View Poll Results: Can this termination be challenged successfully in court?
No 4 25.00%
Yes 5 31.25%
Can not say 4 25.00%
Need to know more details about the case 3 18.75%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

Umakanthan53
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Consultme
Entrepreneur
Harpreetwalia
Senior Manager/freelance Consultant
SeekingHelp
Associate Director

Thread Started by #SeekingHelp

Hi,
Here I am sharing a very interesting case which is related to me. I am seeking your honest guidance.
I was working in India office of one of the top 3 Chinese Company as an Associate Director. I worked there till 15 months. Initially
I was hired on 3rd party payroll. During my 1st probation period, Company was so happy with my performance that within 2.5 months only they themselves decided to transfer me from 3rd party to Company’s payroll.
They gave one month bonus also just after 4 months job only. Within 6 months from joining date, they gave me ‘Best New Joiner award’ also (out of approx. 130 members) and just before this award, i was sent to China in Jan month to train people there.
Just after total 7 months, they gave me approx. 20% increment and 2 months bonus also. All was going too well. I was being presented like the best example to all employees across all offices in India, China, Indonesia and Russia.
Due to my great performance and problem solving approach (I solved several big issues and saved company from several big problems. That was not my job profile), I was given several big task and new responsibilities were given to me.
But in October month, unexpected thing happened. I was supposed to go for a meeting to decide for next 6 months’ targets for entire team at 6.30pm but just 2 minutes before the meeting, I was asked to meet International HR Head and two other concern persons. When I entered in the room, within 10 seconds of the conversation, I was given a termination letter without any reason.
I requested them to tell me the reason, but they denied telling. International HR Head simply said that it is written in your appointment letter at Point No. 8B that your services can be terminated without any reason and any time.
Two important rules mentioned in appointment letter:-
1. According to rule no. 8B – your appointment can be terminated by the company without any reason, by giving you not less than 1 month prior notice in writing or salary in lieu thereof. For the purpose of this clause salary shall mean basic salary.
2. According to rule no. 8D – The company reserves the right to terminate your employment summarily without any notice period or termination payment if it has reasonable ground to believe that you are guilty of misconduct or negligence or have committed any fundamental breach of contract of caused any loss to the company.
In my termination letter, rule no.8B was mentioned.
Points to be noted:-
1. They have given my salary of October month, with unpaid leaves and probably basis salary of November month as well.
2. I do not care about money. I am worried about my image and respect. I am into my industry for last 18 years and I have goodwill there. In my last two companies (Both are two biggest brands of the industry), my resignation was never accepted due to my great performance and value.
3. Appointment letter was not given at the day of joining. It was given almost after 45 days.
4. When I got a call from local HR person first time about job offer, I asked about such conditions, she denied. Rule No.8B was not mentioned in the appointment given from 3rd party but when I got transferred from 3rd party to company’s direct payroll, and then it was mentioned. 2nd point is that appointment letter from company (Direct Payroll) was given after almost 45 days. Signature was done in back date.
5. I have such a great image there that everybody is shocked and shattered. This incident has given a message to all employees that if it can be done with me, then it can be done with anybody and anytime.
My questions:-
1. Is it ethical termination?
2. Can I sue them for wrongful termination?
3. Can I sue them for defamation because it has damaged my image in the industry? How can someone believe that a best performer was removed with no reason?
4. Well, appointment was signed by me and rules no.8B is mentioned there; still can it be challenged in court successfully?
5. If I send notice to them, can it back fire to me?
6. If company does not disclose such termination clauses in written at the time of offering job, can it be challenged in court because if company discloses such termination rules at the time of job offer, no one would join them. It means company is cheating with employees. Employees have to sign the appointment letter because as they get job offer letter, they resign in their current company and when they join this Chinese company, then company give this appointment letter with termination rule which employees can not reject otherwise they lose both jobs. Due to this, employees’ retention ratio is poor in this company in India office.
Hope for the correct response and guidance
Thanks
17th November 2017 From India, Noida
I understand how difficult it is for a high performer like you to accept this reality.
It is not at all an ethical practice (by considering the facts that you have shared).
However if you go to court, there is no guarantee to get a satisfactory resolution. Also it can be definitely time consuming
1. The agreed contract itself states "your appointment can be terminated by the company without any reason, by giving you not less than 1 month prior notice in writing or salary in lieu thereof. For the purpose of this clause salary shall mean basic salary" and so they are right from a contract angle. How much the corporate guy invest in fighting a legal case if you go for a civil suite is something which we can not predict. Civil suites can drag your attention from career to this for years and the result can be in favor of you or the other party.
2. May be internal politics in your organisation made you to get in to this mess. So they don't care if you press further to know the reason. One risk of getting in to a legal dispute is matters like reference. You may not get cooperation at a later stage.
3. What I have heard about governance in firms with head offices in China, a bit strange. Governance is centralized and even your fingerprint data they will not allow to keep in local countries and insist to store in the central server in their home country.
I am not surprised with the kind of treatment that you have received from a Chinese firm. They are good paymasters but do not expect freedom, because it is difficult to change the habits which are built on rules and supervision (and no trust).
My suggestion is to forget this bad experience and join a good company.
Your attitude and competencies will definitely help you to grab a better portfolio than this. May G0d bless you.
17th November 2017 From India, Bangalore
Dear Friend,
What a devastating impact created on the character of a high profile employee by such a sudden termination of his employment without assigning any reason but simply based on an exit clause in the contract of employment can well be understood by any one with a little bit sense of legality. Kindly refer to my reply dated 24-08-2017 in the thread " Can the management dismiss any of its employees by giving one month's notice without assigning any reason? ". Better consult an experienced Advocate in service matters and consider filing a Civil Suit claiming damages for wrongful termination of employment based on the particular term of a contract of employment opposed to public policy.
17th November 2017 From India, Salem
I feel it`s all matter of some hidden politic against you. Filing case against Company may be wastage of time and energy in my view. This may also effect your BGV (Back Ground Verification) when you may join next Company better then this.
Integrate yourself & invest your positive energy in right and new direction.
Regards,
Krishna Shukla
18th November 2017 From India, Mumbai
Dear Friend,
Your incident sounds horrible to me. Even then I would agree with suggestion of "Consultme". Mr Umakanthan is a very senior member and what he suggest on "legal grounds" is always a trustworthy comment. However you being an experienced person should have thought about in hand when you were rewarded easily. A company cannot judge someone's performance and that too at a director level in 6 months or a year even. The earlier impression of your personality got you benefits but you should have analysed that how performance analyzing mechanism of the company is functioning. Just to mention here that I am not saying you have been given goodies without any efforts.
Reward and Recognition comes with time, not by charm of personality or earlier inceptions. Moreover, good companies do not follow such practice of hiring on third party payroll to avoid their legal responsibilities. Even at that time you had chance to sniff their culture. Never mind, take it as a nightmare and move on with your further career you have. Filling civil suits will only take your time in this case and at time you would also feel harassed by visiting on given dates by court. You had signed an agreement without any pressure/ and consent, and need to respect your decision now for the sake of your time. Move on, life is all about experiencing things good and bad both.
19th November 2017 From India, New Delhi
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