. Just go to the District Officer and file a complaint at the LCC. You can also flag the issue of non-compliance on part of the police there.

  11. VIBHOR SHARMA

    The “DCP Airport”, is a CROOK. I had once met him as a witness in a departmental enquiry against his SHO and Sub-Inspector for their intentional gross investigation of my case. The current DCP Airport was then Additional DCP South District. This man, played the fool during the entire enquiry proceedings and was in full support of his juniors. He even referred to them and said “They are suffering!” He even mocked me by saying “justice will prevail”, as I had written in my complaint that justice be meted out to me! These filthy, morally corrupt Delhi policemen are ALL the same! One goon protecting the back of the other. Just as the old Hindi saying goes- “Chor Chor Mauserey Bhai”. The earlier Commissioner of Delhi Police Mr. Alok Verma was a very honest and helpful man, can say this because I had met him personally. It was HE who had ordered a Vigilance Enquiry and Departmental Enquiry Proceedings against the SHO & Sub-Inspector. But since he has left; the mice are at play, now that the cat is away!

  12. Noone

    one of my colleague faced sexual harassment two months back, I advised her to leave the job instead of complaining about ‘that person’ to other Top level Head, as I know that everyone is same and even N nos. complaint will not going to change anything coz of a simple reason- they are family. I felt helpless that time and this girl was a fresher and I can see how this incident disturbed her, everytime that creep called on her mobile, she got terrified and even I shared this incident with one of the female HR consultant at my workplace and the way she replied I realised this saying is absoluelty correct ‘Women are women’s worst enemy’.

    And if you are wondering why I asked this girl to leave the job instead of voicing – I have my own experiences and I know nobody helps you in real and even your own family would want you to stay at home or dress in a specific way or even talk in a specific way. Coz Its always ‘a girl’ mistake.

    Hats off to these girls. RESPECT.

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