Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Korgaonkar K A
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
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Thread Started by #bdmehta009

Couple of years back I had done one project as a free lancer and then had created a website with details. The website showed me as a freelancer. However, I have then moved on and joined various companies.
In the current company, the manager found about this website and reported to CEO as conflict of intrest. CEO is planning to file FIR.
Please suggest if this is valid as I have not taken any freelancing job while working for the company.
20th February 2014 From India, Bangalore
Please explain this to your CEO.
Anything on Web will survive for almost forever. You can not be penalized for a work that you have done earlier.
As a CEO of a software company, he should be smart enough to understand this, and the game played by by your manager.
The problem with certain companies is that they try to own the employee, rather than his services and contributions.
Warm regards.
21st February 2014 From India, Delhi
Dear Bdmehta009,
You have not committed any cognizable offense and therefore, your CEO can not file FIR against you. You have not taken any freelancing job while working with the company, you need not to worry. As suggested by our Super Moderator Raj Kumar ji, you are advised to explain this facts to your CEO.
21st February 2014 From India, Mumbai
Dear Sirs,
I thank you for your reply. They have given me a Suspension notice and have asked me to cooperate while the internal investigation is completed. Until then, I am not allowed to go to office and not take any other work or job with other company.
22nd February 2014 From India, Bangalore
File an FIR against the company for mentally harassing you and report the matter with Labour Commissioner and clear all the facts...Also if possible please contact the owner of website as well and get his statement admitted in front of Labour Commissioner as well as in Police Station that this work was done by you before the joining of this organization also file for compensation.
22nd February 2014 From India, Delhi
Dear Bdmehta009,
I am sorry to know about the suspension notice issued to you. You need to approach a good advocate with all the documents and facts and figures. Please approach an advocate who knows cyber law also.
What is written in the suspension notice? What reason is given in this notice? Is it a suspension pending enquiry? It should be a suspension pending enquiry.
Hope you have not renewed the website /domain etc. during the tenure of your employment. If that is so, according to me it is not a serious issue.
22nd February 2014 From India, Mumbai
Thank you for the reply.
Fact is that I am owner of the website, it was created in 2011 and in that I had mentioned about my free lancing services. However, as I got a good job in a MNC in that year, I did not do any further freelancing job. After working with that MNC until Sept 2013, I had joined my current organization. Until today I have not done any free lancing job, just that the website existed and I kept on renewing the domain. Also, when I had joined the current organization, they did not have any of their portal in place and they had to show an output to the client.
I had then offered it to host it on my domain and had sent an email to the manager with the link. Manager had then forwarded this link to client as well.
23rd February 2014 From India, Bangalore
Thank you for the reply, I am happy for the support I am receiving from you.
I have approached a good lawyer and given the facts, even the lawyer is of an opinion that I have not done anything wrong. The suspension order states that until the internal enquiry is completed, I must not undertake any new job or work.
23rd February 2014 From India, Bangalore
It has been 3 months since I am suspended from the job and the company has not paid me for the month of April 2014. HR has told me that the company will be sending notices to my residential address with all the details pertaining to the lapses on my side, however nothing has come so far and it has been a week since I met HR.
What options do i have?
21st May 2014 From India, Bangalore
Dear BD Mehta,

I recommend you approaching labour officer of your area. Explain your problem. Show him/her printout of your communication with HR. Check whether your company has defaulted on suspending an employee but not going ahead with the domestic enquiry. Sooner they suspended you, they should have initiated an enquiry.

Their second default is non-payment of salary for the month of Apr 2014. This is violation of Payment of Wages Act, 1936.

Labour Officer will entertain you if you are a workman. If he entertains you then you will be availing of the mechanism created by the government to redress your grievance. If you are not workman then he may not entertain you but then you may request him to provide his valuable opinion to handle the case.


Dinesh Divekar

21st May 2014 From India, Bangalore
Thank you sir for the reply.
After my followup email to the HR Director, he has replied that he will meet me next week. However, in the past as well after the meeting they have pushed things to the next week and did not take any decision. I am not sure if this time around they will give any solution.
I had met the Deputy Commissioner of the Labour department, he told me that he can send a notice to the employer, however as I am earning above 10,000 a month, the case has to be handled by the Civil court and not Labour.
What should I do, send the resignation irrespective of the meeting to be held or wait as to what happens in the meeting?
22nd May 2014 From India, Bangalore
Dear BD Mehta,

Notice from Labour Commissioner is always the right path to follow. Nothing wrong if you tell them to send the notice. After keeping you under suspension for months together, if HR Director says that he will handle your case in the next week then it only goes on to show how much sensitivity he attaches to the issue. If HR Director postpones the meeting, it should work to your advantage.

Keep the evidence of his communication. If you have evidence of the past communication, let it be included in the notice from Labour Office.

Do not resign at this stage as resignation could weaken your case. Wait at least till the tripartite meeting happens. Have they paid you any subsistence allowance? You have not mentioned that. Non-payment of wages is one single weapon through which you can beat the other side down. It cannot stand scrutiny of the law in any case.

In response to the notice from labour office, your company has to present their case. Labour officer will give verdict, however it is not binding on the either party. If you are not satisfied with the verdict given by labour office then you are free to adopt course of litigation.

Going to the labour office is trying to settle the issue through proper channel. Court will surely look into this factor. However, be it known that course of litigation is quite time consuming. Even if you win, the victory may not bring cheer on your face. In India, slow pace of litigation kills the spirit of justice.

By the way, there could be possibility of your management developing cold feet on receipt of the notice from labour office. During the tripartite meeting, be calm, be polite but be firm. Do not sell out yourself. Bargain as much as possible. Tell them to reinstate you, tell them to pay you all the back wages with interest and revoke the suspension.

One more bargaining tactic, you may tell them that you could file supplementary case for mental harassment caused out of non-payment of wages.

If they do not agree then tell them to pay you till the date of negotiation and obtain agreement to issue the employment-cum-service certificate without any negative remarks.

In such cases, generally labour officer's stand supposed to be neutral. However, they are known to tilt in workman's favour. Take advantage of that explore possibility of making him your spokesperson.

All the best!

Dinesh Divekar
22nd May 2014 From India, Bangalore
Dear Sir,
I thank you for the reply and valuable guidance.
I am hoping that the meeting on 29th with the HR Director will be fruitful and I get a clean closure.
How much it will affect my future prospects to work for MNCs if I go legal?

26th May 2014 From India, Bangalore
Today, during the meeting the EVP - HR has awarded me a show cause notice with the same points that were discussed during the interrogation that the third party audit team had done. I need to reply to it in 5 working days. Though my lawyer is assisting me to draft a reply, I would like to know your thoughts.
What legal options do I have? Can a company behave in this manner and also not pay the salary?
EVP told me that depending on my reply to the Show Cause notice, they will take a final decision. As it may have financial implications, they are not paying me the salary, however verbally he has allowed me to take up freelancing work.
Your reply will be of a great support.
attribution https://www.citehr.com/private.php?d...#ixzz33DCyPkgL

30th May 2014 From India, Bangalore
Dear BD Mehta,
What is the verbatim of the show cause notice? You could have mentioned it here. Unless we know the contents of the show cause notice, no suggestions can be given as such.
Dinesh Divekar
30th May 2014 From India, Bangalore
Dear Sir,
Here is the verbatim used in the notice.
It has been ascertained that you have been involved with the following:
L. Engaging in activities which are in conflict of interest with company Business
2. Soliciting business while employed with the company
3. Misuse of company assets and resources for purposes not related to your work
4. Unauthorised sharing of proprietary data
5. Carrying out business deals while employed with the company

1st June 2014 From India, Bangalore
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