27 April, 2006

LG: Life's not Good

A pregnant woman has alleged that the company she worked for terminated her services recently — without giving any reason — because she was due to take maternity leave in a few months time.

Meenu Grover, a former employee of LG Electronics Middle East Co Ltd, has said that her company terminated her services suddenly on March 22 without giving any explanation. She also says that the incidence has caused her severe mental stress and discomfort during her pregnancy for which she had to be admitted at Zulekha Hospital as well.

Meenu, who has worked with LG Electronics as a call centre representative for one-and-a-half years said: “One day, out of the blue, my manager handed me my termination letter which simply said that my services were terminated with immediate effect. I was also asked to serve a one-month notice from the date that the notice was issued.”

Meenu also said that she begged with her immediate superiors to let her speak to the managers so that she could know the reason for her termination, but her request was denied. “I felt humiliated and shocked because I know that I have not been terminated because of my work performance, but due to the fact that I am pregnant,” says Meenu, who has been awarded an appreciation certificate by the company for her good performance and has also been rewarded monetarily for her services.

“After I pleaded with the managers, I was casually told that one reason for your termination could be the fact that you are pregnant, and the company has to give you maternity and annual leave plus other dues, so they thought it was better to terminate your services,” explained the distraught Indian woman. “But still, I was offered no reason though all my dues have been cleared,” she added.

She also said that during her pregnancy, she had taken only seven days off out of the 15 allowed to her. “I also presented a report from a doctor at Zulekha Hospital to the company saying that I needed rest,” explains Meenu, who has conceived after two years of her marriage and is due to deliver in July. Meenu refused the company’s offer to continue to work for another month, and in the process forfeited the salary that she was due to get. “With what face would I have continued to work in the company after I learnt that the reason for my termination was my pregnancy,” she said.

Interestingly, when Khaleej Times contacted the LG Electronics management, the matter was handled very casually. “What reason does she want?” Madhu from the Accounts and Human Resource Department, asked ‘Khaleej Times’, and he also did not deny that she might have been sacked because of her pregnancy and the expenditure the company might have to incur on her later. But despite promising to give a detailed reply, no company official responded to ‘Khaleej Times’. Meenu later reported that company officials called her up and harrassed her. “Though I have suffered, I do not want other women to be subjected to the same kind of treatment meted out to me by the company,” adds Meenu, who is now flying to India for her delivery.

According to Article 117 of the UAE Labour Law: “Both the employer and the worker may terminate a contract of employment of unlimited duration for a ‘VALID REASON’ at any time, following its conclusion by giving the other party notice in writing at least 30 days before the termination.”  Article 124 also says: “It shall not be lawful for any employer to terminate the service of a worker on the ground of deficient health before he takes the periods of leave of which he is lawfully entitled.”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

pathetic!

Anonymous said...

Yes, extremely unfair. I'm also documenting this case for a report that will be published. Hence, through media exposure this woman's suffering may bring change to other women's lives if the UAE government follows up on forcing such companies to comply with the laws (btw. pregnancy is not a sickness and cannot be argued as such). I really wish women (or men) would stand up to whoever for such cases, irrespective of who they are standing up for. Principle is principle.

Anonymous said...

So LG might or might not have acted illegaly, I dont know, but I know one way LG can be made to pay for this. Boycott them and their products. Let them know about it. More of this type of action should happen in the UAE to keep these firms honest.

Anonymous said...

Myself being an ex employee of LG Electronics (Dubai) can assure you that meenu whom I have known personally is indeed a courages lady who has taken it to the outside world. These guys are really sick who care less for the others(non Koreans).

Dubai Man said...

the workers case is just the tip of the iceberg...
have you noticed that all of the workers have very dark sking color and the suppervisors have a lighter skin color
there are people in dubai that are being racist against people of color
and to confirm just check with the courts of dubai, there is acase between emaar and a black american who was treated very badly and the security were racist towards him...
emaar is supposed to be part goverment and represents dubai and it claims that it is an international company... this is madness
how can such a thing happen in dubai...
i call on dubai lovers to react... we can't allow emaar or people who are working their to ruin dubai and it's reputation...

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