Saturday, April 18, 2020

Cos can’t sack employees: may get lawyers’ notice


PUNE (NEW DELHI): In an innovation during the unprecedented lockdown, two lawyers replicated the Supreme Court's three-decade-old PIL concept to suo motu issue legal notice to three software companies warning them of consequences for serving termination notices on many employees and announcing salary cuts for others.

Citing the prime minister's appeal to employers not to lay off any employee during the lockdown period, advocate Rajesh Inamdar and T C Shaikh sent legal notices to two Pune-based firms and a Gurgaon-based company for issuing termination letters to nearly 100 employees and also announcing salary cuts for others.

Normally, an advocate issues legal notice on behalf of his client. But in this case, the two advocates decided to act suo motu after being informed about a large number of employees losing jobs at a time when they are forced to stay home because of the lockdown. They reminded the company owners about their possible prosecution under the National Disaster Management Act for sacking employees during a pandemic.

"When things stood thus, it has come to light that you have illegally placed over 100 employees working for your company under notice period without any cogent and valid reasons. Further, you have also denied salary to several other employees and sent them on forced leave. What is appalling is several employees are also put on notice since mid-March with no indication about their future prospects with the company," the lawyers said in their notice.


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