It is often seen that many employees who leave their employers face the problem of unpaid salaries and other assorted dues which takes unusually long periods to sort out. This is mostly due to some companies facing dwindling financial conditions or some which even resort to illegal practices of not depositing taxes deducted from their employees’ salaries at source, non payment of employer’s contribution to provident fund as also reimbursement of travelling expenses and medical reimbursements which are compulsorily payable by law. The law provides several remedial measures to employees facing such conditions and should the aggrieved employee approach the right authorities in the right manner, he is bound to get the most favorable results.
In case your salaries have remain unpaid, you have the right to approach the office of the concerned Labor Commissioner under whose jurisdiction your employer falls and he will act as an intermediary between your employer and you to reconcile the matter. However, should he fail to solve the problem, it is the Commissioner’s responsibility to refer the case to a Labor Court, which empowers the aggrieved employee to file an application under Sec 33 (C) of the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947. If you are able to satisfy the Court with your application, the latter is duty bound to issue a proper certificate for the due amount to the official Collector who subsequently will serve a notice upon your employer for recovery of the same in the form of land revenue arrears.
However, what needs to be compulsorily borne in mind is the fact that your application has to be made within a period of 1 year from the time the money was due to be given to you by the Company. Otherwise, your claim may become time barred and your claim should also include other unpaid fringe benefits like provident fund, LTA, medical bills etc. As an employee who is above executive level or even as a manager and in ranks above, an employee has the liberty of file his case against his employer in a Civil Court. If the company, moreover, has failed to file requisite tax returns as also Form 16, then also he is answerable to the Income Tax Department which stipulates that, "when an employee deposits the required tax but his employer does not comply with his own responsibilities for the same, the latter shall be held liable for penalty and interest for his failure to deduct such required taxes".
In order to realize all your dues, it is absolutely imperative that you retain all vital documents pertaining to your employment including your appointment letter which gives the breakup and details of your pay and perks, salary slips or receipts. His will be documentary proof that you are indeed an employee and are entitled to your pay and benefits. The recent amendments in the Companies Act, 2013 have made provisions for those employees who have been affected by fraudulent employers. Section 447, Companies Act, 2013 has laid down some very stringent punishment for fraudulent employers which includes both penalty, imprisonment and/or fine.
However, before taking recourse to the law it is always advisable to contact your employer’s HRD department and have a frank discussion about the issue. It may also be so that your employer is going through a funds crunch and has every intention to pay but after a period of time. Matters relating to pending reimbursements, analyze the reimbursement cycle and the total amount that is due to you. Also be careful while assessing due bonuses and retiral benefits and put forth any written agreements or e-mails spelling out the same when the job was offered to you.
If Provident Fund has been deducted from your monthly pay and yet no deposit has been made with the EPFO, make it a point to write to the Regional Commissioner for Provident Fund. You also have the option of filing a complaint with the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Labour Ministry. If you have been in service continuously for 5 years, you should get gratuity which is payable within thirty days of your leaving the job. If you don’t get it, first approach your employer, failing which you may seek the help of the Labour Commissioner.
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