Convergys staffers allege sex abuse at workplace

Convergys staffers allege sex abuse at workplace

Two women employees of customer management multinational Convergys have lodged police complaints alleging sexual harassment at workplace. They said senior male colleagues sought sexual favours from them in exchange for salary increment and promotion.

The complaints were filed on April 8. The Suddaguntepalya police registered two FIRs and arrested the three men identified as Mohammad Noman, Faizan Shameem and Rajarshi Bhat, all working in the company's human resource department. They were later let off on bail.  

One of the women, 24-year-old Shweta (name changed), stated in her complaint that her co-workers, especially Shameem, Rajarshi and her supervisor Noman, often passed lewd remarks about her character, looks and attire.  

She claimed the men took advantage of her traumatic past as she was molested by an Uber driver in December last year.

They would send her messages on social media, inviting her to weekend parties and suggesting that red wine increases libido.

The woman said the three men regularly texted her, sometimes well past midnight. There was always an element of sexual innuendo in their conversations. They sought sexual favours on the sly in exchange for salary increment and promotion.  

"If this is not sexual harassment, what is it," she asked in the complaint.  

Shweta said she, along with a few women employees, reported the matter to the company's sexual complaints committee and top executives. The company fired one of the men but retained two others. Shweta claimed the company asked her to resign or else she would be fired. She, however, refused to resign and decided to go to the police.  

She also served a legal notice on the company, saying she would not accept the termination order unless a valid reason/explanation was given. She feels she was fired because of the sex abuse complaint.    

The other complaint, filed by a 27-year-old staffer, also names  Faizan Shameem. The woman said  Shameem called her ugly, that she doesn't look like a woman and that her face is disgusting.  

The Suddaguntepalya police invoked IPC sections 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 504 (intentional insult) in this case.

When contacted, Deepak Mathur, the site head of Convergys' Bannerghatta Road campus, said he was not aware of the incident.

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