NHRC issues notice TN govt over gender discrimination in Foxconn hiring | Company News

Taking suo-motu cognizance of media reports, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the central labour secretary and chief secretary of the Tamil Nadu government over allegations that Foxconn systematically excludes married women from hiring at its assembly plant in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. It has given a week’s time to both for a detailed report on the matter.

“The NHRC has taken suo-motu cognizance of media reports that Foxconn, a major manufacturer of Apple devices, has systematically excluded married women from jobs at its iPhone assembly plant in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. The commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, raise a serious issue of discrimination against married women, causing a violation of the right to equality and equal opportunity. Therefore, the commission has issued notices to the secretary, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, and the chief secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, calling for a detailed report on the matter within one week,” said the human rights body in a statement on Monday.

The commission further notes that it is alleged by a former HR executive at Foxconn, India, that verbal directions have been given to the Indian hiring agencies by the company in this regard. It is also stated that the company does not hire married women because of cultural issues and societal pressure.

“Issuing the notices, the commission has noted the fact that gender equality is not only required by the Indian Constitution but also by international treaties and covenants. It is the obligation of the state authorities to ensure that all companies follow the norms and regulations relating to labour laws and the right to health and dignity for any individual, including women, who are working in the supply chain of any production unit of the private sector,” the body said.

According to media reports last week, it was revealed that only unmarried women were eligible for assembly jobs, while there was no mention of this in the advertisements made by the company.

“A WhatsApp chat between a married candidate and the hiring agency of the company was also quoted in the news report, stating that when the candidate asked about the salary and childcare facility offered by the company, the response was ‘married not allowed’. The company, reportedly, refuted the allegations of discrimination in employment based on marital status, gender, religion, or any other form,” the statement by NHRC further said.

Previously, on June 26, the central labour ministry had also sought a detailed report from the Tamil Nadu labour department on the matter.

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