I was working in an organisation for past 4 yeara which recently terminated me for confidentiality breach which I never did. I never shared companyís intellectual property or any internal information. I was issued a terminarion letter which they forcefully made me sign.
Now they have sent me a resignation acceptance email and an experience letter which is pretty neutral. However, for the releiving letter they have asked me to sign a non compete clause and a non solicitation clause (without any timelines which makes it forever) which was not a part of my joining/offer letter.
I tried getting in touch with the HR to resolve this and when he wasnít replying I copied the senior directors. The only change he is doing now is not putting those clauses on releiving letter but making me sign then seperately. He also threatned me that if I bother him or the seniors again he will send an email to wherever I join telling them that I breached the confidentiality and will destroy my career.
What should I do to deal with this situation? I would request all the seniors here to help me with there suggestions.
20th September 2018 From India, Delhi
The poster has not mentioned the position he held in the previous Company. It may, therefore, lead to some reasonable inference that his job with the said Company was of either supervisory or of managerial nature only.
Non-compete and Non-solicitation agreements or bonds are made only to protect the business interests of an employer against the ex-employee's act of starting the same business on his own or joining the services of a competitor to garner the ex-employee's clientile. Therefore, their enforceability depends on the extent of the restrictions imposed therein with reference to the extent of time and geography mentioned therein. In addition, the Non-compete bond if signed by the employee after the termination of the contract of employment with the employer should have some element of consideration to the employee in return.
Moreover, as per the revised relieving letter issued, the poster's termination of employment was only on account of his resignation duly accepted by the previous employer. Since the so-called bonds are not time - specific, the ex-employer cannot successfully enforce it against the poster if he starts his own business or join another Company in the same field of business.
Such a move may be a mere act of threat to discourage the exit of experienced employees. Here it is also pertinent to note that Section 23 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 declares a contract with such unreasonable restrictive clause as opposed to to Public Policy and renders it invalid. Therefore, my view is that the poster can simply ignore this and move on with his career peacefully according to his own choice .
20th September 2018 From India, Salem
"terminated me for confidentiality breach which I never did."
You should have forcibly taken up the matter of being blamed on a serious issue which you state to have never been involved at all.
As learned member has adviced the non compete clause and non solicitation clause cannot be for indefinite periods.
Preserve all the correspondence with this employer safe as it can be helpful if something ever happens.
HR has shown a nasty bent of mind and you need to keep your evidence safe in hard copy form.
This is a learning experince and one should move on.
20th September 2018 From India, Pune
Umakanthan53 and Nathrao,
I truly appreciate your valueable inputs.
My position was also quite junior not even that of a team lead.
Also, I still havenít signed the clauses but I need to do so in order to get my releaving letter. Should I sign them in order for them to not ruin my background verification if my future employer gets in touch with them?
Also, is there a way the can send me a legal notice for not following the clauses?
This was my first job ever and it has made things really disturbing for me. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
20th September 2018 From India, Delhi
Also, can they send me any legal notice for cofidentiality breach after giving me the resignation acceptance and experience letter? I have not breached anything but can they dig really deep to find any minor thing at all which might be considered as a breach? I am only saying this due to the nature of the HR and seniors in the organisation as they already threatned me.
Would this make things complicated for me to get a new job?
20th September 2018 From India, Delhi
It seems you are taking their threat too seriously. To counter these threats, please adopt a positive and Honest approach.
Inform the HR of the new company honestly what has transpired in your last company and show him all relevant documents. I am sure your honesty will be appreciated and even if your old employer emails your new employer about the incident its effect will be nullified.
You already have received your experience letter, so why bother about the relieving letter.
Just go ahead with confidence and kick start your new career.
R. H. Kavarana
HR Manager
20th September 2018 From India, Mumbai
Dear anonymous friend,
From your descriptions in the successive posts, the Company does not seem to be an ideal place of employment. Therefore no sensible employee would prefer to stay on there for the sake of mere subsistence. The Company's decision to send you out under the pretext of resignation, in fact seems to me, a blessing in disguise to you. Handle the situation very tactfully. If your employment details furnished by you are true and correct, you need not bother about signing the bonds with the restrictive covenants now for the sake of avoiding any negative feed back likely to be given by the Company in response to any B.G.V relating to your future placement because such one-sided agreements against public policy are ab initio void. Hesitation prompted by unfounded fear would be a stumbling block in decision making process.
20th September 2018 From India, Salem
Thanks you both, I am sorry for stretching it a bit here.
Can you also comment on them taking a legal action based on cofidentiality breach? I mean I have heard these companies have all these resources to dig deep and sue someone on a minor issue?
20th September 2018 From India, Delhi
Once your resignation is duly accepted and you get relieved formally, the management can not rack up the issue of confidence pertaining to the past period.
20th September 2018 From India, Salem
Thanks a lot for all your help!
So now should I sign the bond since it is not enforceable in court or should I just forget about releaving letter?
Since, they have issued the experience letter and resignation acceptance they can not rack up the previous confidentiality issue, right? Or do I still need to get the releaving letter to get rid of this issue.
If I have to get the releaving letter Iíll have to sign the clauses.
So should I now sign it or just let it be?
20th September 2018 From India, Delhi
You can absolutely sign there.
4th October 2018 From India, Visakhapatnam
Apart from the valuable inputs from learned friends, I would suggest you obtain your relieving letter as this would absolve you in all future negative feedback by the company in the form of background verification by future employers. The relieving letter will relieve both from their contractual obligations of your job and the company will not be a position to take any legal action in the near future once relieved, meaning the end of the contractual relationship.
Instead of sending them a legal notice, you can file a formal complaint giving the background to the Dy Commission of Labour which will be conciliated and you may obtain your relieving letter through this mediation. If there is any compliance minus by the company, they will be exposed.
7th October 2018 From India, Mumbai
Being seniormost person in a MNC company, should responsibility of admin, facility function. During this tenure, we were rewarded with some points from the Hotel for giving reservation and that I had utilised. Is it against the company policy? If yes, then how come the company provided credit card is being used for their personal purpose. Can anyone suggest me. I have been forced by my Boss to resign immediately.
3rd November 2018 From India
Hi Anonymous,
Reach out to me, I will be able to help you .
12th November 2018 From India, Mumbai
Hey Dear, Just don't worry, it's very difficult to prove about the breach of confidentiality clause. You said that they have sent you resignation acceptance letter. In such case how is termination possible. Further also it's very difficult to track your non-compete and non-solicitation agreement.
Just chill and relax.
In case if you still need any help just get in touch with me.
13th November 2018 From India, Mumbai
Dear Friend and Seniors,
Greetings for the day...
Please let me know where I am wrong. Termination is a vast subject and they can not terminate you overnight. They need to follow all the proceeding such as Suspension Letter, Charge Sheet, Domestic Inquiry, Inquiry Report, Evidence, etc. It is time consuming process and takes a lot of time. No employer can terminate you without any prior Notice Period or if the crime is so grave as per your Certified Standing Orders and Terms & Conditions of the Appointment Letter (Accepted by you). The employer needs to prove it (even) if you have (actually) done it.
If they have asked you to resign forcefully, you cant do anything because you can't prove it in court as it is an written evidence and you can't challenge it. As it is written by your own hand and may contain your signature or If by your mail, the company can prove it that is done by you.
Now comes the last two points, that if it may affect your future employment. So it will not affect unless and until it is specified in the reliving letter about your termination. so try and get the job as soon as possible as delay may lead to several questions in the mind of next employer.
Last Point is if you challenge them in the Labour Court, this may lead to harassment to you only you may require to be present in the court for your rights (if you are having all the evidences that your termination is wrong). If your next employer come to know about your such action they may not hire you (depends upon the understanding of next employer and your convincing).
A sincere apologies for used hard words in between but its the truth.
Best Wishes for your future and in case you need any help you can mail me anytime. I would be happy to help you.
27th November 2018 From India, Chandigarh
A confidentiality breach is generally taken very seriously by a company. If you haven't made any mistake, this comes under wrongful termination. Moreover, HR behaviour seems very unprofessional. Any non compete or non-solicitation agreement must have a time frame. They cannot hold you against it indefinitely. Since you are getting your relieving letter without those clauses, it shouldn't pose a problem for you.
You can ignore these 'threats' and join a new organisation
Click on the "+" sign for more helpful answers like these
Sairam Bandi

27th November 2018 From India, Bengaluru
Dear Friend
Non-competes and bonds are simply a trap set by weak corporations (Organisations) that have difficulty retaining talent. Mostly unprofessional companies do practice the same.
Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inebility to see your worth. Believe in yourself.
If you are right why do you bother about threatening, termination, resignation and confidentaility breach and all. You should be mould by yoursef not by others (organisations).
Yours Sincerely
Mohan Nair
7th January 2019 From India, Mumbai
In my view, if an employee is terminated. The reason should be mentioned on the termination letter. Some times reason may not affect in any way the hiring or that employee coming on board of your roles. Only care should be taken if it is of any conduct issues, baring which I feel there should be no fear of hiring an individual. Thanks.
20th January 2019 From India
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