I need your advice. I’ve been wrongfully & illegally terminated from my confirm service without citing any reason & by victimizing me as I highlighted all non-compliant practices in which higher management were involved.
I'm designated as Area Business Manager in MNC in India. Under Whistle blow policy I've informed HR Director about wrong & non compliant practices where higher management is involved. Within 10 days MD & HR came to my city & started interrogating me on False allegation against me. Then they send ticket to come down to HO without any mail invitation & agenda. I went & they suggest me to stop all investigations & destroy all evidences, I resist so they forced me to resign. I didn't resign & came back. They immediately cancelled my return ticket & locked my Outlook express. They tried to snatch my Laptop which has got all evidences. I resist & came out of office. I told them I'll handover all to Global Compliance committee. I've reported this to Global Compliance Team.
Same evening they send termination letter on my personal mail id. matter of letter is here "Refer to the discussions you had today at Head Office. Your services are being terminated with immediate effect. Your were requested to handover all company assets to your supervisor. You willfully and knowingly left the office without handing over company assets. When called and requested to return to the office to return assets you again refused and are returning to your Home town. We are therefore constrained to file an official complaint for the recovery of our company assets."
Next day I replied on same mail & denied to accept Termination without citing any reason. I wrote following:-
“Request you to kindly take note of the fact that I do not accept this termination letter as it has not been issued in adherence to the relevant labor laws of India & it's not in accordance to the provisions laid down in the principle of natural Justice. Therefore keeping in view the procedural lapsation made herein during issuance of my termination letter. I hereby request you kindly withdraw this letter of termination of services which has been issued wrongfully & illegally immediately, failing which I'll be compelled to take shelter of relevant regulatory as well as judicial bodies to seek justice from all ends. Moreover request you kindly take note of the fact that I've not returned the company assets which are in my custody since the termination letter is itself null & vide. Awaiting your kind cooperation & respond in this regards.”
1 week later HR replied
“An internal office note to this effect was circulated for termination of the relationship in compliance with the requirement of Clause of Severance. It is the intention of communicating this decision that you’ve been flown to HO to meet your supervisor. The order passed by the management in effecting separation of relationship in a simplicitor manner and it’s appropriate and based on office note approved by management in this behalf 2 days earlier.”
I expressed them to return IT assets & replied “I'll handover all said assets under protest & without prejudice to my rights & contentions”. I expressed my Grievances relating to illegal termination & request for a fair opportunity of defence. I wrote to HR that
“You have mentioned that I have been terminated as per the provisions of Severance Clause of my appointment letter. Severance Clause of my appointment letter states as follows : Your services can be terminated by the Company by giving you two months notice or two months salary in lieu of notice period. Similarly, in the event of your resignation, you shall give two months notice or salary in lieu of two months notice period. You shall not be entitled to adjust your pending leave / salary in lieu with the notice period unless so permitted by the Company. Unless otherwise directed by the Company, you will continue to discharge your duties during the entire notice period. Your resignation shall not be effective unless accepted.
If at any time in the opinion of the Company, which is final in this matter, you are insolvent or found guilty of dishonesty, disobedience, disorderly behavior, negligence, indiscipline, absent from duty without prior permission, committing a breach of any of the terms, conditions and stipulations contained in the appointment letter and on your part to be observed and performed or in violation of one or more terms of the said letter , or any other conduct considered by the Company detrimental to its interests , your services are liable to be terminated forthwith, without any notice / salary in lieu of notice period, without prejudice to any other action, rights or remedies available at law.
As per paragraph (1) of clause (7) of the referred appointment letter dated it has been categorically mentioned that the Company is free to terminate me at any point of time subject to two months prior notice.
As per paragraph (2) of clause (7) of such appointment letter it has been mentioned that the Company is at liberty to terminate upon establishment of the fact that there has been dishonesty, disobedience, disorderly behavior, negligence, indiscipline, absent from duty without prior permission, committing a breach of any of the terms, conditions and stipulations etc , at any point of time.
It is pertinent to mention here that neither any two months prior notice was served upon me, nor any allegation as mentioned in paragraph no. (2) of clause (7) was levied , communicated or established upon. In case of allegations regarding dishonesty, disobedience, disorderly behavior, negligence, indiscipline, absent from duty without prior permission, committing a breach of any of the terms, conditions and stipulations if any, it is a settled point of law that such allegations ought to have been communicated to the person against whom they are made and such person should get a fair chance to defend himself.
I beg to state that no such allegations were ever communicated to me. Thus we can conclude that there are no such allegations. I was illegally and arbitrarily terminated. Such termination has been sheer violation of my fundamental rights. I would also like to state that I have been forced by the Company to surrender my laptop , phone and i-pad which were given to me by the Company containing all relevant documents during my service. I have returned them without any prejudice to and reserving my rights. In these circumstances you are hereby requested to inform me that under which provision of clause (7) of my appointment , I was terminated.”
HR Replied on this follows:
“Please note that Severance Clause para 1 provides for termination by giving 2 month notice or 2 month salary in lieu of notice period. This clause is very specific. There is no requirement to give you 2 month notice before termination of services nor do you have any RIGHT to hearing any manner. You’re advised not to impute such types of allegations in your letter. Your notice pay will be release with full & final settlement. “
Can HR send this kind of termination letter without any show cause, domestic enquiry, and opportunity to defend the allegations?
How Can I challenge them in Civil Court? What should I do now? Please help me with your expertise advice. 20th April 2014 From India, Mumbai
Mine is almost similar situation.But in my case I resigned first and then gave three months notice(one month more than required).on the last day i was called to corporate office and instead giving the relieving letter I received a charge letter signed by MD of the company and handed over by Head HR & my functional head. They asked to sign a copy of that which I did not agree.I returned the laptop & mobile and asked Head-HR to acknowledge, but he did not acknowledge.Then Ieft CO .The charge letter was sent by registd post by this company.Then I replied politely to this letter and asking them to settle my accounts with relieving certificate etc.then again I got a letter signed by Head-HR re-iterating those charges and company would take its time to settle my accounts.Then after a month I received a legal notice from the company asking me to send an apology letter & to submit Rs 25 lacs as a compensation to loss of business etc. Then I approcahed a high court advocate and replied to their all allegations claiming that legal notice is a ploy to stop my hard earned dues and refusing to provide the relieving letter is a violation of indian constitution(fundamental right to work) and universal violation of human rights(mental harassment) etc.So far I have not received any reply from the company( reply sent 1 month before).currently I am doing some consultancy works.
In your case also if you feel strongly about your victimisation etc you can file a legal case against the company.For this you have to discuss with a high cout advocate/labour law specialist.
1. If you are a manager (by nature of work not by mere position) then you can challenge the termination before High Court. However, this procedure is very time consuming as well as expensive.
2. If you are a workman (irrespective of you designation) under Industrial Disputes Act, then you can approach labour commissioner and labour court/ industrial tribunal. Under this act, your termination seems to be defective prima facie. If you win the case, you will be entitled to claim reinstatement and back wages. ID Act is beneficial legislature and cases are resolved quicker than high court.
For more info check my blog at www.labourlawhub.com 20th April 2016 From India, Kolkata
Cite.Co - is a repository of information created by your industry peers and experienced seniors. Register Here and help by adding your inputs to this topic/query page. Prime Sponsor: TALENTEDGE - Certification Courses for career growth from top institutes like IIM / XLRI direct to device (online digital learning)