My ex-employer sent me a legal notice and I need legal advise in how to handle the situation. I need a lawyer in Bangalore specialising in civil, employment disputes and labor protection. I'm also willing to take online help and advise as most legal notices are deterrent rather than legitimate.
I'm an IT employee and recently I joined and left a company in 2 months 10 days after experiencing some grievance and grief that my manager was escalating simple issues to higher ups. I've no written proof against my manager as he was cunning and communicated everything verbally. I've partial proofs on communications with the HR person handling my resignation.
Immediately upon resignation the company disabled my mail id, as a result I was unable to take any proofs. Neither I expected that the situation will escalate, I assumed that it would be a routine resignation and I would be handled fairly.
I'll share the notice only with a lawyer however I'll furnish the details below. I need advise as early as possible as they've given me on 7 days as notice. I've already responded personally though the language was not as per legal provisions, however I intentionally kept it vague so I can't be blamed further. Please note that I acted in a hurry due to 7 days notice.
Details of the Legal notice and my defense:
1) They are demanding damages in the tune of 3+ Lakhs, for breaching contract, contacting client for seeking a job and not serving notice. And they are demanding in 7 days which is unfair and unreasonable given that I resigned without a job and was unemployed for a period of 30 days. If they've given 30-45 days notice I could have treated that notice as fair notice even though I can't pay as I'm the aggrieved party. I've some defense here as the sum and notice period is unfair.
2) They are claiming breach of NDA, the HR person forcefully took signature on some document and didn't give me time to read at the time of joining. He neither gave me a copy. I only have appointment letter as a copy.
3) They are claiming I contacted the client which is true. I only contacted the client in a desperate situation when I know that I may lose my job. I resigned the same day because resignation is better than termination, so I can use my time and resources to find another job or start my own business.
4) I was not working in executive capacity. My designation was Lead Software Engineer and I was an individual contributor. I cannot provide competing services that a company renders. As per Indian Contract Acts this is void and I believe I've strong defense here.
5) Within hours after resignation, I was asked to hand over the assets and my mail id was disabled. This is what caused confusion whether it is resignation or termination. I seeked to clarify with the HR and they only made vague statements verbally. No communication was given in written on last working day and no guarantee was given about the notice pay. I felt dishonored and cheated, and did inform them in writing that I want to be relieved as early as possible and cannot give them Knowledge Transfer. However I never refused to serve notice period in writing nor verbally. 24th July 2018 From India, Bengaluru