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Dear All,

I am working as a software engineer in a service based company(XYZ Tech). I joined the company in August 2014 as a fresher(0 year experience). At the time of joining the company, I was asked to sign a bond(of INR Rs 125000/-), with the bond period being 18 months. For the first 18 months, I am on \'Probation\'. I was given on On-the-job-training,as I was routed to a project in the first week itself. Thereafter, things were working fine. I was given the Dev profile. Theoretically(according to the company) my training period ended in the last week of November 2014. Then all of a sudden, my manager was given a separate load of a new project in December 1st week,2014. She kept me back in the old project. Then in February 2015(first week), I was moved to the new project. Soon my manager began harassing me publicly for no reason. She declined providing me training for the new project. So when things were all good till January, all of a sudden everything changed. It was not just with me, there were other people too. She could be found screaming on anyone everyday. I(and others) were working for 10+ hours on a regular basis and yet she expected us to work beyond that. Though we were not paid for over time and were asked to fill only 9 hours in the Time Sheet. On one incident,I refused working till 11pm (after having worked till 9:30pm)which probably hurt her ego. Thereafter, she distanced herself from me and eventually refrained from assigning me any work. After over 1 month of the situation of no-work, I went to the HR and asked her to intervene. But the HR could not help me out much. So after 1.5 months of the unchanged attitude of the manager and her not assigning me work, in May 2015, I eventually asked for a release from the project and requested me to find me another project OR send me to Bench. But the company has a policy that it has to keep the freshers in the project for the first 15 months after their initial 3 months of training months. It took them over over almost 2 months to transfer me to a different project. That project comes under the same General Manager and same Delivery Unit(DU) as that of the previous project; so it was essentially a re-adjustment within the same DU, a common practice in my company. Both the project managers are close friends both the projects run in the same work area as well. Now in August 2015, as soon as we completed one year in the company, the GM and the project manager started forcing me to join different projects. They basically went down on a ramp-down spree, re-adjusted several freshers. Changed the DU of a couple of freshers. I was twice being forced to join a Support Project and I declined the change of projects both the times, because those projects did not match my skill sets and I did not found them fulfilling from the prospect of my career. Now at the time of signing the bond(at the time of joining the company), I had agreed to work on any role and any project(because it was there in the bond agreement papers and I had to sign them to join the company). But since I had rejected the transfers, so the HR is FORCING me to resign. For me being shed off from the project, they are saying that there are performance issues which is absolutely a lie. And even if that is true, then the project manager never communicated that to me. I had been sincerely working and it looked fine. The HR is saying that since I had declined those projects and as a fresher I am not allowed to decline. And \'just because\' I had refused to join the project, so I am now bound to be terminated. As of today, another 5 months remains before the completion of my bond period. Now the thing is:

a) I never had a discussion over my performance with my project managers.

b) My current manager refused to answer my questions(infront of the HR) when asked where all my performance lacked.

c) I was never put under any sort of Performance Improvement Plan.

d) I refused to join the support projects also because according to the policies of my company, support profile freshers are paid lesser than those in Dev profile. But Dev is what my interest is and this is what I told them.

e) As per the policy, I need to complete 15 months with the same project, before any new project could absorb me. And add to it, due to the my HR issues, it is not really possible that I could be absorbed by any other project.

So last week, my HR forced me to resign-by-will or else then she will terminate me. In the former case, my HR said that I would be paid 3 months basic pay and my bond would be waved off. In the later case, she threatened me that I would have to pay the bond money. And I would not be provided my experience letter until I have paid the bond amount. She also stated that in the later case, she would black-list me and I would not be able to join the company in the future.

She stood over my head to write an email which mentioned that I would either find myself a project by Monday or else the HR action would be initiated. Anyhow, I got the deadline extended by the end of this week, i.e, this Friday.

Now my questions are:

1) What should I do in this case? Which of the two options should I choose?

2) Are bond legal in India?

3) Are these bonds one-sided or two-sided?

4) What all legal options are available at my disposal?

From India, Noida
In my opinion choose " resign at will" and join another company which suits your work ethic.
Moreover in India, employment bond is valid and legal under certain limits.
Though it seems that unaffair treatment is done to you but its only one side of the story. If you are going for legal action against the organization you need more valid proof.
Kindly look
Section 15, Indian contact act 1872, coercion as a crime.
Article 19, 23 of Indian Constitution

From India, Bhubaneswar
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