The speed at which information spreads online can seriously damage a company, and ensuring an adequate grievance mechanism for disgruntled employees is crucial as the law balances ill intent with freedom of speech, writes Amit Anand

In the first week of September 2018, the Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgment, decriminalized homosexuality, bringing cheer to millions of gay sex rights campaigners.

As the Indian gay community and their supporters erupted in celebrations, Gaurav, a former employee of Tech Mahindra, a large information technology services company, was busy writing an email to his former manager, a mail that he had sworn to write the day that homosexuality is made lawful in India.

His manager, who had by then gone on to become the chief diversity and inclusivity officer at the company, was openly homophobic and racist and had a history of bullying and jeering at him for his sexual orientation, he alleged.

Gaurav posted screenshots of the mail on Twitter, the social media platform, which went viral, subjecting Tech Mahindra to fierce online criticism. The company stepped in and conducted an investigation, and swiftly dismissed the offending employee.

While the company reacted quickly and did the right things, the whole incident brought a lot of unflattering attention in the couple of days it took the company to catch up with the situation, causing reputational damage to an international brand.

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