Aman Khan allegedly forced to resign for speaking against religious bias

PUNE: A 37-year-old software engineer from Pune-based firm has alleged that he was forced to resign company following a ‘bigotry’ at work.

Aman Khan, the breadwinner for his 12 immediate and extended family members joined the company, EXFO Electro Optical Engineering India Private Limited in 2015 and was rewarded with a promotion from principal software tester to technical lead.

In his letter to the labour commissioner, the engineer claimed that the senior manager Kishore Kotecha made some comment at his “religious practices and attire” when he return back to his work place after offering ‘Namaz’.

Seeking action, Aman complaint against his senior manager for alleged harassment on religious ground at the workplace, but the company, EXFO instead terminated him on June 12.

Aman, finding no other option left has filed a complaint with labour commissioner office alleging “religious discrimination” and “mental harassment” by his seniors.

Speaking to DNA, Aman said, “This incident took place on April 6. Since it was Friday, I had taken a small break to offer namaz. I was wearing Pathani and as a religious practice, I covered my head with a handkerchief. After offering the namaz, I came back to my work place and continued working. I, however, forgot to remove my handkerchief.”

“Seeing my head covered with handkerchief, my senior manager called me into his cabin where he started asking me several questions over my attire and my religious practices. Even when I showed him my reluctance about speaking over these issues, he continued raising questions over my attire,” Khan added.

Extremely hurt by discussion, Aman reported the matter to the company HR but faced the action from the management who decided the termination of Aman from the Company is a better option.

He said, “On June 12, I was called to MD’s cabin where I was told about my termination. They forcefully made me sign the resignation letter.”

Meanwhile, the company issued a statement on the issue. “EXFO is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we have utmost respect for our employees and their beliefs. We value our employees and we are proud to have a diverse workforce. We do not tolerate any kind of discrimination. We take any feedback from our employees very seriously. Our employee attrition rate is one of the lowest in industry.”

“Annual performance management is a well-established process and it is aimed at retaining our high performing employees. Out of respect for employee privacy, EXFO does not comment on individual employee conduct/performance,” the statement read.