DAINIK NATION BUREAU
What can you do if your employer does not pay your salary or infinitely delays it?
The employer must pay a reasonable interest if a payment, due to the employee, is made late, the Bombay High Court has held. Whether the service contract of the employee provides for payment of interest is immaterial, said the division bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and C L Pangarkar.
Petitioner Yuvraj N Rodye was working with the Maharashtra State Electricity Board since 1975.
In 1989, Royde became entitled for arrears of salary from August 1975 onwards.
However, for no justifiable reason, the payment was delayed. It was only in September 1994 that he was told to collect his dues.
He received the amount, but applied for getting interest for the period of delay.
It is quite common in India for employers to deny salary to employees, especially at the time of firing them. They think that employee’s have no options or the resources to pursue a case against an employer. In reality, there are several things an employee can do that can land an employer in real trouble. However, the knowledge regarding the same is not available in public domain and lawyer’s advice come costly.
There are several legal process that can be followed by an employee to recover salary or wages. The first step that we recommend is sending a good notice from a credible lawyer who has a track record of doing such matters. However, before we tell you more about that, let us get you introduced to some basic concepts in Indian labour laws that deal with the issues of non-payment of wages or salary.
India has an entire law on payment of salary called Payment of Wages Act, though it does not apply to all levels of employees. It usually applies to low-wage blue caller workers.
Effective September 11, 2012, the wage ceiling under the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 was increased to an average wage ceiling of INR 18,000 per month pursuant to a notification by the Indian Government. If you are not covered under this act, other remedies are still available.
Let’s see what the Payment of Wages Act has to say in this matter.
Section 4 of the payment of wages Act states –
Fixation of wage period every person responsible for the payment of wages under Section 3 shall fix periods in respect of which such wages shall be payable. No wage period shall exceed one month.
Monthly Salary Distribution Requirements:
A person is working in an establishment with a wage not more than one thousand, the wage to the particular person shall be paid before the expiry of the seventh day.
A person with the wage of more than one thousand shall be paid before the expiry of the tenth day.
If the employee is terminated by the employer the wages earned by him shall be paid before the expiry of the second working day from the day his employment is terminated.
What steps can be taken by employee:
If your employer is not paying your salary, you can get these remedies.
A) Approach Labour Commissioner:
If an employer doesn’t pay up your salary, you can approach the labour commissioner. They will help you to reconcile this matter and if no solution is reached labour commissioner will hand over this matter to the court whereby a case against your employer may be pursued.
B) Industrial Dispute Act:
An employee can file a suit under Section 33(c) of Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 recovery of money due from an employer.
When the salary is due from the employer, the employee himself or any other person authorized by him in writing on his behalf can claim recover money.
In case of the employee death, the authorized person or heirs make an application to the labour court for recovery of money due.
The court will further issue a certificate on being satisfied that the salary is due and the collector shall proceed to recover the same.
If any question arises as to the amount of money due or as to the amount at which such benefit should be computed, it would be computed according to rules under this Act.RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEE.COM