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;
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.