Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

Wrongful termination of employment


I was working with a MNC for past 7 years. on Aug 31st 2012 I was handed over a termination letter stating that due to ramp down in my dept, my jservices are being terminated 

Following are the flow of events that happend before termination 

In April - 2012 my manager calls me in his cabin and advises me that I am slipping on my timelines and that he has  pulled up my access card report which shows that I have left work early on a lot of occassons and because of which I will now be put on a documentation by HR . the discussion was verbal and he advised that he wil send this to me by email and have HR meet me. He did not send the email to me 

in a couple of days my Line HR manager comes up to me and states that she has seen enough evidence and emails sent to me by my manager that I have been missing timelines and there have been escalations etc. and that I have been leaving early from work . before she spoke to me I myself had called for my access card report and analysed it. I am supposed to work a 9 hr shift mon - fri. Thus my productive time is 8 hrs in office. On most occassions on an everyday basis I have just taken a 15 - 20 min break and have given the required productive hours which is 8 hrs on the floor. in some cases it is more than 8 hrs and in some cases less than 8 hrs by a few mins 

I gave her this explanation, however her only agenda seemed like pursuing me to sign the documentation 

I very assertivley asked her if she has seen all the proofs, then I would like to see the same before I sign any piece of documentation. I called for a meeting with my manager in her presence 

After 2 days she meets me again and advises that she has had a discussion with her manager and my manager and will have to sign the documenttion or submit my resignation 

I was initially shocked, as here I have a lady from HR who is forcing me to resign without even showing me evidence of the the mistakes that I have made. she was carrying a document with her, which had generic reasons like missing timelines, not taking feedback, not bringing direct report up the learning curve etc..

I asked her that I will not sign the document till I see the proof 

She said she will get her manager and my manager and we all will then have a conversation 

The next day the HR head and my manager meet me and state that I wll have to sign the letter. I ask for proofs to which my manger replies that he hasnt maintained any 

I just couldnt follow this drama any more. I said clearly that I am not signing any document before seeing proof.They asked me to step out for 5 mins and later on told me that they will move me to an other dept and will send me for interviews for the same 

I think it is important for me to tell that I have been working with this manager ever since I have joined this company and have moved depts with him.in fact the role that I handled last, he was the one who offered the same to me as my pre decessor was leaving and there were ramp downs happening in my dept in oct 2011. At that time I grabbed the opportunity as I would have lost my job otherwise. However after that I managed the role really well for 4 months and then in one of our 1 on 1's just mentioned that I would like to do something more challenging as I feel that the role is not something that is helping me utilize my capabilities to the best 

post the meeting I came out feeling agitated, I tried to escalate the matter to my manager's manager however he was not very helpful and kept avoiding me. I then decided to escalate the matter to our ethics team, which comprises of the CEO, Risk and compliance head, and the head of our whistleblowing team

I wrote a very long email to them ( attached). I was told an independent inquiry will be conducted and the team will revert with responses

I then had a appraisal discussion in which I was not given a great rating. Just for the records I was an assistant manager and am supposed to have quartelry discussions about my performance./ I had none. in fact my score card was also not fixed after I moved into the role. My goals were just finalised in april 2012, and he appraisal period was from april 2011 - march 2012. the appraisal was reviewed by my manger's manger who brought up issues that were escalated.

I promptly told him that all the issues that were raised were post april - 12 and do not fall in the appraisal period that was eing discussed. we just went round in circles and ultimatley I had no choice but to put up with the rating 

post the escalation to the CEO, after a nonth and a half the VP HR met me and advised me all allegations that were made were baseless and not true and that  I am actually a misfit to the role I am managing. I was told I will be placed somewhere else in the organisation as currently there is nothing better that can be offered tio me within the same dept. I was OK with this. However he told me that they would only try to place me for two months and if I dont get thru any other dept I will have to leave and give my resignation 

I felt comletely cheated. He in a sugar coated manner very quielty send a strong message, pretty much similar to the stand that was taken initially. after taking all this in my stride I asked him as an employee of the company if I am asked to leave without a reason, what does the labour law state 

He told me that maangers are not entitled to any severance package and there are not a lot of leagal options available. this meeting lasted for almost 2 hrs 

He told me that either he will or I should document this conversation and putthings on an email

After a week he send me a follow up email and asked me to document the actions and that my HR manager who was at fault initially will deal with my case from there on 

I did not give anything in writing and asked HR to take further action 

In the meanwhile they send me for a couple 4 interviews which didnt materialise. I was not even given a feedback for the reson of not getting selected which is the normal protocol 

On August 31st the HR head calls me and hands over my termination letter to me citing my services are being terminated due to headcount reasons.

they gave me 2 months of my notice pay as per my appointment letter. the cheque was sent to me by courier. I was also paid gratuity 

I want to fight for the humiliation that I was subjected to and want to teach a lesson to this company. 

DO I have any legal options. I have proof available that the letter given to me is false and we had just got additional business of 200 more roles at that time. I have an email from the client 

can I send a notice and claim compensation 

please help me with some good lawyers who will not fleece money from me and help me fight this case 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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HR assistant

It is very good to see your enthusiasm but sorry teaching lesson to MNC would be the difficult choice but I agree that one must fight for his right.

Regards

 
Reply   
 


Trademark Registration Mumbai | IPR Firm | Mumbai | Start Up Lawyer | Copyright Lawyer

Dear Bijal, First I will suggust to remove the mail conversation between you and your manager cos that might be against the company poilcy and you might fall in another trouble if your company finds this cos its like breaching confidentiality, and now as you have left your company you should look for any clause in your service agreement which states the "reasons to terminate an employee" if you dont fall into the same you can simply send a legal notice thru a lawyer asking for valid reasons for termintaing..

 
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FIN

You have posted that:

--“I was working with a MNC for past 7 years.”

You are entitled to get work experience/service certificate, relieving letter, PF number-account slips for entire period of service-attested copies of PF form for withdrawal or transfer of PF /Gratuity/ correct FNF statement/ Form 16 as per correct FNF statement/NOC/NDC etc, no adverse comments in referral check as company has issued a reason for termination which is probably closure of the div/dept/company and hence no issue at your end.

If you decide to contest the order of termination you may avoid withdrawing PF etc and consult your lawyer on this.

You may submit in writing that FNF statement issued to you is not correct and FNF payment sent to you is erratic.

--“on Aug 31st 2012 I was handed over a termination letter”

Probably no notice before termination has been issued and supplied to you.

 

--“ stating that due to ramp down in my dept, my jservices are being terminated”

 

Company should avoid flimsy/fancy language and write clear and specific language and let employees/unions/regulators Assess what is actual intention of the company lay off/retrenchment/closing off the establishment.

Probably ramp down implies downsizing/pruning the manpower, and does not imply closure. However it may be construed that in your case it was lay off/retrenchment and you may be entitled to lay off/ retrenchment compensation.

For this the standing orders of the company, contract of employment should be carefully studies.

 (If both the certified standing orders and the model standing orders are silent or in cases where the Industrial Employment(Standing Orders) Act is not applicable to the companies, then the power to lay off has to be found in the contract of employment which is the appointment letter. If the appointment letter is also silent then the employer has no power to lay off and if he lays off his workmen, they are entitled to full wages for the period for which they were laid off.)

Your company may claim the decision of abrupt termination was in order and compensation was paid however your lawyer may decide to agitate that the notice pay disbursed to you was not correct compensation.

You may go thru a small write up” lay Off’ and give inputs in person to your lawyer.

With the help of your lawyer you may decide upon the merits in your case.

Designation alone does not decide employee is a workman or not.

Your lawyer shall ask you a setoff structured questions and may opine that you fall within the category of a workman.

If your lawyer opines you are not a workman you may have to agitate in civil court.

Your company may cite provisions of Specific relief Act. Your lawyer can appraise you on the merits under such situation as well.

 

--“ Following are the flow of events that happend before termination”

If you were made to work for over 8 hours, were you asked to work for extra hours in writing and were you paid OT?

If you clocked more than 8 hours/day were you allowed coming a little late and working for lesser hours during next days or in week.

What compensation was granted to you?

The 9 hours are usually divided into two tea breaks of 15 minutes each and one 30 minutes lunch break.

--“He did not send the email to me”

The conduct is bad.

“I gave her this explanation”

You have explained. After explanation no stinker/show cause notice etc was set to you.

“or submit my resignation”

The company personnel including HR coerced/forced you in office premises to give up your employment and source of livelihood.

You should have escalated to good offices of your appointing authority, MD, Chairman, Company Secretary.

--“ I ask for proofs to which my manger replies that he hasnt maintained any”

HR Head should have issued a reprimand to line manager for being vindictive.

You should have recorded this transaction in writing and escalated to good offices and built record in your favor.

--“later on told me that they will move me to an other dept and will send me for interviews for the same”

If HR practices and nuances of PIP are understood correctly the process for your exit was started by the company with this move.

--“ I then decided to escalate the matter to our ethics team, which comprises of the CEO, Risk and compliance head, and the head of our whistleblowing team”

Good companies do have such structure but it may be transparency for name sake only.

If the company has “works Committee” etc involving union representatives then it much better.

The issue is majority of the employees do not form or become member of union and do not want to be counted amongst union members/workman and feel flattered by fancy designations given by companies.

--“ I then had a appraisal discussion in which I was not given a great rating.” “the appraisal was reviewed by my manger's manger who brought up issues that were escalated.”

If you have the performance record and appraisal matrix you can shout for having been victimized and vindicated as the Manager was carrying a grudge in his mind.

--“ after a nonth and a half the VP HR met me and advised me all allegations that were made were baseless and not true and that  I am actually a misfit to the role I am managing.”

If you had escalated your grievances in writing this VP-HR should have replied in writing.

However he must have inserted the comments in your personnel file and it should be all colored red by now.

You should have requested in writing to allow you to examine your personnel file.

--“ However he told me that they would only try to place me for two months and if I dont get thru any other dept I will have to leave and give my resignation”

Again your resignation was demanded. You should have put it on record in writing.

“I felt comletely cheated. He in a sugar coated manner very quielty send a strong message,”

If he has sent this message in writing he has build written record. However you shall need to counter it.

By rotating you in different depts. the company has probably tried to build evidence that ample opportunities were granted to you.

--“He told me that maangers are not entitled to any severance package and there are not a lot of leagal options available.”

Let a competent and experienced labor consultant/service lawyer also opine on this, for you.

--“ On August 31st the HR head calls me and hands over my termination letter to me citing my services are being terminated due to headcount reasons.”

The company has terminated you and has communicated reason for termination.

You were chosen as your personnel record and file was systematically and thoroughly damaged.

--“ they gave me 2 months of my notice pay as per my appointment letter”

Has the company stated compensation/eligibility in case of lay off/retrenchment in your letter of appointment?

 

--“ DO I have any legal options. I have proof available that the letter given to me is false and we had just got additional business of 200 more roles at that time. I have an email from the client”

This may be useful.

 

Kindly decide what exactly you want to achieve?

Do you want that the termination order may be declared bad and called back and you should be reinstated?

If you get reinstated it would be a slap in the face and that too a loud slap.

However, kindly note that the litigation may be stressful for some employees. Litigation can be lengthy.

Before you initiate litigation you should understand whether your case has any merits based on record and evidence you can produce, and proceed only if you are convinced that there are merits.

Hence you may show all docs, records, evidence to your lawyer and give inputs in person and let your lawyer evaluate the merits in your case.

A competent and smart lawyer can poke holes in the defense of the company.

 

There are many threads at LCI also initiated by employees who have faced termination and were later reinstated, e.g;

Discussion > Labour & Service Law > Employment > Suit claiming damages and criminal case

http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/forum/Suit-claiming-damages-and-criminal-case-60347.asp#.UQlJBzdbfvo

What is your company a commercial or industrial establishment?

You may carefully go thru SE Act applicable to your state which may be available at Dept. of labor website of your state or you can buy the latest version from market.



Attached File : 1040144347 lay off 1.doc downloaded 266 times
 
Reply   
 
FIN

In each city there are specific lawyers who practice only in Labor Law/Service matters and they specialise in this field.

 

If you wish to avail the services of LCI lawyer you can conduct search at:

http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/lawyers_search/#.URDdOTdbfvo

Your near and dear ones can also guide you to a competent and experienced labor consultant/service lawyer.

 
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advocate

yes i agree with Mr. Kumar

 
Reply   
 
advocate

first consult a good lawyer by anlyising the points made by Mr.Kumar and right all points in one paper and then consult a good labour lawyer 

 
Reply   
 

Hi,

What is the biggest compensation amount given to any employee by an employer in wrong termination case in India so far?

I tried to find such details in google, but did not find.  lots of laywers are there. Is there anybody who knows about it?

 
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