Dear Ankita,

Let me answer all your questions legally, but before that i must ask you to ask your friend not to come under pressure of any kind and not to pay any single penny to Management. Also no need to give any cheque to them.

Now 1st position:

Any bond executed without actually giving a proper training is totally illegal and as you already said that no training was given it is illegal and cannot be enforced by the company. As it is already mentioned by you that she has got all her dues no no issue in that.

2nd position:

Any clause restricting any employee not to take any employment after resignation is also illegal and not enforceable. So rest assure your friend that nothing going to happen at that end too. Now the only worry you might have is if they give your friend any negative feedback. the same can be covered by a nice relieving letter by them which can be easily obtained by the intervention by Labour Authorities if they refuse to give the same easily.

As per your description this company seems to some Lala type firm. These type of companies do not know the legal implications of what they issue to their employees. But dont worry company policies are not above law and you may relax as you have not done any thing wrong.

Feel free to revert in case any other clarification is required.

From India, New Delhi
Hello Sir,
True that sir. For the worst case scenario I advised her that she can always show her appointment letter and a copy of her resignation letter to future company if she wishes to re-join anywhere.
Sure sir would advise her on this.
Last night while talking to her I shared her about BK Bhatia's view points. She shared that perhaps her Director and CEO are unaware of this situation. They had recently advised the HR for a new joinee
(when HR suggested they should make a bond of some years and of so much value) that a bond and commitment should be in the hearts and not on paper.
She said since her rapport with both the CEO and director is good, she would try to arrange for an appointment with either of the two and share her concerns and they can negotiate accordingly.
Thank you very much sir for all the timely help.
I shall share the outcome for the benefits of others as well.

From India, Mumbai
An 'Equal Opportunity Employer' need not frame separate terms & conditions of engagement for 'unmarried women'. So far as the company follows, in practice, the gender sensitive statutory compliance parameters (such as Maternity Leave), I would differ with the approach suggested by TS in his last paragraph. An Agreement/ Bond is seldom gender sensitive; it is common for all.
From India, Delhi
Hello BK Bhatia,
I agree with you vis-a-vis your comments about EOE.
What I had meant was the flexibility most HR show [or ought to show] when confronted with situations of marriage, medical grounds, unforeseen family calamities, etc while deciding about invoking any Bond/Agreement terms @ the time of resignation of any employee.
Such aspects are rarely put in-writing [for reasons you mentioned], but decided on a case-to-case basis.

From India, Hyderabad
Thank you for timely advise. Also if you could answer what steps can be taken if the company refuses to give relieving and/or experience letter in such case.
And if incase (worst case scenario) she gets a legal notice from the company, how to handle it.
Thanks a lot in advance.

From India, Mumbai
Dear Ankita,
If they refuse to give her the reliving letter, please ask your friend to write an application to the Local Labour Commissioner stating that they are refusing to give her the reliving letter and also state the coercive tactics of the Management like asking for the salary of entire tenure or getting bond signed without giving any training. Before doing that you may contact a lawyer and send a legal notice stating that you are going to take the above mentioned steps. Many times it gets resolved on the legal notice itself. If not solved go ahead and lodge the complaint with Labour Commissioner.

From India, New Delhi
Hello Ankita Shah,
Kamal Kant Tyagi has given very apt & practical suggestions for your friend's PoA--as always :-)
Like the saying goes: Many people learn the hard way--when they get the 'knock', rather than utilizing their God-given brains. And this Company's HR seems to be among that lot.
All the Best.

From India, Hyderabad
It is important to go through the exact wordings of the clauses of the agreement in question. It may be possible that the clauses are not so strong or legally enforceable, and that's why the employer wants to take cheque from her to ensure that she does not join probably a competitor.
From India, Mumbai
I had been following this thread with interest.
Such un-conventional situations; need novel solutions, as suggested by members.
What I find appalling though, is how some rogue HR are always bent on exploiting the employees and give a bad name to this noble profession which stands for development of humans.
Warm regards.

From India, Delhi
Dear Ankita,

To enrich the value shared by our lawyer senior, an employee can be made to enter into a bond at the juncture of giving any training that is more specific and expensive with the clear consent of the involved employee for a specific duration. Even in that case an employee who benefited out of the training quits during the tenure, the sum payable by the employee can be only on pro-rata basis and never can be the full amount. As the employer has already reaped some output out of the training from the trained employee.

Also when coming to the point of taking up of job for 12 months outside with some other employer, it is normally called as "non-Compete agreement", which validity only my law friends and seniors has to give clarity. But to my knowledge the enforcement of such agreement in Indian context is tough.

I would suggest your friend to make a clear communication letter on what happened and whet it with a labor law practitioner and inform the top management and request for their intervention with clear evidence of sending it thru registered post. If it is not working out then as as second measure you can invite them for arbitration.

Even if it is not working, with all the facts you can approach the labor dept possibly an officer of capacity of ACL and above will be the incharge, who may be in the position to give solution. My suggestion will be to approach the court as a final measure.

From India, New Delhi

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