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Sacked for maternity leave: Ministry starts looking into complaint

Radhika Gupta claimed she was forced to resign from the company after she asked the company to allow her maternity leave.

Written by Hemani Bhandari |
Updated: July 23, 2016 7:15:07 pm
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has taken note of the complaint filed by Radhika Gupta The Ministry of Women and Child Development has taken note of the complaint filed by Radhika Gupta

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has taken note of the complaint filed by Radhika Gupta, Assistant HR Manager with Radius Synergies International Pvt. Ltd, claiming the company terminated her employment because she asked for maternity leave. Earlier, WCD minister Maneka Gandhi replied to her tweet informing her that she’ll be helped in the matter.

Gupta has received a written communication from the ministry assuring they would look into the matter as directed by Additional Secretary Preeti Sudan. The ministry has initiated an inquiry into the matter and mentions that “Section 12 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 is framed to protect women placed in situation similar to Ms. Gupta”.

Earlier this month, Gupta claimed she was forced to resign from the company after she asked her employers to allow her maternity leave from September, 2016.

Within an hour, she received a mail from the company attached with her termination letter and copy of the month’s salary cheque. “Towards the end of June, I communicated to the company about my maternity leave but I was asked to resign instead or I’ll be terminated. They said they can’t afford my maternity leave,” Gupta told IndianExpress.com.

‘No one in their sane mind will deny maternity leave to a woman’

The director of the company HS Singh told IndianExpress.com that the issue was not her maternity leave but behavioural and functional issues employees of the company had with Gupta and the termination letter was sent to her after she stopped coming to office and replying to several emails sent to her.

“The issues that the company is mentioning were about late payment of allowances and delay in salaries which the employees had with the management and not me. I was the mediator and instead I had assured the employees of help. I was asked by them to resign failing which they said they would terminate me. ‘This will ruin your career,’ I was told and I have it on record in my phone,” said Gupta.

She alleges that the company did not even support her when she asked for a shift from second floor to ground floor. “I am 7 months pregnant and the doctor has asked me not to climb floors. When I requested for a shift, they denied and said I could leave the company if I can’t climb,” she added.

Gupta had shared her story on Facebook, which subsequently went viral on social media. She tagged Maneka Gandhi, PMO India, National Commission for Women amid many others and personally tweeted her story to Maneka Gandhi.

“I will not go back to the company because I will not feel safe there anymore. But I want to set an example so it doesn’t happen with other women like me,” said Gupta.

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