HCL Tech Loses Labor Case Against Employee Termination; Court Orders Reinstatement
In Chennai, a labor case against wrongful termination can prove to be a landmark judgement for all techies out there. For the first time in Indian history, a Labor Court has described an IT Worker as a ‘Workman’, thereby implying all labor laws and labor protection rules on them.
Besides, HCL Tech lost this case against an employee, who was terminated without giving any reasons.
K Ramesha was hired by HCL Tech as Senior Service Programmer and was confirmed as on February 26, 2010. The company said that his employment will start with effect from August 20, 2009.
On September 20, 2010 Ramesha’s salary was incremented, as he was doing a good work.
However, On January 22, 2013, his services were terminated, and was asked to leave the company. Management said that despite counselling, he has failed to improve his performance and hence, was terminated. No memo, or documents were provided, and no investigation done.
On failing to get any response, Ramesha approached Chennai’s Labor Court, filing case against HCL Tech for wrongful termination.
HCL had argued that as Ramesha was a ‘supervisor’, he cannot be categorized under ‘Workman’, hence no labor laws are applicable.
While hearing the case, Additional Labour Court Presiding Officer S Nambirajan described Ramesha as a ‘Workman’, as he said, “It cannot be denied that the job of an engineer in a software company involves skills and technical knowledge. Therefore it can be concluded that the job of a software engineer can be termed as the skilled or technical one”,
The Court dismissed HCL’s arguments, and ordered reinstatement of Ramesha and asked HCL to pay back all missed wages, ever since his termination was announced.
The Court said, “The firm has not produced any evidence to show that failure to improve performance or failure to measure up to the expectations or standing orders of the company would amount to an act of misconduct.”
In future labor cases, lawyers and Labor Unions can use this judgement to argue about employee’s benefits and terminations clauses. And, it is proved that if an employee is working in AC, infront of a computer, then he is a techie, and a workman.