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Employment Law/Employee Rights on Forced Resignation

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Question
Dear Umesh,

I need your urgent help on certain issue which has happened very recently.

I am working with ESSAR PROJECTS LTD in Mumbai as Dy. Manager in Spend Pool Function. I have been with the company for last 3 years & joined as lateral hire. Over the last 3 years I have been consistently rated as GOOD on performance. I was promoted last year but my promotion increment was not given (typically additional 10%)by the management stating I was already in a high range bracket of employee salary of my batch mates & bring parity with other similar designation managers I was given only minimal increment of 10% given at rating "GOOD". Of this 10% increment 4% was variable pay & was payable at the end of the year based on performance rating. Our company year ends in March & new employee payroll comes into place from April.

Now in last week of Feb'13 there has been mass layoff in the company. One set of the employees have been forced to resign or threatened to be terminated. 100% of such employees have resigned.

Another set of employees (including me) have been asked to shift to HAZIRA plant to do trainings for indefinite period effective 18th March 2013. We were given 30 mins time to think about either opting for HAZIRA Training offer or resigning from the company effective immediately. With resignation they offered 3 months of basic salary as separation package.

Since such decisions can't be made in haste 100% of such employees opted for HAZIRA at that moment. I was also not able to get in touch with my family about this issue in those 30 mins & hence signed on the paper to opt for HAZIRA transfer.

Now after discussing with all & weighing all impacts I have decided not to shift to HAZIRA. I want to resign from the company now. I am ready to serve 3 months of notice period in the company staying in mumbai which is my base location, which was put in job offer. But now management is not allowing me to serve my notice period & they are asking me to resign immediately & they are going to recover the 3 months of basic salary from me. They have not clarified that is it only because I am not going to HAZIRA & asking to serve notice here in Mumbai only or this is true even if I go to Hazira.

I wanted to understand that what rights do I have in this situation. I am fearing that I will asked to leave immediately & my March salary + 4% of my entire years variable income will be taken up by the company & nothing will be given to me.

I would prefer to have either of these 3 options:
a. Offer me the same severance package as offered on 28th Feb
or
b. Resign as employee of ESSAR PROJECTS LTD & serve my notice here after adjusting with my accumulated PLs.
or
c. Resign as employee of ESSAR PROJECTS LTD & leave as soon as possible post transfer of my work to someone else & don't serve full notice (as they want to empty space in mumbai office to give one part of the building as rent) but still get my March;13 salary & 4% variable salary.

Kindly help me in this regard as I am under tremendous amount of stress due to this & I don't want to give up like this & get bullied or harassed.

Thanks
Regards,

Answer
Dear Gourish,

Hope you're doing fine.

First you should thank your Organisation for not considering you for the first option. I have seen companies issuing pink slips just like that in case of layoffs. Probably because of a good reputation in the Organisation you have not been issued a pink slip but given a new opportunity to work at a new business location. As an employer companies always have a right to transfer any employee to any other business location whenever needed therefore your employer has exercised its right. As I am not sure what choices you may have after already accepting the transfer order in writing. In such a case you're left with two good options only.

1. To join at the new location; work there for sometime and if you don't like working there. You always have an option of resigning giving them due notice period; as you're being transferred to a new location because of a closure of an office I am sure company will relieve you by waiving your notice period. In today's advanced scenario at an Executive level you need to build your relations with your employer. You never know you loose a job offer after 6-7 years merely because of a negative reference check done by an outsourced agency. Therefore think more than twice before you take any step.

2. To request your Organisation that you wish to resign and specifically request them for not paying you 3 months basic pay but they should pay you all dues including March'13 salary, your Privilege leaves' encashment and variables etc.

I am sure this will be helpful.

Warm regards,
Umesh Chaudhary
New Delhi, India

Employment Law

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Umesh Chaudhary

Expertise

Any question related to HR processes, legal compliance of labour ONLY in India

Experience

Over 12 years in the field of Human Resources, industrial relations, labour laws and administration

Publications
1. An article published in India Today on sexual harassment, 2. People challenges on How to retain talent http://milagrow.in/k-solutions/newsletters/interview/people-challenges-how-retain-talent 3. Management & Human Resource http://blog.globalbx.com/2009/01/04/management-human-resources/

Education/Credentials
MBA (HR), M.Phil (HR). I hold various accreditation in the area of Human Resources, Industrial Relations and Employment Laws. I strongly feel the more knowledge you share the more you'll get to learn. There is no age to learning therefore I stay abreast with new developments into HR and Labor Laws; I prefer to attend regular seminars, professional gathering, workshops and lectures. I am also associated with All India Management Association, National HRD Network (Delhi Chapter).

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