• Legal consequences for if I leave my job from a private university without serving a notice period

1. I joined one private university (which belongs to a very renowned business group) on 15-06-2015 just before 1 and 1/2 month before my final PhD defense. On 30-07-2015, I was awarded PhD and I submitted the copy of same to the HR. But despite of giving immediate raise for PhD in Aug 2015, this raise was given to me in Jul 2016 i.e. after 11 months.   
2. At the time of joining, I signed an appointment letter (which was typed on University letter head not on any stamp paper) which had some T&C according to which employee and employer both has to give 3 month prior notice if I want to leave or employer want to fire me or 3 month salary (Basic+DA) if same happens on urgent basis without prior notice. One more point was there in T&C that I can not leave the organization in mid of the term.
3. When I got confirmed on my post after completion of one year probation period (on 15th June 2016), I was given 5 increments for PhD (late by 11 months) and one regular increment applicable from 1st Jul 2016. In all I was not satisfied with my salary and was waiting for good offer from other place. In last week of Dec 2016, I got an interview call from Karimnagar. I came to KNR on 30-12-2016 and got an good offer what I wanted to get. But the issue was I have to join within 15 days so I could not serve 3 month notice period in University where I was working. I just e-mailed my resignation letter to Director, Registrar and Vice Chancellor on 04-01-2017. In resignation letter, I requested to them for relieving me on urgent basis and I agreed to pay one month salary (Basic+DA) and laptop dues. I met to Director, VC to consider my case but they talked to me very rudely and forced me to complete the semester (till May 2017) which was just started. But I didn't want to leave new offer so I joined in KNR on 12-01-2017. Also I had already taken new employer in confidence about my previous issue, he assured me  to handle my case. 
4. After joining the job in KNR, previous University sent me notices through e-mails and post for come back to job and then notices through e-mails and post for paying 3 month salary (Basic+DA) in lieu of not serving notice period and extra 2 month salary (till completion of the semester) for not completing the semester. In all they demanded Rs. 3,22,982/- (including laptop dues) They warned to take legal action against me if I don't pay this amount. I can not pay this much amount. Last e-mail I received on 11-04-2017. 
Q. What are the possible alternatives to handle this problem?
Q. Should I take an initiative to do a settlement?   
Q. What consequences I might have to face if they take a legal action?
Q. Does T&C printed on University letter head have any relevance in court and what chances I have to win this case if it goes to court? After 1 year, can they still file a case in court? No time limit?
Asked 4 years ago in Labour

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14 Answers

Hello,

They have the right to file a case for recovery, but since it has been 8 months since they last sent you the mail therefore I do not think so that they will pursue the matter now.

If they are silent then do not take any step from your side.

If they file a civil suit then you will have to appear before the court and thereupon you can enter into a settlement.

They can file the case till 3 years, limitation as per law is 3 year and after that also they can file a case with an application for condonation of delay.

Do not worry and do not take any step from your side at this juncture.

Regards

Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17870 Answers
338 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

offer to pay 3 months dues as you left without serving notice period

2) in case your ex employer files suit you would have to pay 3 months salary

4) further you since you left in middle of semester employer may claim damages from you

5)T&c printed on university letterhead and accepted by you are binding upon you

6) suit has to be filed within period of 3 years

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
84408 Answers
5534 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Q. What are the possible alternatives to handle this problem?

Ans: Let them file the suit, it can be defended and prolonged for many years. It may be on legal issues, jurisdiction and so many other issues. Instead of paying such huge amount which is being claimed illegally better face the legal battle.

Q. Should I take an initiative to do a settlement?

Ans: If you wish, but I assume that they may not reduce the amount because they are fighting not in their individual capacity but on behalf of University.

Q. What consequences I might have to face if they take a legal action?

Ans: No consequence, at the most decree may be passed against you but for rupees one lakh or so.

Q. Does T&C printed on University letter head have any relevance in court and what chances I have to win this case if it goes to court? After 1 year, can they still file a case in court? No time limit?

Ans: We can firstly deny every thing, and maintainability of suit itself to be questioned since it is not a valid agreement/contract. Time limit is 3 years, they can file but civil court take much time to dispose it.

Kishan Dutt Kalaskar
Advocate, Bangalore
6011 Answers
321 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

You having already joined at the new place, should continue discharging duties at the said place, unabated by the emails and legal notice in question

Do not propose a settlement from your end. The ball is in their court, let them lodge a case as they have been threatening you with. At any time they choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to put up your case and offer an explanation to the Court.

They may still file a case, but there's nothing to be worried off. Yes, the appointment letter hold good and is admissible in the Court.

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
9350 Answers
215 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Q. Almost 1 yr has been completed and I think they have not filed any case against me. Can they still file a case against me in court? Is there any time limit for them to file case or not?

I already told you in the last answer that limitation for filing a case is 3 years.

Q. Should I file a case against them for mental harassment in future as they were forcing me to continue job there and also that time my wife was in 8th month of pregnancy?. I was getting more than 50% hike in net salary in next job so I decided to leave this job. Also that time I was having 3 lacs personal loan which I taken from my elder brother, so this was also one of the reason to leave job since I could complete it faster with new job.

If they are quiet on the issue and are not filing any case then there is no point in filing a case and aggravating the issue at this juncture.

In such type of cases what are chances in favour of employee?

This totally depends on the claim and reply and as to how the case is presented by your lawyer. These clauses are binding and no court till date has held them to be a case of bonded labor, it all depends on the facts of the case.

Should I wait for their action I mean till the time when they will file a case against me? Or I should take initiative to settle down this before filing the case?

Wait for them to take action, there is no point in initiating an action as of now from your end.

Regards

Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17870 Answers
338 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) the reason why university insists that you should not leave in middle of semester is it is difficult to find replacement professor in middle of semester

2)3 months notice was mentioned in appointment letter . you agreed to the terms and conditions

3) case can be filed in next 2 years . if suit not filed in 3 years time claim is barred by limitation

4) dont file any case against ex employer

5) you would have to pay 3 months salary atleast in case matte goes to court

6) wait for ex employer to file case

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
84408 Answers
5534 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You mentioned that your present employer assured you to take care of the matter. What about that. Secondly, the time limit in your case for filing the case by your ex-employer is 3 years. They can file the case against you. I advise you to wait till they file case against you. Let them file the case. Contest the case forcibly. In any case, you have to pay only the salary for 3 months and remaining amount of laptop plus interest. During the course of pendency of the case, you may settle with the employer on 3 months salary, remaining amount of laptop without interest. Or wait for the decision of the court, the decision will be in your favor and in case the interest is imposed by the court, it would not be more than 9% p.a. So, relax. wait for the employer to file case and contest it. Whatever defense you want to take, take them in your reply to the case filed by your employer. I hope this would suffice your purpose.

Dalip Singh
Advocate, New Delhi
934 Answers
23 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Since, their claim against you is monetary in nature, they should mostly file recovery proceedings against you. The limitation to file such a case is 3 years.

2. You should not be hindered by the pressure being casted by them. Turn a blind eye to them and continue at your present work place without being deflated. You should not nothing from your end. They will have to go to the Court to push their claim against you, and not otherwise. At anytime they approach the Curt, you will have sufficient opportunity to defend.

3. You have a good case, but do not be anxious at this stage.

4. Wait.

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
9350 Answers
215 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You are bound by the Terms and conditions stipulated in your appointment letter.As you quit your previous job without serving the notice period or paying 3 months salary in lieu of not serving the notice period as you were required to do as per the terms and conditions enumerated in your appointment letter,your previous employer may file a civil suit against you for recovery of the amount claimed.

The period of limitation in such cases is 3 years.

You should wait for your previous employer to file a civil suit against you and thereafter negotiate a settlement with them.

R Aditya
Advocate, Delhi
68 Answers
3 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

If the contract has certain clause for damages to be paid you are bound by the same. As you have already left now this issue is of concern. In most of the cases the organisation doesn't go against the employee to court. And if they still go you have option of settlement in court too. You can try to settle before also if there is a good offer from them which is no loss to you. Limitation to file case may be recurring in nature so I can't tell the exact period of last correspondence. Generally it's 3 years in civil cases.The terms and conditions bare binding in court provided they are legal and not contrary to provisions of law. Chances of settlement are more prominent in court. Dont worry and take decision as per the applicable circumstances.

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
24495 Answers
52 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

Hello,

Appointment letter is valid agreement in eyes of law even if not executed on stamp paper. Employers ( organisation) cannot force you to work. As per your appointment letter, you wrre under a mandate to serve 3 months notice period or salary in lieu thereof. So you were served annotice by employer now Maximum what they can ask is amount that is basis plus DA of the period of days not serving notice period so if you have given notice of 15 days then for rest 2.5 monthsyou will be required to give amount. See it is upto employer to waive off notice period but if they don't agree employee doesn't have any option but they cannot ask for more above-mentioned amount like salary of other months of that semester as bond is no more valid in India, bond for limited duration like for reasonable duration like 1 year or so is legal. As notice was served in April, till then your organisation has not served you any notice so probability of you being dragged to court is negligible. What utmost they can do is holding your relieving letter and your leave can also be adjust while calculting the 3 months notice period. Even if you don't send a reply of notice is fine. If they again send you a notice then you should send a reply with help of lawyer and pay accordingly. As utmost you have to pay for period for not serving notice period. Moreover it is your right to decide whether you want to work for that organisation or not, nobody can force you to work for them.

Thanks

Manisha Navlani
Advocate, New Delhi
6 Answers

4.0 on 5.0

Firstly the correspondences through emails should be avoided to the maximum level possible, because they cannot be secured as admissible evidence when the matter reaches court of law owing to various factors involved in it.

Q. What are the possible alternatives to handle this problem?

Based on the employment offer letter condition, you may agree to compensate by paying three months notice period and not beyond that, their money recovery case can be challenged in court properly.

Q. Should I take an initiative to do a settlement?

If you want to close the current crisis, you may initiate to settle the matter as suggested in the above lines.

Q. What consequences I might have to face if they take a legal action?

They may initiate money recovery suit to recover the amount

Q. Does T&C printed on University letter head have any relevance in court and what chances I have to win this case if it goes to court? After 1 year, can they still file a case in court? No time limit?

For money recovery the time limit is three years, hence they can file recovery suit within three years from the date of cause of action.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
74520 Answers
1227 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Q. Almost 1 yr has been completed and I think they have not filed any case against me. Can they still file a case against me in court? Is there any time limit for them to file case or not?

The limitation is three years and if they decide to file a recovery suit, they can do it even now.

Q. Should I file a case against them for mental harassment in future as they were forcing me to continue job there and also that time my wife was in 8th month of pregnancy?. I was getting more than 50% hike in net salary in next job so I decided to leave this job. Also that time I was having 3 lacs personal loan which I taken from my elder brother, so this was also one of the reason to leave job since I could complete it faster with new job.

No such case is maintainable, dont be under any such misguidance.

This idea will backfire and you may land in more troubles.

Q. In such type of cases what are chances in favour of employee?

Depends on the circumstances.

Q Should I wait for their action I mean till the time when they will file a case against me? Or I should take initiative to settle down this before filing the case?

You may decide to wait for the next call from them after which you can negotiate the settlement amount with the management of the university.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
74520 Answers
1227 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Mere signing on a letter head is not a service contract as it is a private university. There mails are just a threatening act done against you so that you get pressured and continue the same or just pay the penalty. No need to worry, just wait for there action. There are many case laws supporting the employees.

Rajan Prakash
Advocate, Patna
6 Answers

4.0 on 5.0

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