• Legal Notice from Employer. What should we do?

Hello Sir/Madam,
I joined a Pre-school as teacher and signed Service Agreement ( on normal paper without stamp) which says that company can terminate any time and Employee needs to give 6 months notice period before leaving. In case employee does not serve notice period, he/she will have to pay 6 months salary amount to school and also 5 lacs for trouble caused. They did not give me copy of agreement.
I had to quit school after one month due to health reasons and extreme stress because of worst head teacher. I informed HR over mail about it but did not present any medical documents. Since then I could not reply to any of their mails.
Now they have sent a legal notice over mail saying we need to pay 6 months salary + 5 lacs in one month.
Can you suggest what should we do?
1. Are Non-stamped Service agreement valid in India? If yes, are these enforcable.
2. My reason for quit was primarily harassment and insulting behaviour. Should I just ignore all this? I did not do any damages. I do not have any school property with me.
3. Should we talk to them, explain health & present Medical documents and negotiate for an amount to pay?
4. Should we hire laywer and take it forward?

Vikrant
Asked 4 years ago in Labour

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18 Answers

I don't think talking is going to help you in any manner. You should duly reply to the legal notice received by you by an advocate stating that the terms of employment a unilateral and arbitrary and hence cannot be enforced in any Court of law. For contract to be a valid contract both the parties should have equal rights.

You won't have to pay such an exorbitant amount to them, if you take this to court as their terms of contract are biased, and court would set them aside.

Feel free to call.

Regards.

Siddharth Jain
Advocate, New Delhi
5925 Answers
101 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) engage a local lawyer and reply to legal notice

2) offer to rejoin serve 6 months notice period and then leave the school

3) there is no justification for demanding Rs 5 lakhs if you serve the notice period

4) agreement appears to be arbitrary . one sided , unsustainable

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87899 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Yes it can be valid and enforceable if signed and agreed by you.

2. You can reply to notice stating the harassment you have gone through, further since no damages to school are caused and the condition in agreement is really hard and non viable even if the school goes in court they wont be able to claim the same amount.

3. Yes if there is option of settlement with talks then its best viable option,

4. See you should take help of lawyer to draft reply of the notice and arrive on settlement then also even if school goes in court you can contest same,

Shubham Jhajharia
Advocate, Ahmedabad
25516 Answers
179 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Are Non-stamped Service agreement valid in India? If yes, are these enforcable.

Answer: All agreements are valid in India, provided they have signed by both the parties. Did you sing the agreement?

2. My reason for quit was primarily harassment and insulting behaviour. Should I just ignore all this? I did not do any damages. I do not have any school property with me.

Answer: See as per labour law is concerned, you might be on probationary period? If yes then you are little on the safe side;

3. Should we talk to them, explain health & present Medical documents and negotiate for an amount to pay?

Answer: Yes please collect all medical evidences in your favour;'

4. Should we hire laywer and take it forward?

Answer: Engage services of a lawyer if you wish to reply;

This is in further response to you:

1. You can send a reply to the legal notice if you want;

2. If you choose to ignore it then they can approach the civil court for recovery of sums;

3. Mostly employers do not approach the civil court for recovery cases since it takes years to finalise;

4. Therefore you can hire a lawyer, draft a reply, send it to your employer with attached proofs, and say that you cannot continue in service for the above stated reasons and you have the right to quit whenever you choose to you;

5. Also state that the agreement is not binding on you since you were never given a copy of the same;

6. You can say the signature was obtained by fraud and coercion;

7. For fraud and coercion you can also file case, but you will not if the employer drops his charges against you;

8. Once you create a strong reasoning from your side, then the employer should not trouble you in the future.

Gowaal Padavi
Advocate, Mumbai
1920 Answers
5 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Dear Client,

Appointment letters are like this and do not get executed on stamp parer but if it`s specifically written on it - Service Agreement than it should be on stamp paper and registered otherwise invalid in evidence. It`s terms cannot be enforced through court.

You are advise to send them counter legal notice of harassment met at work place and demand compensation.

No negotiation, instead you should demand damages.

Wait till any legal action taken by them.

Yogendra Singh Rajawat
Advocate, Jaipur
21481 Answers
31 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

Hello,

Reh contract which was made was not intimated to you and you don't have a copy of it. The conditions laid down in the contract are onerous and against the fundamental rights of any person.

Therefore you should deny each and every allegations contained therein and engage a lawyer to draft a reply.

Regards

Rahul Mishra
Advocate, Lucknow
13755 Answers
65 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) Don't worry you are not permanent employee and the NDA is not signed nor employer and employee agreement has been signed.

2) Don't attend their calls and entertain them.

Ganesh Kadam
Advocate, Pune
12335 Answers
191 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

You need to send reply to.their notice making allegations of harassment and the insult meted out to you by them that will deter them from taking any action. Also state that due to their behaviour you suffered health problem and the expenses should be incurred by them.

Secondly any agreement which are not stamped are not valid or legal in eye of law. Also no person can get.unjustly enriched at cost of other as such appoint a advocate and reply to the notice issued by.them.

Swarnarka Chowdhury
Advocate, Mysore
1878 Answers
5 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Yes your agreement is valid and can also be treated as an engagement letter.

2. You can challenge the clause which says the company can terminate at anytime and you have to serve a 6 months notice. This Clause is a Vinod clause according to Indian Contract Act. As it should be vis-versa in both the cases of termination from your side and companies side.

3. Send them a reply of their legal notice denoting all the facts and reasons for your termintation. Give them a para wise reply legally.

4. You should just hire a lawyer for sending a reply to their legal notice. In most of the cases it’s not required further as the company withdraws their notice after getting a proper reply. You have strong merits in your reply, you don’t need to worry just send them a reply of their legal notice.

Ruchit Dugar
Advocate, New Delhi
190 Answers

4.9 on 5.0

I will answer each of your questions point wise, kindly see:

1. Yes, in India, even Oral contracts are valid. The contract is valid but you also need to make sure that the terms of the contract are not unreasonable. Also notice that the Courts in India have given several decisions which says that the employee cannot be forcefully employed against his will, just because he has signed a contract.

2. Please remember that some courts in our country have ruled that recovery of losses if any or training costs can be recovered from the outgoing employee. As far as the issue of harassment and insulting behavior is concerned, in case you have raised the issue with the HR already, then you can take such ground and point out that you don’t owe anything to the company as you were forced to leave the job for such reasons.

3. Yes, you can approach the employer and explain your health related issue. You can present Medical documents and then come to terms of negotiation to reach a mutually agreed amount to pay. But this would put the onus on you that you left the job on your own and the company is not at fault.

4. As the employer has served you a legal notice, you must approach a lawyer for sending a reply to the notice explaining your side of the issue. This will save you from hassles and you will not have to face any issue when you take up a job in future. This is very important that you send a reply immediately.

Harpreet Singh Hora
Advocate, Delhi
31 Answers

Not rated

If you receive a legal notice from your ex employer, first we need to figure out, for what reason - did you leak any secret information of the company; the office provided you with certain things like laptop, phone, simcard etc for your office works which you were suppose to return while leaving but you didn’t; you signed an employment bond with the employer, which you did not comply with, or any other reason.

When you receive a legal notice you need to reply to that (it is not a legal obligation, but for your own legal security). For replying to a legal notice, it is necessary to hire a lawyer and move further.

for further you may contact me.

Sudhindra Bhat
Advocate, Bangalore
51 Answers

Not rated

Dear Client,

Dont worry. You have not signed any legal document. They are harassing you. They only send you legal notice. You need not to answer that legal notice.If you want to join,you can rejoin by showing medical bills.

Jaswant Singh
Advocate, Gurugram
926 Answers
2 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

1. No agreement can make an employee a slave or bonded labourer. So ignore their agreement or the notice as the same has no legal effect at all. The terms of the agreement is against the provision of section 27 of the Indian Contract Act and hence there is no question whether it is properly stamped or not.

2. Yes, ignore this notice.

3. There is no need for explanation though you can through an advocate reply on the legal aspect of such agreement or on its non enforceability.

4. It is better if you get the reply drafted through an advocate.

Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
22515 Answers
402 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. That is not a valid agreement.

2. Tender a strong reply to the said legal notice at the earliest.

Regards

Anilesh Tewari
Advocate, New Delhi
17940 Answers
377 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hello sir , if you have signed the document , then you may have to pay the penalty amount , untill and unless you can justify valid reasons for immediate resigning ...For detailed guidance you can contact at my office in GURGAON..

Hemant Chaudhary
Advocate, Gurgaon
4619 Answers
67 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

1. It was your fault that you did not obtain a copy of the contract that you made. This is no defence.

2. Since you wanted to quit you should have resigned only in accordance with the contract i.e by paying your salary of 6 months and damages of Rs.5 lakhs. Now the employer has the remedy of filing a civil suit for damages to seek recovery of the entire amount with interest and legal cost.

3. Service contracts are not required to be stamped and registered. Even an unregistered and unstamped service contract is admissible in evidence.

4. Better reach an amicable settlement with your ex employer, else they will drag you to court.

5. Of course, it is time for you to engage a lawyer.

Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
30761 Answers
971 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. The conditions are lopsided and exorbitant.

Let them file a recovery suit, you can challenge the same properly as it is not maintainable.

2. You may give a reply to the notice denying all the allegations and the demand.

3. If you think that this can be solved by talking to the management then there is no wrong in making an attempt.

3. It is up to you.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
78057 Answers
1543 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Services agreement not to be stamped in india

But an agreement is valid only when it is unconditional as per Indian contract act 1972.

If they want to proceed with court you can appoint a lawyer.

But you donot need to pay anything for that

Hemadri Chandrakanth
Advocate, Vijayawada
98 Answers
10 Consultations

4.0 on 5.0

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