What should i do if a company sends a legal notice for absconding

  • What should i do if a company sends a legal notice for absconding

    Date : 04-02-2019 16:16

    What should I do if a company sends a legal notice for absconding?


    Absconding means running away from the law, to make yourself absent in an attempt to avoid the legal process, in a layman’s language.


    Absconding is the most unethical and unprofessional way to separate from a company. The absconders never bother to give an explanation of separation to the employer which ends up leaving a negative impression. This is why most of the HR managers are really scared of absconding issues. If an employee decides to abscond, it is very important to understand his intentions and motives. Employees can leave suddenly in either or all situations like, after stealing the confidential documents or information or database from the company, If the intentions of an employee is to commit a crime, If there are a stress and work-pressure and the individual is not able to cope up with it, If the employee has committed any crime outside the office and after working hours, when employee has asked for leave due to some emergency at his home and at the same time his team also needs him in the office and his leaves are not approved, If he has got some extremely good opportunity that requires him to join immediately and he feels that the procedure of separation in his organization is a bit too complicated etc.


    Employment is a sort of contract. As per the Indian Contract Act, no contract can be enforced on any person if the contract which is being so enforced causes any harm to the person on whom it is enforced and if performed would violate principles of natural justices. The agreed terms have to be fulfilled by either party.

    A company generally expects the employee to serve his full notice period, assuming he might have some responsibilities which needs handover. The conditions mentioned in the appointment letter for notice period are very important to answer such a question. If there is a non-compliance happened the company can claim damages and compensation from the employee. The company has a right to PENALISE from the absconding employee. As per Sec 368 of Indian Penal Code if any person or institute holds back any document or any use any legal document or threatens any legal suits or actions and thus forces a person to perform any act against his wishes or which is illegal or wrong as per the statute of Law of the land.

    The Supreme Court of India has clearly stated that no employee can be forcefully employed against his will, just because he has signed a contract with the employer. The court also has stated that the employer can not hold back any personal document of the employees as they are earned by the employees and the company has no claim on the same. And there is no bond, then company cannot claim roughly Rs.1 Lacs as recovery, even company will not have such supporting docs to prove.


    An employer can send a legal notice to an employee for absconding subject to reasons mentioned by the employer.


    Legal action against absconding employee who resigns and fails to provide with the minimum period of notice, there are several actions that need to be taken, and there is also usually a frustration or emotional fallout at the sudden departure. The employer may send out a legal notice for violation of employment terms and also claim compensation for any loss that employer may have suffered due to unfinished work. As everyone knows, legal procedures are time-consuming, long drawn and are more of an ethical high and might serve as a caution to existing employees against leaving suddenly. The other actions against absconding employee include avoiding issuing exit related documentation like relieving letter, full & final settlement statement, service or experience certificate, and mark that employee as an absconder.


    What can be done?

    1. If the clause has been mutually accepted the company has every right to recover the notice pay.
    2. The employee has paid you the notice pay. So it will be appropriate on your part to issue him a relieving letter.

    How absconding termination is different from other terminations (from notice period angle)?

    Termination done by the employer is done for poor performance or misconduct warranting termination of service. In absconding cases, this question does not arise the only error committed by him is the failure to report for work. It is the cessation of service similar to resignation and cannot be deemed as termination.

    If you view it as termination then it will mean that you will be required to pay the notice pay instead of the employee as the act is on your part and not on employees part. So it will be wise on your part to receive the notice pay and issue him a relieving letter.

    Trust matter is clarified and is a very necessary element of any absconding case.


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