Legal Advice

Employer does not pay my salary and other dues : what should I do?

Question: What should I do when employer is not paying my salary? I was working with the company for 2.5 years. My employer does not pay my salary and other dues. After one year of joining the company, I want to leave the company because of some good opportunities. But they offer me the same salary and beg me. So I accepted. In a pandemic, they cut salaries. They do not want to start an office because they leave the office. So after  5 months of so many requests I say that please start the office and it will be good for the project delivery.  They started the office but after the office started, they were denied a proper salary. They cut our salary without prior notice from the company. We work 3 months from the office after the office starts and lockdown starts on 22nd April 2021, they say that all four employees need to work WFH, so we accepted.  Our salary was going to come on 15th May. But on 13 may they call us to say that your salary will be cut. we say why, sir. they again say that it will happen with their EGO. but the lockdown starts from 22nd April but they cut the whole salary of April month. It was too disturbed. So we worked for some months. The company was not running well. and they were unable to Sell out their Product Software.  So I resigned 3 months ago. I resigned from the company. Because of some issue with me and the MD (managing director) but I try to short out issues between both of us on the same day. They ask me to sit on their feet, which I can not do. so I finally resigned. But the company’s MD says to me that you will have to hand over  our Project code on which I am a single person working. Because the company had only 3 employees at that time.   I say that I am ready to give you your laptop and other stuff which I have. But they always said that you need to complete our project. (same speech LIKE Tape recorder)  so I Say that your Task is complete which you ask from me. You can test it if you find any bugs you can ask me to fix it. I am ready to serve you notice for 1 month. which is already mentioned in the Offer Letter. but they denied the notice period.   They always said they wanted their software. And I also share Source Code with them on the same day when The MD Husband asks for the code. but after they said they want their software Live. But they were unable to sell their software. for which they blame us. I  send 4 e-mails every month but they never Reply I Call every time they say that I need to fix their Bugs in the software. I always say to them that please provide me with the Bugs List. so i can fix your issue if any.  But They Say that we did not test it, we will launch it and test it.  Tomorrow I will send the final mail for the same that lets me know the time when I can share your laptop and other stuff (Source code already shared). They tell me that they will give me 100 Rs of stamp paper and that they will give me my salary in the future when they will launch their software.  All Employees Resign after I resign. They do not have any employees. They are saying to me they will Go Court. that I am not giving them their property. Please Help ME with what I can do. What should I do now? And What is my rights?

Advise

Advise: The company has breached the work contract. Hence, it cannot claim any remedy against you. You are ready to hand over all the stuff the company has provided to you for completion of the project. More importantly, you have completed the project and shared the source code of the software. 

In this scenario you have completed or discharged your duty under the work agreement. Therefore, no remedy is available to your employer to claim from you under the work contract. Even though you can send a legal notice to the employer for non compliance of notice period and not giving salary in lieu of the work you did. 

You should send a legal notice to your employer for the compensation and arrears of salary and other dues. If the employer does not respond within a month then you should file a civil suit for the compensation and payment of dues. 

If a party to the contract has discharged his liability or performed his part then the other party cannot claim any relief against him. The same has happened in your case and your employer is not in the position to claim any right i.e. compensation for loss etc against you.

You should send the legal notice as soon as possible and be ready to file the civil suit if the employer does not act on your notice. However, a civil suit is a very time consuming process but you should fight for your right. You have the right to claim compensation for the breach of the contract. Payment of dues, arrears of salary etc are valuable rights of the employee therefore, you should file a civil suit.

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow