Termination And Notice Period Pay - CiteHR
Madhu.T.K
Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Saswatabanerjee
Partner - Risk Management
Kamlmishwar
Software Engineer
Nathrao
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Riteshmaity
Labour Law Advocate
+2 Others

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Hi
I Joined a IT Company, bangalore On 8 June 2015. I Had A Travel To Onsite For 30days and as per Company Policy, I Had To Submit The Bills For The Travel
I Submitted The Bills But By Mistake , I Had A Duplicate Claim Only For Flight Ticket.
The Duplicate Claim Got Approved By The Vice President Of The Company, As My Manager Had Resigned From The Company.
The Claim Got Reimbursed In The Month Of Dec 2015. On Account Of Audits, I Was Informed By The Finance Team To Return The Amount. I Returned The Amount To The Company In The Month Of March 2016. Meanwhile, I Was Deputed To A Local Customer Of The Company For An Assignment. After Two Months, During May 2016, I Get An Intimation From The HR That I Have Been Terminated From The Job Due To Integrity Issue.
I Didnt Accept The Termination As I Took The Incident As A Mistake, But HR Didnt Accept It. Finally I Was Terminated. I Was Told To Put A Resignation And This Process Just Took Two Days To Complete. In This Whole Case, The Company Representatives Didnt Inform The Customer ( Where I Was Deputed ) .
I Would Like To Know Whether The Company Should Pay The Notice Period Amount To Me, Because As Per The Offer Letter It Mentions That The Company Needs To Give A Notice Of 1 Month And Should Also Pay The Notice Period Pay On Account Of Termination.

Thanks
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Keeping aside the legality of termination which can be discussed separately, I would like to say that this is a termination for a misconduct for which why should the employer pay notice pay. It is okay, if the employer thinks that the number of employees is high and the last few employees taken shall be sent out, and therefore, you are asked to go. In this case there was an integrity issue and you were punished on the ground of that misconduct. For this no notice pay needs to be paid to you.

Coming to the second issue, legally, the company did not terminate you but you only terminated the contract of employment by resigning from the job. Now it is their turn to demand one month notice pay for early relieving. In the absence of any proof to show that the company had demanded resignation, you cannot prove that it was a forced resignation.

Now coming to the next issue, the company management has not followed the procedures which should be followed before an employee is terminated for a misconduct. The company should have given you a show cause notice and or charge sheet and asked you to defend the charges levelled against you. To the contrary, the company has terminated you without offering you any opportunity to be heard. That is illegal. They should have followed the principles of natural justice before initiating such a big punishment, ie, discharge/ dismissal from service. Here again, the company would say that they had not terminated but the employee only had put the paper and go.

In short, having resigned you cannot claim any notice pay from the company. Moreover, by doing so, you have closed the doors against you that you cannot move against the company for violation of employee rights and not following the basic principles or procedures for taking disciplinary action against an employee.

Madhu.T.K
I am surprised that the Comoany terminated your employment for making a claim of duplicate air fares which you explained was a mistake. Specially if you paid the money back the moment it was notified to you. Companies do accept that sometimes there may be a mistake. So I don't think we have been told the actual story
Saswata,
Submitting duplicate claim is an integrity issue.You just cannot say it was by mistake and get away with it.
However full disciplinary procedure of show cause etc has not been followed.
Procedure in company may also be inadequate to detect double claim.
Most well run finance departments have systems to detect double claims.This is an internal procedural failure also but primary responsibility rests with this employee.Finance people who passed the duplicate claim need to answer what checks they di which could not detect duplicate claim but audit could find out.
To my mind if dismissal is due to misconduct,notice pay pay does not become due.
a humble apology followed by refund could have helped.
Here employee calls it a mistake by him and defends the indefensible.
You just cannot defend submission of duplicate claims.
If you are a frequent traveller,then maintain a record of travel,claim submission and receipt of payment.
I agree with what has been advised to you. You have many months to return the money to the company for the duplicate airfare but you did not. The law does not excuse "mistakes". A man was killed by the robber by mistake... the doctor gave the wrong medicine by mistake... the surgeon removed the womb of the wrong female patient who was to have her toncils removed, not her womb and the woman whose womb was to be removed had her tonsils removed... these are all genuine mistakes but inexcusable. Yes, the company should have conducted a due inquiry before termination but they did not and for that technicality, you may take legal action against them for "wrongful dismissal"... not because you made a mistake which you think is excusable.
Madhu. T.K very well analyzed and answered your query. better to close issue, get the service certificate and join somewhere else before it spreads across the industry.
Claiming duplicate/ double amount of airfare can easily comes under professional misconduct and this can lead to termination of service provided that you have been issued charge sheet, a domestic enquiry is held and proper course of law has been taken. In that case you may not get any notice pay.
If you have tendered resignation, and cannot prove that it is forced resignation, then you are not entitled to any notice pay.
Check my blog at www.labourlawhub.com
There are lot of opinions and am confused on the next step. With respect to the case, the HR told me ( during 29 May 2016 ) that since the case is related to the integrity of the company, they would like me to move out of the company.They also told me to put resignation so that it goes as a normal resignation , because in case of termination , I may not get a job due t background check process.
If they want to terminate you, then they have to issue charge sheet, hold domestic enquiry and then terminate you giving you full opportunity to defend yourself relying on principle of natural justice and such allegations have to be proved against you before terminating you. This is a time consuming as well as legally expensive affair from the point of view of the company.
If you resign yourself, then it becomes absolutely easy for the company.
Now the choice is yours.
I don't think that any more discussion would be needed in this case. It is clear that there was an integrity issue and instead of conducting an enquiry and terminating you, the company had asked you to resign and go. There is no need for payment of notice pay by the employer since you had resigned but at the same time the company is not demanding notice pay from you which you should have given had you resigned at your own will. There is no need of any bargaining because the reason for termination of the contract of employment is very clear, that is integrity issue. If you say that the company had not followed the principles of natural justice by offering you an opportunity to be heard, the argument in favour of the company would be that even if you were given an opportunity to defend the charges, you would fail because there is proof and that same cannot be objected also. If so, the termination would become dismissal from service and that would spoil your career. If, suppose you had been working in any managerial capacity, you would not even require a show cause notice to terminate your employment.

Being an employee who has resigned, you have no right to demand notice pay but an employer can deduct the notice pay from the full and final settlement amount. It would be appropriate if you could atleast save that amount from the dues payable by the company.

Now it is up to you to decide, whether to demand notice pay or to get relieved as early as possible.

Madhu.T.K
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