Fired in Mass Layoff, How I Fought Legally to Get My Job Back With 7 Years’ Salary

Thirumalai Selvan Shanmugam

Thirumalai Selvan from Chennai, a former employee of Tata Consultancy Service Limited (TCS), was laid off in 2015 without any prior notice or compensation. Here’s how he fought a legal battle.

The last seven years have been a testing period for Thirumalai Selvan Shanmugam from Chennai, who had worked with Tata Consultancy Service Limited but was unceremoniously laid off in 2015.

Now 47, Thirumalai undertook a long battle to ensure he was given justice.

Though thousands of employees were sacked at once, he decided to take the long legal route to fight the unfair termination of employment.

Finally, justice was served when a Chennai court recently ordered the company to reinstate and pay him his salary and full benefits of seven years.

Thirumalai, who joined as an assistant engineer in 2006 with TCS, was later promoted to the role of assistant consultant and was laid off without any compensation. After the termination, he had to take up several freelancing opportunities and also worked as a real estate broker to make ends meet.

A MoneyControl report also notes that he earned just Rs 10,000 a month after he was laid off.

“For the past seven years, I have had to earn my livelihood by freelancing as the termination of my employment from TCS would show up in my record. A few years ago, I cleared technical interviews in some other software companies, but when my application reached HR, I failed because of the HR background check routed to TCS HR, and they realised that I had been graded lower,” Thirumalai told The News Minute.

Moreover, he told DT Next, “I would have travelled to the court more than 150 times in the last seven years.”

According to his petition in court, he was dismissed with a single-line dismissal letter. He was given a month’s notice and was denied any compensation which is in violation of the Industrial Disputes Act, which says that as a skilled worker one must be entitled with a notice period of one month along with a compensation for retrenchment.

He also mentions that despite being good at his work, the company downgraded him from the post of assistant consultant and laid off several seniors like him to recruit freshers. This, he said, was a ‘profit driven action’.

To this, TCS responded saying that Thirumalai did not belong to the category of workman and was having a managerial role, therefore he was exempted from the notice period and compensation.

But the city labour court was in favour of him and observed that despite handling a managerial job, he was also involved in skilled technical work like other workmen and hence is considered a workman.

Thus in an order dated 8 June 2022, the court directed TCS to reinstate Thirumalai and asked the company to pay him the seven years’ salary along with full benefits.

Thirumalai was backed by the Forum for IT Employees (FITE), a union for IT and ITES workers, in his legal battle. The forum welcomed the judgement and said in a media statement, “This court order brings in big hope among 40+ lakhs of workers in the IT sector in India who wish to challenge the illegal terminations and unfair labour practices in the sector.”

Source:

Man Got Fired In 2015, Fought Legal Battle, Got Back Job & Will Get Salary Of 7 Years Now published by India Time on 19 June, 2022.

TCS employee wins seven year long battle against his termination published by The NewMinute on 19 June, 2022.

Sacked TCS employee wins long court battle to get his job back published by Moneycontrol on 18 June, 2022.

(Edited by Yoshita Rao)

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