getting employment funds
I had resigned from a semi-govt company two years back after almost 30 years of service as a General Manager. However the company is claiming that I was dismissed from service for remaining absent. Whereas I had been duly submitting leave applications via registered post and none of my leave applications were ever received back from the company. There was also no intimation that my leave applications were not as per rules/not accepted. One month after submitting my resignation by registered post, I kept requesting the company repeatedly in writing to release all my dues post-resignation. The company kept delaying the settlement of all my dues. The company kept making an issue of my alleged dismissal from service on a date prior to my date of resignation when no correspondence/intimation was ever received by me from the company in connection with the alleged dismissal. The company also unnecessarily kept dragging an old alleged misconduct for which I was issued a charge sheet over ten years back. The company conducted a formal unbiased and thorough departmental enquiry. After examining the matter from all the angles, the Enquiry Officer submitted an enquiry report exonerating me of all the charges contained in the said charge sheet. The said enquiry report of the Enquiry Officer was duly accepted by the Managing Director of the company. It is therefore pertinent to mention that I was totally exonerated of all the charges in the said charge sheet four years prior to my resignation. Since the company kept delaying the release of my rightful dues, I filed a complaint against the company with the Provident Fund Commissioner and thereafter the company released my entire PF amount (i.e. Company share + employee share) after accepting my PF withdrawal form/affidavits wherein I had correctly mentioned the reason for leaving service as 'Resignation' alongwith the date of resignation. Thereafter I am also getting regular pension from the PF department. After having already released my entire PF amount, the company is again giving the same baseless reasons for denying/delaying the release of my balance dues like Gratuity, Superannuation, unpaid salary, Arrears etc. Since I am in need of money and the company is unnecessarily harassing me and delaying the release of my rightful dues, I will be extremely grateful for guidance and advice on how to proceed for getting my balance dues released from the company.
The first legal option can be to send a legal notice to the employer demanding the arrears to be paid with interest within a stipulated time.
If the employer fails to pay up the arrears as demanded you will have to file a suit for recovery of arrears. The decision on the suit can take time if the employer is not willing to settle the matter.
The ground that a charge sheet was filed against an employee or even the pendency of criminal trial has been held to be baseless for withholding of amount of gratuity.
And as per section 4 (1) of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 a petitioner has statutory right to receive gratuity from his employer save and except in the circumstances provided u/s 4 (6). The employer doesn’t have the right to withhold the amount but only the right to forfeit u/s 4 (6) of the Act and none of the circumstances provided in that section are applicable to the case at hand
Under the Act a complaint can be filed to the controlling authority within the area where the employer’s establishment is situated or where the employee was working at the time of termination. An application along with all the necessary documents can be filed in ‘Form N’ under Rule 10 of the payment of gratuity (central) rules, 1972 to the controlling authority to seek for direction of the payment of the amount.
A suit can be filed in the labour or before the labour commissioner seeking for recovery of the unpaid salary and arrears.
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