Ready to Sue Your Employer? Read this First!
You might hardly find a person who has never worked in an unfavorable working condition. Various factors violate any company’s working atmosphere, like office politics, stress, long working hours, or a more serious one—harassment. The off-repeated advice in such situations is to look for another job. Only some have the strength and resources to fight against their employers in case of violation of their working rights. However, this doesn’t mean that you should back off. You have a right to sue your employer.
Is there a reason to sue the employer?
Figure out if you have a case or not. What you think is a violation of rights, may not be recognised by law. Like, if your boss yells at you or doesn’t give you leave on your birthday, then it cannot be termed as a violation of rights. Hence, such a case do not qualify to be presented before the court.
Check the provisions of labour laws, like the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923. However, note, all these provisions may not be applicable. For instance, the Industrial Dispute Act mainly covers labour class working in factories. However, the Workmen Compensation Act covers managerial class also. Therefore, such provisions will be applicable to you as well. For instance, as per the Workmen Compensation act, an employer is liable to pay compensation if an injury is caused to a worker by accident arising during employment. However, if the employer refuses to compensate the employee, he/she can file a legal case against the employer.
Sue in case of violation of fundamental rights
There are some fundamental laws provided under the Constitution. Like, if you face discrimination in the workplace on the basis of your gender, caste, or age, you can sue your employer for violation of fundamental rights. Similarly, the company is liable to pay you what has been written in the job contract. In case the company fails to do so, you have rights to take legal action. Another common ground is wrongful termination. However, before shooting the gun, make sure to read your contract carefully.
How should you take up your case?
Approach the human resource (HR) department of your company in case of violation of your rights. In some cases, the HR department can solve problems brought up to them. It addresses your grievances. You can lodge a written complaint with the department and give them sufficient time to respond to your situation. Also, go through the ‘employees’ handbook’ to get an understanding of the company’s policy.
You can file a court case if you are not satisfied with their response.
Know about the court proceedings
If there is a violation of the contract, you can approach a civil court. Similarly, cases of mental harassment can also be filed, in both civil court and criminal court,. Consult a lawyer for smooth court proceedings. .
Prepare yourself for the successful contesting of a case in court. . It would be good if you maintain a record of all the incidents of violation of your rights. If possible, note downtime and date as well as incident as well. For instance, note down the time and date of the accident when the employer refused to compensate you as per the Workmen Compensation Act. It will be useful for your lawyer who will be able to find if you have a case or not. The information will also come in handy while discussing the matter with HR. Next, try to speak to the co-workers and see if they will support you or not.
The path is not easy
When you file a case against your employer, you expose yourself to painstaking scrutiny. Your employer will keep a close watch on your daily schedule. Your work and interaction with co-workers can be closely monitored. Even a minor mistake can go against you. The company may also dig into your previous employment records to see if you had similar issues in the past. Also, your personal life can be examined to prove your personal problems are stressing you out at work. a personal crisis can be blamed for your feeling exploited at work. Remember, it can affect your career also.
It would be good to properly weigh all pros and cons before dragging your employer to court. You can also check old records and try to connect with those employees (current and ex) who might have also faced the same problems.