I have joined x organization n months back. After accepting Offer, I received mail to sign paper stating "In service training and certification bond" (included payment of huge amount as training cost(15L) if leave org within 18 months). I called HR and told that I am not ready to sign any bond. He convinced me that "This is just a paper not bond(Stamp paper) which makes you liable to company, we won't ask you any money even you leave, it is just formality to get into project" . I trusted him and signed on it as it is not Bond Paper. I resigned now and they are not releasing me showing that agreement. The HR and everyone changed words and not helping me in any way. My Notice period is ending soon and They are threatening like "you won't get any documents from us if you won't pay". Any guidance is highly appreciated.
From India, Hyderabad
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Management Consultancy

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By signing the agreement, be it in any paper, you are legally bound. Even agreements can be oral, that is as per the Contract Act 1872. So the argument that it was signed only as a mere formaility or unintentionally, is not helping you to evade the responsibility.
From India, Mumbai

Dear Ram-raja,

Very well I can understand your precarious situation now just because you had signed a bond earlier very ignorantly. Of course, employment bonds or agreements requiring an employee to remain in the service of the organization for a certain period of time after induction failing which to pay a certain sum of money as compensation to the employer is valid u/s 74 of the Indian Contract Act,1872. However, under unreasonable circumstances an employment bond is not recognized as legal. The employment bond will not be enforceable if it is either one sided, unconscionable or unreasonable. This legal position implies, therefore, that the conditions mentioned in the employment bond including the compulsory employment period and the amount of penalty in case of breach by the employee shall be reasonable. As the term 'reasonable ' is devoid of any statutory definition, it has to be determined only on case to case basis depending on the issues involved and the attendant circumstances in each such case.

Coming to your case, it is pertinent to ascertain how long you have been trained and what was the total cost of training incurred by the employer including the amount of stipend, if any paid to determine the reasonableness of the penalty of 15 lakh rupees as well as the length of service you rendered after completion of the 18 month training. It is also possible that in the middle of the training, you could have resigned.

Anyone can give an appropriate suggestion only if you are prepared to answer the above queries.

From India, Salem

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