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Illegal 2 years Service Agreement by Patni

Hari Gangadharan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2001
Posts: 73
From my experience the laws gets triggered when you quit. They cannot do anything if you refuse to work citing sickness, illness of your immediate family members or problems with the work environment. If the company you are joining does not require a letter confirming termination of employment, the best thing to do is sent a month's request of leave citing your "carpel tunnel" issues. There are no laws in most of the world to force you to work (unless you are in armed forces). Hence you can go on extending your leave of absence until they fire you or you are out of the contract. For less than a dollar you can get all kinds of medical certificates.

I had a $10,000 contract with my old employer - their contract was one sided too and this is considered as the cost of my training and the cost of replacement. Eventhough I was working in California, the company was located in Michigan and has kept the governing law as the law of Michigan (which obvously was worse than CA laws). I quit the company 3 months before the end of contract. They sent me a letter asking for $10,000 and sent it to collection. I was really scared and I tried to negotiate with them. I would have settled it for $3000 and I thought they will, but the company came back and told me that I should pay the full amount. Very nice of them that they gave me an option to pay this in 6 equal interest-free installments :-). They also sent to INS a nasty letter telling that I am out of status and I have not completed my obligations to them and the *US* goverment! I ignored everything - A collection company tried to call me couple of times. I never answered but I think they could not get a judgement against me. Few months later I checked my credit history and it was fine.


<B>Hari Gangadharan</B><BR>Unix is user friendly..<BR>but it chooses to whom it is friendly with!
Balan Raj
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 26, 2003
Posts: 74
Historically, 'Unions' in India have been associated with 'communist' principles and have been proven to be a menace in most of the manufacturing industries. Unions have been responsible for shutdowns and have resorted to selfish means to achieve their goal.

I think with India doing decently good in the IT industry, we dont want to block the progress of this industry with a 'union' or 'strike'. Maybe what is required is a media focus on isues like this and raise the issue at a higher level.

The last thing I want is the yet another excuse for why Indian software companies and outsourcing would fail
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
don't know about India but here if you take sickleave without proper reason your employer has every right to fire you on the spot and few companies will want you (especially if it speaks around why you were fired which in a tightknit group of companies as you describe is bound to happen).
And while you're sick (if real) they can't indeed fire you but after a while (as set by law) you'll be automatically terminated and revert to a government disability pension until you're shoved into social security.
At any time can your employer (or the government) demand you see a doctor of their choice (at your cost) who will then report to them as to the status of your illness. If that doctor says you're fit to work you're mandated by law to return to work (or if on disability will revert immediately to unemployment status and be forced to seek a job).


As to unions, India isn't the only place where unions are heavily tainted and only serve the interest of their own managements' attempts to gain enough political power to become the government.


42
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
What I wrote was:
I think it is time for Indian programmers to consider a professional association to look out for their interests. This could serve to pressure the government to enforce the law. It could evolve into a formal union or into a cooperative to pass more of the money directly to the people doing the work.


I don't think that anyone has accused the American Medical Association of being Communist. There are even full-fledged unions in the US that would never consider a strike.

If Indian prgrammers don't find a way to protect themselves now, while they are in short supply, they will be in even more trouble when the supply catches up with the demand.


Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
Pankaj Sharma
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 09, 2004
Posts: 9
I was shocked to find out that Indian labour laws does not apply to IT sector in India. So, you can't even sue the company under Labour laws.
I think now in India, IT is a mature industry and employes more than 3 million people in India. It is high time that Govt. takes stock of this industry and try to regularize it or it can go like Cricket in India where only BCCI is the ultimate authority and game is going to hell.But, winds seem to be blowing in reverse direction. Recently, Narendra K Patni (CEO, Patni Computer Systems Limited) recieved the coveted 'Udyog Bhushan' award by Indian Govt. It is nothing but a slap on face of Indian youngters and programmers.

"It is time to unite"
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
If you see from Govt. point of view,it won't interfere in this matter.If Govt makes a law then all offshore and Indian companies will give a threat to govt that they will move to some another country.Total exports in terms of software/hardware from which govt. gets tax(or any other fee) is quite substantial.All previous govt. policies have been to appease IT companies.Some Narayana Murthy/Bob Hoekstra complain about conditions of roads during breakfast and the next day Chief Minister assures them that he will look into a matter and road officers will do proper work.


MH
Prakash Dwivedi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2002
Posts: 452
I was shocked to find out that Indian labour laws does not apply to IT sector in India.


Can you please reveal the source of this information.
[ October 19, 2004: Message edited by: Prakash Dwivedi ]

Prakash Dwivedi (SCJP2, SCWCD, SCBCD)
"Failure is not when you fall down, Its only when you don't get up again"
Pankaj Sharma
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 09, 2004
Posts: 9
Sorry, Prakash, I had not bookmarked the page that I browsed for this article. Now, I am not able to find it. The article was there in Indian Express online edition and it clearly mentioned that the normal labour laws does not apply to IT industry. So, software professionals have to be extra careful when signing these agreements as Govt. will not interfere and it has to be resolved between employer and employee.
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
Hi I asked one lawyer regarding this bond.and he sent the following:
{
Prima facie, performance / service bonds are impossible to implement.
Of course, the Company can sue you for nominated liquidated damages and
may not issue service certificate. Company will not be able to obtain
injunction against your working elsewhere, as per existing laws except in cases of sensitive work areas.
}
HKM2004
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 4
Can u explain me the exact meaning of this?
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
The reason I posted that bcos I am also interested in its exact meaning.
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
Some people are suggesting that programmers/analysts in India should form union to fight this 'descent'slavery .
{ ....
It is, therefore, time that these employees formed a labour union for themselves and fight for healthy service conditions. The union should insist:

(a) that no official is required to work in the office for more than 7 hours;

(b) that no person is asked to sit before a computer for more than four hours a day. There should be a break for a few minutes every one hour � if not the half-an-hour limit prescribed by the warning articles!

(c) that every computer is provided with a radiation-filter screen;

(d) that, instead of paying a single person a very fabulous amount and causing him or her extreme health hazards, the IT companies should employ more professionals for less salaries.

(e) and that all the IT companies are brought under the purview of the existing labour laws so that the exploitation is put an end to.

}
I think companies will definitely agree with point 'd'
IT health hazards

I recently heard that HP is too into B1-L1 business.It pays $50 per day to people on B1 or L1.In addition HP provides housing and travel expenses.So $ 50 should be spent on food and saving.
Amit Mathur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 22, 2002
Posts: 49
So finally did somebody manage to find out anything concrete on this issue? I mean in India if an employee breaks a one-sided service agreement and the employer refuses to give him the experience certificate and other clearance, can the employee take any action? (assuming one-sided service agreements are illegal)


amit
Amrita Basu
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 17, 2004
Posts: 1
Hi,
I agree with Pankaj and Arjun that the Patni bond is illegal, but the poor employees can do absolutely nothing except toe that line. It's a known fact that the bond won't be valid in a court of law, but the point is that these corporates with their own lawyers can afford to fight a case for years, and someone like you or me will be easily discouraged by the thought of all the time and money involved in a legal procedure. There should really be a law against making employees sign such invalid bonds, that alone will prevent exploitation of freshers. Freshers are not only exploited in terms of money, but often their morale and self-esteem suffer. I am a ex-patni -te myself and I had the misfortune of having to work with the worst boss in the world, someone who was (and probably still is) boorish, abusive; someone who refused to admit his own mistakes, stole credit for my work, and pinned all the blame on me if things went wrong. For personal reasons, he was unlikely to leave Patni, so the managers tended to overlook all such 'peccadillo's of their 'valueable' employee. The managers tried to make me file H1-B visa as well, but I refused and insisted that if they want to send me on-site, they may do it on the B1 and L1 visas, which involve no bonds. The organisation is filled with the worst sort of IT professionals, and ability is measured in terms of gross parameters like the no. of hours put in, rather than the quality of work.
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
From one person I heard,Patni assures new employees they will be flown outside India to do some work if they show good performance.So Patni immediately files they B1/L1 or whatever non immigrant visa as soon people join.People work day and night thinking they will move out of India for better prospects.Some people move ,some don't.Those who don't complain to Patni that they should be given an opportunity else they will look for a job somewhere else.Patni remonds them that they have signed a bond and its just a matter of time that they will go 'onsite'.Employee again waits for sometime and then finally submits resignation.Patni threatens but nothing happens.
Amit Mathur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 22, 2002
Posts: 49
A related case I am witnessing these days is where an employee is not being given no-dues/relieving letter from his previous employers (as he had signed that one-sided bond agreement with them) and his prospective employers are insisting on the relieving letter before he joins them. The poor bloke is now caught between the two firms and his career is on the line. What could he possibly do in such a scenario? (Apart from looking for a third job)
 
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