rr-t
Hi, My name is Ramesh and I have been working in the IT Industry in Kerala for over 10 Years. I worked for 2 companies so far and my last employment started in Dec_07_2020.

I was working from home because of the COVID situation and as per company instruction till April 12, 2022.
There was a mandatory 'back_to_office' criteria in my company once the Covid pandemic was over from April 12, 2022.

Due to treatment, I was unable to do that and after 4 months I have received an Absconding_Notice in my personal mail on 10_Aug_2022 and Charge sheet on 23_Aug asking the reason for absence. I have replied the answer.

One day prior to receiving the Absconding Notice, my company login was locked. Later communications were from my personal mail, and I was asking them to unlock my account and only a few replies were received. In 2023 too I received a reply saying "It is being investigated".

Later this year one HR Manager called me on the phone asking the reason and told me, that a Domestic Inquiry would be started and my "relieving letter" would not be given. :(

On July_24_2023, a mail was sent to me saying domestic_inquiry will start and the date will be informed.
On Jul_27_2023, the date was announced and it was Aug_01 to attend the first meeting for Domestic_Inquiry, and I told the reason for my absence.

The report came on Aug_03 saying I have accepted the charge of not coming to office, however provided reason as treatment at home.
Since then, no mail were sent to me and it will reach 90 days next month.

Also during the absence of 4 months in 2022, my salary was credited because I was not part of any project.

After the absconding notice received last year, I was idle and unemployed for 12 months and then only they have initiated Domestic Inquiry.
The domestic enquiry maximum time period will also end next month without the 2nd meeting if that is not initiated.

Qn.1: If no second meeting was carried out before that (Inquiry Completion - 90 days as per law), am I free of being guilty?
Qn.2: Can I ask for compensation for keeping me idle for this long (14~15 months)?
Info: The only thing they say is that they need proof of medical certificate and I did not have it because it was a home treatment.
But I have given the addresses and phone numbers of the persons and they are genuine doctors and therapists.

Please Help!
Life is going away!
Had admitted to Depression and even my marriage did not happen (I'm 35!)...

From India, Trivandrum
Madhu.T.K
4193

"....Also during the absence of 4 months in 2022, my salary was credited because I was not part of any project." Can I take it as a typo error? Is it that your salary goy credited during this time or not credited?

If you were directed to work from office then your not reporting to office is a serious misconduct and based on that the company can initiate action against you. Moreover, you were supposed to produce a medical certificate which you did not do. Now, they can prolong the decision. The only way out is to approach the law enforcing officers. If you do that your career will end there. The labour Officer will not order for a reinstatement but can interfere and ask the employer to conduct and finalise the enquiry at the earliest. If the company say that they were waiting for your medical certificate, then again you will be at the gun point. Now, if you resign, then the employer may issue a relieving order. Whether a positive remarks can be ensured in it is purely managerial discretion and even the Labour officer can direct the employer to issue a favorable remarks in any background verification. Therefore, the best possible way is to approach the company officials and plead to accept your resignation and relive you. If you go legally, it will harm you only. And there is no law which says that the enquiry should be completed in 90 days.

From India, Kannur
rr-t
Yes, I have received my salary during my absence period. They have mentioned it too as a serious offence.
(Though it was their mistake in the payroll)

Also, it is a big corporate and cannot fight with their lawyers.

But since it was a home based treatment, I cannot provide a medical report.
The persons were legit (a doctor and a panchakarma therapist) and provided them with the details of them.

But why they are delaying it even though I have provided all details as a reply to the Charge Sheet?
Also I was not part of any project, and was serving my Talent Pool, where I can search for inside projects.
Now I cannot apply to any company and my career is near end as it is IT field.

What will be a possible escape scenario?
All I need a job and I cannot apply for resignation since enquiry is ongoing.
No company in my understanding will provide a job without a relieving letter.
3 days absence is enough to give absconding notice, but it was given after 4 months.

From India, Trivandrum
rr-t
There is a mandatory time limit of 90 days for Domestic Inquiry as per my understanding. Labor Rule says that. So if I could get past that, will I be safe and they have to provide a relieving letter?
From India, Trivandrum
Madhu.T.K
4193

Misconduct is misconduct only and the certificates issued by such ayurveda treatment centres are not even accepted as a proof of having undergone treatment. Therefore, your excuses will be just defenses.

I don't know any Labour law suggests that after 90 days of enquiry, the delinquent is relieved automatically. Normally, when an employee is placed under suspension, the employee is required to be paid subsistence allowance at the rate of 50 percent of salary for the first 90 days. If the enquiry is not over, then for the remaining period but upto 180 days he will be entitled to 75% of salary and if it is beyond 180 days, the employee shall be paid 100% of salary. This is the rule as per the Act governing subsistence allowances in Kerala. But that does not mean that you should be relieved after 90 days. Moreover, you have not been placed under suspension but you yourself has abandoned the job.

There is no way that you can defend the charges levelled against you. Therefore, the only possible way is to accept the charges and plead to relieve you. If you go legally, as already said, you will not get another employment. Therefore, talk to the HR Manager and the CEO and settle the matter amicably.

From India, Kannur
rr-t
Thanks for reply.

Usually employees run to another company when they get a higher offer - which is absconding in a very proper terminology.
My case is was a different one and they know that. There was some mistakes from their side too, but they wont admit it and I cannot fight it.

But if I accept the charges, a termination letter along with a huge penalty could be issued which no ordinary person can afford.

If I try to join another company, they will definitely do a background check and this "termination" will take me stranded.

I think, it is better that I have to try to get into another company, and when they ask for the reason for not having a relieving letter from the previous employer, I can confidentially say it was because of a treatment and they are on enquiry. Even if they contact the previous employer, I think they cannot prove that I tried to escape since I wasn't in an active project.

Like you said, I will wait so that there is at least a chance of money and better not to mail them asking to complete the enquiry ASAP.
Some companies, smaller ones could accept that, in my best hope.

From there I can start over dreaming big...

Right?

Thanks...

From India, Trivandrum
rr-t
I was starting to post this to HR, but something stopped me...

"
Hi all,

The Domestic Inquiry is getting too long and I am still unemployed.

As informed before, it was a home based treatment, I cannot get a Medical Report.
All I can submit is a written letter from the Doctor who treated me, to show that it was a legit treatment.
He can neither give a Hospital Seal of his, as I was not admitted as a patient in theirHospital.

Kindly inform me how to proceed.
Otherwise please allow me to resign formally and provide me with a relieving letter.
BecauseI cannot get into any other company without a relieving letter, and my career will end here.

Thanks
"

From India, Trivandrum
Madhu.T.K
4193

As already said, when a proper medical certificate from a panchakarma/ ayurveda treatment centre is not accepted as a proof of treatment, how can a letter from a doctor declaring that you were under his treatment at your own house be accepted?

Again, if you cite the reason of not having a proper relieving order before any prospect employer would not give result because everyone will have the same situation in the company. Therefore, as already suggested, an amicable settlement is the only way out and for that you can take the help of any person who can deal with the company nicely. Even an outsider who can influence the company can be a mediator for you. Try that way.

From India, Kannur
rr-t
Thank you.

Influencing is not good! That will create more trouble...

When we apply for a posting, one question in any application will be "Do you know anyone in this company or do you have any relatives here?".
This is to check for influenced entry.
As an "absconder" it is more of a dangerous thing to try to bring an insider/outsider. Also the inquiry is from a top-level associate.

Right now, I am waiting for their process because they have informed me that the second sitting will be planned and will be informed.

Another option is to present my second last employer's relieving certificate and attend the interview (2020). In that case as well, they can identify my last employer (from where the absconding occurred) by checking the EPF Account. Anyway, I will be writing a line in my resume as "stopped working because of Health Concerns" and explain that in interview.

2020-2023 gap is also a concern anyway.

Thanks again..!

From India, Trivandrum
freelaw-india
all the mails and and replies are necessary for case study. definitely the company is at wrong point but they can buy anyone from peon to prime minister hence if u want to fight then remember that u have chances of win the war but it will take very long time and money. consult if want to opt for legal mode-8433283632
From India, Meerut
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