Anonymous
13

Dear All,

For my query, i have gone/searched through old threads, but still I am uncertain about it. A incident happened in our organization 3-4 months back where one of our Office-boy stole money from purse/wallet of 2 employees. When they complained, we observed the CCTV footages and could clearly see that person (office boy) taking out money from their wallets in their absence. We interrogated him, showed him the footage and then after a day he confessed. We recovered the stolen amount of money from him before we terminated him.

Now my confusion here is that if we have already recovered stolen money from him, then is he now eligible to get bonus? The management is in the view that we shall not pay him bonus and they support this statement by Sec.9 from Payment of Bonus Act, where under head "Disqualification for Bonus", it is mentioned that



Notwithstanding anything contained in this

Act, an employee shall be disqualified from receiving bonus under this Act, if he

is dismissed from service for --

(a) fraud; or

(b) riotous or violent behaviour while on the premises of the establishment;

or

(c) theft, misappropriation or sabotage of any property of the

establishment.

Kindly guide me if bonus is payable to that worker in this case.

From India, Ahmadabad
nathrao
3102

Did you conduct an enquiry?
Was there a written complaint from employees who lost their personal cash?
I do hope relevant CCTV portion is preserved safely.
Did you take anything in writing from office boy who stole money?
But point to be noted here is that office boy has not stolen any company property and he has refunded the amount (may be he had no way of escape).
Strictly speaking bonus cannot be denied to the office boy.

From India, Pune
In my view, recovery of the amount/goods stolen does not clear the guilty of the misconduct for which he was dismissed from service. The employee himself has rendered himself ineligible to receive any bonus. The management has all rights to disqualify the guilty employee from receiving the bonus.
However, the management "might take a lenient view" on this if there is a good reason for the same. (the one you stated above.)

From India, Bangalore
I just read what Mr. Nath wrote and confirmed that with the legal department here, theft of other employees possession does not amount to theft of company property. So pay the bonus.
Spot on Mr. Nath.

From India, Bangalore
An employee becomes disqualified for bonus if he is dismissed for fraud or theft etc. If you terminated his service for theft, then you need to examine whether the act of the employee constitutes misconduct under the service rules or terms of employment and if so whether you served on him a charge sheet to give him the opportunity to explain his conduct and whether he admitted his guilt unconditionally pursuant to such charge-sheet conducted domestic inquiry.if not, Iam doubtful that the termination falls within the purview of dismissal under Sec.9 of the Act. Other views are welcome.
B.Saikumar
NaviMumbia

From India, Mumbai
First of all, you have asked an important question anonymously with reson best known to you. That instance gives rise to some doubt whether the case discussed is a real one or just an academic query of a student of law or mba.
Secondly, you have not discussed anything about conduct of formal inquiry and its outcome after giving him the opportunity to defend his position before terminating him.
However, all depends upon whether or not due formal prescribed process was adopted in terminating his services after formal inquiry in the case of his involvement in theft before resorting to his termination. Otherwise, on assuming all due processes were adopted by the organisation, the proposed action is correct as per legal position.

From India, Delhi
nathrao
3102

@Secureplussolutions,
Why are you bringing in humanity aspect?.
The matter being discussed was to find a legal solution to the query-whether a person found stealing employees personal items be refused bonus in terms of section 9 of the Bonus Act.
And another point why are you using capital letters like this??
It is equivalent to shouting.

From India, Pune
Logically he need not be paid, technically/legally -??
The bonus entitled stands forfeited in the circumstances enumerated u/s 9 of the Payment of Bonus Act which includes theft. Provided a formal inquiry was instituted and due process of law was enforced which culminated into termination. But the very forfeiture can be enforced only when the formal inquiry findings also passes a specific/speaking order forfeiting the bonus accrued. If a specific order of forfeiture is not passed/silent about it, then the bonus due otherwise has to be paid.

From India, Bangalore
nathrao
3102

""The bonus entitled stands forfeited in the circumstances enumerated u/s 9 of the Payment of Bonus Act which includes theft.""
Theft of company property is what is mentioned in the referred section.
Here theft is personal money of employee.(totally wrong of the thief to do such things)
Technically and legally there is a distinction.

From India, Pune
Mr. Anonymous,
You have not clarified the position, as I pointed out by me 3 days back. Your silence clearly indicates that either your query was a hypothetical academic query, or you have assumed the theft to have been committed without giving the employee an oportunity to defend by adopting proper domestic inquiry process. Can you please come out with the reality about your query?

From India, Delhi

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