Saswatabanerjee
Partner - Risk Management
V.Raghunathan
Process Industry Consultant / Soft Skill
Tsivasankaran
Consultant
Bharghavi.D
Hr Assistant
Tajsateesh
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Venkatraghavanm
Ir, Er, Payroll, Recruitment,
Rakesh Pd Srivastav
Chief Manager - Hr (plant Head Hr)
+2 Others

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Hi Everybody,

One of our employee left the organization abruptly on the last day of the month by putting up a resignation at the CLOSING HOURS. Before leaving she ensured to delete all the data from her allotted machine. Next day morning, I saw that resignation mail, her PC with no data and all the closets were left open. The same was reported to the management and we stopped her salary payment of the previous month.

On calling upon, she mentioned that there was nothing important for handover and hence she did that. We sent her an email as written reprimand that her salary is on hold due to 2 reason.

a. No proper handover

b. Deleting the data which is supposed to be company's asset.

Few days later, she sent a mail with the subject - "Unemployment case, due claims due to forcebale resignation obtained by your Company". She has mentioned to appoint a lawyer and take this matter to competent government authority for claiming her salary and also notice pay salary of 15 days as the probationary clause in the appointment letter mentions;

1. During probation an employee may terminate this appointment by giving 15 day prior notice or by depositing the notice pay i.e. salary for equivalent working days.

Now, I want to understand that does the company need to pay her the salary when she has not served the probation by herself?
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Dear Hiral
What this employee has done is a misconduct that resulted in loss to the company
Get the details of it recorded in your internal files
The company can hold her salary.
In fact, you can have your lawyer send a notice of recovery of cost / losses from her.
The above is the substance of the matter, it would make sense for you to ask your company lawyer or an expert in labour law to help you prepare for the case, including preventive measures that you may need to adopt.
Further, whether she can approach the labour officer will depend on what act your organisation is covered under and what was the position of the employee in question (covered as worker or not, etc). Your course of action also depends on that
Any resignation will become valid only on acceptance by the Mgmt and should have been submitted through the reporting authority. In this case there is no proper resignation and in the event of any dispute it can be fought as a case of abandonment and she can be asked to report for duty and if wants to resign to submit in a proper manner.
M.Venkatraghavan

We did sent the notice, but she has replied as if she's been forcefully asked to put up the resignation.
Secondly, it is difficult to prove that data is deleted by her. What do you think can be done then?
Dear Hiral,

The Employee in question did what we all call it very unprofessional and unethical in our corporate world. She was on probation and was under the obligation to serve 15 day's of Notice Period or pay 15 day's of salary in lieu thereof (which doesn't find mention in your text). Technically, she can leave the job without waiting for her resignation to be accepted and get 15 day's of salary to be deducted from her full and final account (Resignation can be submitted through email /post while a person is away from his/her work place and is not in a position to come to the work place due to illness or any other situation beyond his or her control).

As stated by you, it is difficult for your management to prove that all important data have been deleted by her. Secondly, if the matter goes to court and court takes her side by telling the management to reinstate her as she claims that her resignation was a forcible one. Under the circumstance, your management will be left with no option other than taking her back in the service which I am sure your Management will not be happy to do as the Employee has a doubtful credential and integrity. Your Management will also never pursue the matter as a case of abandonment as she left the job without waiting for her resignation to be accepted.

Best option, in my opinion, is to relieve her with immediate action and deduct whatever amount is legally due for recovery. In case of any further clarity, pls feel free to ask.

Rgds,

Rakesh Pd Srivastav
It seems a conflict that is caused by both parties...

Though, it seems that she has not followed the protocol, it will be HR responsibility to clear the case dues. Company can't just hold on the payment for 2 months, if it is not mentioned in the contract.

Also, organisations are required to reply on resignations within a specified period. If it is not done, then if employee calls it forceful resignation, HR will have no documentation to prove otherwise. Did HR issue a letter specifying about acceptance/deniel about her resignation? Was there a reason given?

'Deleting company property data' is a serious accusion. HR should confirm with IT department before making such accusitions.

What was the 'value' of the data deleted by her?

Was it a IT policy to keep company data on personal / local PC? Was it not stored on seperate server (With access control) & have backup as per quality protocols?

Did she delete the data from server/backup or just the personal copies from her local machine? If she just deleted the local copies, then actually she is 'following' the IT policies.

HR can claim the 'no proper handover', but cannot hold the payments for longer than 15 days (If that is mentioned so in the contract).

Actually, sometimes HR goes so much into making an example, that they forget how far they should go!

This thing should be cleared with mutual communication, but in many of the companies HR tries to avoid it as much as possible. Then in some genuine cases, the employees are forced to do such things. Was this one of such cases?

I think better thing to do will be to:

1. Set up a meeting with her

2. Ask her to complete the handover procedure

3. Explain to her the importance of clearance / experience letter for her, as well as importance of handover procedure to company

4. Discuss transperantly & professionally the deductables from the pay as per contract.

5. Issue the remaining payment & finish clearance procedures

This will not only clear the matter, but will also give her confidence in the HR processes, & she may probably be more faithful to her next employer.

Also, this will set a better example to all other employees in the company, than to see her punished legally into court.

Regards,

Amod Bobade.
Hello Hiral Mehta,

Further to what the other members suggested, pl check-out if any of the data she deleted was of ANY TRUE VALUE to the company.

Apart from the technicalities [she not handing-over properly, deleting the data, etc], suggest make a cost-benefit analysis of what would it cost the company IF you went legal. If you think it's worth it, suggest begin the legal proceedings.

In a nutshell, this employee seems to be 'over-smart' rather than 'smart'. She seems to be banking on a 'presumption' that the company won't/can't go legal.

There's another reason why I think you shouldn't let this go unchallenged--especially if your company strength is high. This COULD set a PRECEDENCE FOR OTHERS to follow suit--hope you get what I mean. I guess you could make this a criminal case too, rather than just a civil case.

Also, w.r.t. the suggestion of Rakesh Pd Srivastav--that your contention(s) could be tough to prove. In a way, he is right. But so too would the same apply to the employee. For eg., she doesn't have the formal Acceptance Letter from the company, even if her version of 'forcible resignation' is taken for granted--which is likely to go against her in the court. Your advocate can come-up with more such points.

Usually, it's more tougher for an individual than for a company to handle things legally in the long-run--given the time, effort & expenses involved [more so the time part, given that cases drag for years in India].

And in case her next/future employer(s) get to know of the fact that she's involved in such a case, it could be tough for her to settle in any job.

All the Best.

Rgds,

TS
From a plain reading of the facts as described by you, I get a feeling that all facts are not covered here.
She has resigned on her own?? There is something behind all the facts and unless you can disclose the case completely, you may not
get right adviice
T sivasankaran
I can say that the employee has just shown her arrogance or stubbornness in this act...
This kind of acts can happen only when the employee in in hypertension or in temper or when she is psychologically disturbed..
Donot only think in a one way... but go around the bush for such an impact from her..
What exactly was her psychological condition at that moment.. check her call records.. check for any unpleasant incidents that would have occured for her to behave in this manner.. which can lead us to a better solution and better manner to handle this case...before taking any unwilful and unpleasant decisions...
Regards,
Bharghavi
Hello!!
Now this is how her resignation goes -
"Dear Sir,
I would like to resign from my position as Designation with Company's name
It was a pleasant & wonderful experience working here . Thank you very much for the assistance, guidance and mentoring provided till date.
I wish Company every success in the future."
I don't understand why is it not important to receive acceptance over this and why should we clear her claims by deducting 15 days notice pay. What if the work hampers during her absence in that critical role.
Again, she has tendered the resignation from office at the Closing hours which means she was neither ill nor in a situation wherein she cannot attend come to office.
And, with this kind of resignation, how does is that she can prove that it was a forcible resignation? Why would court take her side like you mentioned.
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