My previous law firm was an administrative mess. The HR was absolutely incompetent and overall everything was done either late or unofficially. I put in my resignation in May as I secured a job at a much better and bigger firm, and intended to serve June and July as my notice period. I was then informed over word of mouth that the notice period was being shortened to one month, to which I agreed. During my notice period my father suddenly fell ill and I had to go back to my hometown for a week while being on WFH. During the week I received a call from the HR saying that they will be relieving me soon in a few days without mentioning date. I offered to come in physically and complete the handover physically but they were in a hurry (probably because they didnít wanna pay me for the rest of the month) and I didnít want any hassle so I agreed. Post that I kept asking the Hr about when the relieving date was or when the access to the server will be taken since I had to complete the handover but received no response to the same. I then handed over what I thought was needed and saved some files on a pendrive just in case they revoke access and I still have to handover files. Which in hindsight was justified when after three weeks of ďclaimed official relive dateĒ, one of my colleagues messaged me to come to office to given them some files. But by then I had already deleted everything so I told them that I can come in if they need anything but I donít have anything with me anymore. This too was not followed up by the office. Even post that I kept enquiring regarding the status of things however never received a formal intimation of official relieve or revocation of access to server. They didnít inform me of anything and just kept doing whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted on their own. They gave me the relieving letter one month after the date of that is claimed by them, which is also pre-dated from the actual date I stopped working. Post that, after almost one month of when I was officially relieved, I received a notice from them saying that I have miss appropriated their files and stolen their data, and I should explain as to why they shouldnít take legal action against me.
I explained to them that it was because i wasnít even sure if I was employed or not and the same was only done to save gaurd the transition since the handover wasnít done properly and the work server is unstable and crashes frequently ( all of which they know). So if they need anything, I can give it to them before I leave for good. But they are hell bent on harassing me for no reason and I am worried about this affecting my new workplace. What can be done in this situation ?
Also note: they never provided or offered me a work laptop, I had been using my own laptop to do all the work which they had no problem with. All the work that was done by me is still on the office server.
From India, Delhi
Yours is a long post. However, you have not written what was your designation, what was your role in the company, are you a lawyer and so on.
Generally, the lawyers encourage to keep evidence of anything and everything. However, you have written, "I was then informed over word of mouth that the notice period was being shortened to one month, to which I agreed." Why you did not ask for the written approval from the approving authority?
For the physical handover, if the HR was dillydallying, then you could have approached the Director or MD of the company, why you did not do it?
Now you have received a notice from your former company for the destruction of the data. However, what evidence do they have? I recommend you give a reply that nothing of that sort has happened. Thereafter, if you still receive the notices, just ignore them.
Lastly, feedback about your post. It has a great scope for improvement. I wish you had done a review of your post on grammar, sequence, choice of words and so on. Probably the company of unprofessional colleagues in the lawyer's firm had impacted you too.
General Comments: - Unfortunately, this is the second post in a day that brings out the unprofessionalism of the HR personnel. The HR person in the lawyer's company appears to have poor administrative skills. While his boss could have been unprofessional, however, he could have this case in a better way.
Dinesh Divekar From India, Bangalore
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