A 32-year-old woman, who was forced to resign from a pharmaceutical company in Pune after she submitted a medical report that revealed she was HIV positive, is set to be reinstated after a labour court in the city ruled in her favour and also ordered the company to pay all her back wages and consequential benefits.
The woman, who worked as an operator in the company, was fired on August 4, 2015. She had filed a case against the company in the labour court in Pune and said she was wrongfully and unfairly terminated as she was HIV positive. The company had maintained that she resigned voluntarily.
Advocate Vishal Jadhav, who represented the woman in labour court, said, “My client joined the company in 2010 and had a very good service record. On August 4 2015, she submitted a application for reimbursement of her medical expenses, after which the company got to know that she was HIV positive. On the same day, she was asked to resign. Though she protested initially, she succumbed to pressure from the company and resigned… a few months after her resignation, she approached the labour court through me.”
“We said she had been forced to resign because she was HIV positive, which was wrongful and unfair termination. The company maintained that she had resigned on her own. The court examined witnesses from both sides and has now ruled in my client’s favour. The court has also ordered that she be reinstated and be paid all her back wages and consequential benefits. Now that the court has ruled in our favour, the company will either abide by the order or challenge it further. We are determined to fight the case till its logical end,” he added.
The woman said, “When they forced me to resign, I had explained to them that I had contracted the disease from my husband, who died because of it. I needed the money but the company officials didn’t listen to me. Months later, I decided to fight the legal battle.”