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Old 1st July 2019, 09:59   #1
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Default My ex-company (a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the end date

TLDR/ I quit my desk job, since I want to pursue adventure sport of paragliding as a living.
I resigned, Manager accepted & he proposed a relieving date - all on email. The company wants me to pay notice period shortfall.
I absolutely do NOT want to pay the notice period shortfall.

How do I go about this?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IT is indeed long, but please read through for details
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The sequence of events in summary:
1. I resigned (official email date 1st January 2019), requested the soonest possible relieving date from my Manager.
2. My Manager confirmed resignation acceptance & he proposed the last working day as 28th February 2019, on email (HR in copy).
3. Per discussion with the Manager, I completed my handover of projects/documentation. I complete last work day formalities & wait for full and final settlement.
4. On March 25th, HR tells me I have to pay a notice period shortfall waiver of 1 month. (citing *notice period in the contract being 3 months & I have served 2 months )
5. I try to explain, that the date was NOT proposed by me. I followed the notice period as advised by the manager & as discussed between me & the manager.
6. They say - Whatever is written in the contract takes precedence. Moreover, HR cites that the Manager did not explicitly mention in the email that the notice period is waived off. I have to pay if I have to clear the dues for the retirals to be processed.
7. Furthermore, HR says this matter is up to the discretion of the management ( Management = Centre head of the premises I worked at)
8. My manager is spineless, but I have brought in level-up manager (American) in the communication chain & I would be meeting the centre head in about 9-10 days. (he is out of India right now)

---
* I guess, should have explicitly asked about this period in my resignation email, perhaps that might have made it much easier.

I have worked for the company for the past 6 years.
(Out of total 11 years of my total work experience)
The company is an Indian division of a giant European MNC.
About a decade ago, the Indian division was mostly a manufacturing facility in Gujarat.
Our centre head is someone who is a veteran from that setup & mostly runs the centre basis same factory-driven-mindset, with loads of hierarchy & "well set" grooves and "network" of managers.
That is not how the MNC functions outside India, but the P&L centre shows profit every year, so I guess the counterparts don't interfere.

Since I received the "Notice period shortfall recovery email" from HR in March 2019, I have been escalating the issue & seeking a waiver on it, since it was not my suggestion to have a 2 month notice period.

HR Manager's manager had this overall input
"It is a small amount.. You should part ways on a good note.."
The HR manager's manager borderline threatened me for the escalation with
"Do you want us to tell this when we get a call for background check anytime in the future?"

He also mentioned, that this is the process they follow & ultimate discretion lies with management now.
So, I figured, it is pointless talking to him.

I did some digging and there was this IT/Systems in charge fellow who resigned recently.
He served the notice period & for whatever reason, his manager let him go 2 days earlier, that too with a record on email.
Still, he was asked to pay 2 days worth of notice period recovery amount, before his dues were cleared!!
He paid it up since he was supposed to leave abroad for his next job & it was a small amount which he didn't want to hold up the larger settlement dues over that.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

It simply blows my mind, that a company like such is actually hell-bent on making money off notice period shortfalls, even where the parting is mutual & hasn't even caused any business harm/loss or lack of transfer of work.

I absolutely do NOT want to pay the notice period shortfall.
How do I go about this?

I was thinking about:
1. Writing to the ombudsperson (reporting helpline for intercompany disputes) - to get some global heat in this.
2. Writing about this to as many functional head & Global HR email addresses I can gather to just get this escalated so much, that it cannot be just pressed down.
3. Getting a lawyer's opinion on this. (I would really like to avoid any legal proceeding since that would call for a lot of work, time, money!)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More details

Discussion about quitting
I have been discussing about a 1 year sabbatical since last March. That was not possible for my role, according to the Manager & the level-up Manager.
I also tried to check work-from-home / away possibility which was not pushed enough by my Manager either.
I then did inform them, last November about my intent to resign.

Company history/structure/ current status
I worked with a US based MNC (for 3 years). That was taken-over / merged with the European MNC giant.
The HR structure, the centre head (for Gujarat factory) we are talking about is the US-based-MNC structure.
Even through past 3 years, we have not yet completely gone on board of the Europe based company structure. So, it's kinda complex.
I still have the option to write to the Europe-based-structure HR chain / counterparts, but I doubt if they will have any say here.

The notice period shortfall flag
The email communication shows my resignation & Manager-proposed date - being 2 months apart.
No notice period was mentioned on the email by me or Manager, or the HRs in copy.
The clearance process form does have a HR field which needs their input on Notice period/dues/others.
The HR was not available the day of my relieving. The fields were not filled in earlier, either by them.
So, it turns out, this notice period is not flagged until, it is actually time for the Employee to pay it.

Reasoning it out
I tried my best to reason out, that the handover etc was done in order. My leaving 1 month sooner than the contract has not resulted in any business harm/loss, no process disruption. So, what is the ratinale for the recovery amount?

Obviously, there was no answer to that.

--------------------------------------------------------------

This is unnecessary & a drag already. (Process & the post too, I guess!)
Any inputs on how to help close this at the soonest will be appreciated!

Yours truly
Ace.

Last edited by driverace : 1st July 2019 at 10:13.
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Old 1st July 2019, 10:41   #2
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Ace - my two cents.
1. The HR is right , thr contract takes precedence and if it's 90 days in your offer letter , it is 90 days. That's about it.

2. I hear all the points about the manager , HR , e-mails trails and culture of the MNC etc etc. All that I see is that those were the triggers for you to leave and those details have nothing to do with your notice periods.

3. You can explore any channel towards this - ie. the people at the Europe structure, the Centre Head etc. it won't help. It'll only aggravate your situation.

4. The impact of you leaving early can even be zero, but a policy supersedes everything else.

I'll say that you can try and request for a waiver as opposed to trying to quote technical points on this topic. At exceptional cases , organisations do waive off notice period. I'm guessing that you're still young and you might pursue a different job later and you'll need records - I.e. work experience confirmation and the relieving letter.

Unfortunately you're on bad wicket and I'll only recommend that you deal this smoothly and finish the formalities.
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Old 1st July 2019, 10:45   #3
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

What does the mail from your ex-manager say ? Does it say "as per your request for early release" ? If yes, then I guess this would be held against you.

The other possible point I see is - the separation module may have options about how to manage the notice period. There are many combinations of adjust against leave, waive remainder, recover etc. Do you know which option did your manager select ?
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Old 1st July 2019, 10:51   #4
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
Unfortunately you're on bad wicket and I'll only recommend that you deal this smoothly and finish the formalities.
I think this should have been clarified before the last day. It was a miss on your part to have ignored the terms of employment., or having clarified the FnF before last working day.

The HR is a administrator who will follow as per whats written. The manager email should have specified that notice period is waived off. Without such a mail, the HR team cant waive of the notice period. This can be caught in Audit and without documentation, the HR team will be at fault.

Your manager need to send a mail saying that the notice period is waived off for HR to process the request. You have escalated but a non escalation approach would have been best with a informal discussion with your manager.

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Old 1st July 2019, 10:52   #5
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

If your employment contract/offer letter stated 90 days and there is a clause which says that in the event you do not serve out the notice period, there will be a recovery of pay corresponding to the shortfall, then you are liable for the deduction. Check your contract, this clause is usually mutual, ie if the organization asks you to leave before the notice period is up, you can claim a compensatory amount corresponding the the shortfall in the NP.

If you have an email where you were prepared to serve out the notice period BUT your manager wanted to relieve you early, you can, at the very least, demand for no recovery to be applied, if not for the compensatory amount due to you.

Please read the contract, that governs everything, not verbal claims/counterclaims.
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Old 1st July 2019, 11:00   #6
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

I have advised others before on exactly the same topic - the notice period (and everything else) mentioned on your offer letter is in effect a two-way binding contract, binding on you as well as on the employer. Neither party can renege on the contract.
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Old 1st July 2019, 11:01   #7
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Quote:
Originally Posted by driverace View Post
2. My Manager confirmed resignation acceptance & he proposed the last working day as 28th February 2019, on email (HR in copy).
Sorry to hear about your situation. This can/will happen when severing ties with an organization. And partly this is due to what happened in the mid-2000's with people just leaving organizations without notice periods -- resigning via SMS/word of mouth. Laxity was flushed down the loo and stringent methods came in: 1 month, 2 month, and now 90 days. With no payout(s) or leave adjustments. The medusa that HR is, is created by us.

The underlined part above holds no value. The last working day is always quoted by HR. Line holds no power here. Being an experienced professional, I am sure you knew it was 90 days, you should have cemented this with HR long back, and then not have had to pay. Just give the money and leave in peace, with a bit of bitterness. That is all that can be done.
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Old 1st July 2019, 11:09   #8
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Usually the waiver of notice period is a separate topic and always communicated in advance to the employee. In my last job, the HR asked me orally to extend my relieving by 15 days. When I joined the notice period was 15 days, it was later revised to 30 days for all new joinees. I was orally told to serve 1 month NP which I diplomatically declined. They tried to force me and I warned them about legal action. I escalated this to India Head and they let me go after his intervention.
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Old 1st July 2019, 11:09   #9
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
I have advised others before on exactly the same topic - the notice period (and everything else) mentioned on your offer letter is in effect a two-way binding contract, binding on you as well as on the employer. Neither party can renege on the contract.
Actually, no. Several colleagues have had exceptions: some have left early, some have stayed on the "bench" for two full months, despite being a cost not prof-center. It all depends on your equation with the BU head.

In my company, an approval from the BU head can over-ride contract/HR. It is the employee's manager who sets the last date, on approval from the BU head. HR can't over-ride any of that.

@ Ace: get your +1 Manager on board and on your side. This one month notice is a chump change for a company and gets no one bonus points so an email from him can make HR fall in line.
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Old 1st July 2019, 11:37   #10
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Quote:
Originally Posted by driverace View Post
*SNIP*

I resigned, Manager accepted & he proposed a relieving date - all on email. The company wants me to pay notice period shortfall.
*SNIP*

1. I resigned (official email date 1st January 2019), requested the soonest possible relieving date from my Manager.
2. My Manager confirmed resignation acceptance & he proposed the last working day as 28th February 2019, on email (HR in copy)
*SNIP*
I am not qualified professionally or otherwise to provide an authoritative opinion on it; so here are my thoughts based on logical reasoning:

1. You did not specify a relieving date, your manager did. You merely asked for as early a date as possible. It was your manager (legally representing the company in this case) who proposed a date earlier than the prescribed notice period.

Therefore you should not be liable for any payment from your side. I would even go so far as to argue that since it was your manager (i.e. the company or your employer) who wanted you out before your notice period, the onus is on the company to pay you for the period they did not want you to serve.

Foe example, if the company wanted you pout the moment you gave your notice (say for security reasons or a belief that you might maliciously do some damage), convention is that they buy out your notice period and pay you the money since they do not want you around. I would extend the same argument to this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
*SNIP*

1. The HR is right , thr contract takes precedence and if it's 90 days in your offer letter , it is 90 days. That's about it.
*SNIP*
Well, based on your statement, it should again be the employer who has to pay Ace for wanting him out a month early and not expect Ace to pay. The contract takes precedence, Ace did not specifically ask to be exempt form serving the complete notice period, it was the company who asked him to leave a month early; therefore according to the contract it is the company that's liable to pay Ace.

I would ask Ace to kindly read through the contract very carefully, especially the clauses dealing with the employee and the employer parting company. I am sure the clauses will deal with either party initiating the parting with details of consequences in either case.

Cheers
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Old 1st July 2019, 11:42   #11
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Actually, no. Several colleagues have had exceptions:

In my company, an approval from the BU head can over-ride contract/HR. It is the employee's manager who sets the last date, on approval from the BU head. HR can't over-ride any of that.

@ Ace: get your +1 Manager on board and on your side. This one month notice is a chump change for a company and gets no one bonus points so an email from him can make HR fall in line.
True - usually an approval from BU head will sort this out amicably. I hate making people wait for the sake of fulfilling the notice period and In my previous company, I usually used to recommend strongly to the BU head for early relive with notice period waived off but after the 3rd incident, I got a soft rap on my knuckles by the HR head citing that I am setting a bad precedence and many other managers are not happy with the way I am 'easily' approving early relieve requests.

Still, I managed to help any associates in my team who had a pressing reason to leave early - all with a good word to my BU head and with his approval letter.

Try approaching your +1 manager\BU head with a request rather than confrontation. Most of the HR policies can be bypassed. But, if you try to confront the HR\BU citing technicalities, then they will usually come back citing contractual obligations and you will be on a sticky wicket. from my personal experience, unless expressed clearly and backed up with enough approvals, the mail from your manager does not carry the weight to overwrite the contract terms.

Wish you a speedy resolution.

--Anoop
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Old 1st July 2019, 11:45   #12
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
Ace - my two cents.
1. The HR is right , thr contract takes precedence and if it's 90 days in your offer letter , it is 90 days. That's about it.

Unfortunately you're on bad wicket and I'll only recommend that you deal this smoothly and finish the formalities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
I have advised others before on exactly the same topic - the notice period (and everything else) mentioned on your offer letter is in effect a two-way binding contract, binding on you as well as on the employer. Neither party can renege on the contract.
Quote:
Originally Posted by asingh1977 View Post
Sorry to hear about your situation. This can/will happen when severing ties with an organization. And partly this is due to what happened in the mid-2000's with people just leaving organizations without notice periods -- resigning via SMS/word of mouth. Laxity was flushed down the loo and stringent methods came in: 1 month, 2 month, and now 90 days. With no payout(s) or leave adjustments. The medusa that HR is, is created by us.
.. I am sure you knew it was 90 days, you should have cemented this with HR long back, and then not have had to pay. Just give the money and leave in peace, with a bit of bitterness. That is all that can be done.
I agree, that this should have been clarified, explicitly, even after the Manager proposed 2 month notice.

Like I mentioned earlier, I do have the relieving letter & the clearance form which have the "blank" spaces where this also should have been recorded.
But, it didn't.

Neverthless, I think, this is more of a grey area & should be dealt with due consideration.
I understand the above inputs & agree, that it was on me to clarify the notice period and the proposed 2 month period.
Thank you.

Ace.
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Old 1st July 2019, 11:53   #13
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Do you have the option to go back and sit there for one more month? That is if your hobby can wait. If you didn't propose the release then they have no business asking you to pay for it.

Last edited by blacksport : 1st July 2019 at 11:54.
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Old 1st July 2019, 12:20   #14
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
What does the mail from your ex-manager say ? Does it say "as per your request for early release" ? If yes, then I guess this would be held against you.

..There are many combinations of adjust against leave, waive remainder, recover etc. Do you know which option did your manager select ?
Quote:
Driverace from Proposals team has tendered his resignation per mail below. I had couple of discussions with him to check couple of options for him, but he is firm to proceed with this.

He has agreed for 2 months’ notice period and should be relieved from services by 28-Feb-19.
Please guide him for the exit formalities.
That is his email addressed to HR.

I am not sure of the option chosen by him to relieve me early.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
I think this should have been clarified before the last day. It was a miss on your part to have ignored the terms of employment., or having clarified the FnF before last working day.
I agree! Early explicit clarification would have saved so much trouble.
Sadly, even the last day clearance form has blank fields where it needs to mention " Notice pay / dues etc"
I still have the clearance form copy, signed by the Manager and the relieving letter. >sigh>

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
The HR is a administrator who will follow as per whats written. The manager email should have specified that notice period is waived off. Without such a mail, the HR team cant waive of the notice period. This can be caught in Audit and without documentation, the HR team will be at fault.
..
Your manager need to send a mail saying that the notice period is waived off for HR to process the request. You have escalated but a non escalation approach would have been best with a informal discussion with your manager.
The immediate manager is absolutely spineless.
Only the level up manager, if at all, might actually help move things here.
He is in loop now.
I agree, it should have solved without escalation, but the manager is of zero help. I asked him multiple times to follow up & close this within his discretion citing all the good and happy things. Again >sigh>

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
By the way, are you joining Templepilots?
I may be working freelance. More of thinking along the lines of tandem flying


Quote:
Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
If your employment contract/offer letter stated 90 days and there is a clause which says that in the event you do not serve out the notice period, there will be a recovery of pay corresponding to the shortfall, then you are liable for the deduction. Check your contract, this clause is usually mutual, ie if the organization asks you to leave before the notice period is up, you can claim a compensatory amount corresponding the the shortfall in the NP.

If you have an email where you were prepared to serve out the notice period BUT your manager wanted to relieve you early, you can, at the very least, demand for no recovery to be applied, if not for the compensatory amount due to you.

Please read the contract, that governs everything, not verbal claims/counterclaims.
The contract does call out 3 month notice period.

What happened is - I resigned. The manager accepted and gave me the LWD.
I am not sure if that still has the possibility of driving a NP shortfall to me.

In my email, I did not mention the notice period, but only seeked earlies possible relieving date.
Manager's email (addressed to HR) is in the above response to another comment.

Thankfully, more or less, I have the communication on email.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deehunk View Post
Usually the waiver of notice period is a separate topic and always communicated in advance to the employee. In my last job, the HR asked me orally to extend my relieving by 15 days. When I joined the notice period was 15 days, it was later revised to 30 days for all new joinees. I was orally told to serve 1 month NP which I diplomatically declined. They tried to force me and I warned them about legal action. I escalated this to India Head and they let me go after his intervention.
Currently the matters are at the level of the centre head.
Who, I understand is pretty close to the country head, just a level below.

Thank you for your inputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Actually, no. Several colleagues have had exceptions: some have left early, some have stayed on the "bench" for two full months, despite being a cost not prof-center. It all depends on your equation with the BU head.

In my company, an approval from the BU head can over-ride contract/HR. It is the employee's manager who sets the last date, on approval from the BU head. HR can't over-ride any of that.

@ Ace: get your +1 Manager on board and on your side. This one month notice is a chump change for a company and gets no one bonus points so an email from him can make HR fall in line.
Yes, @libranof1987
The structure in my ex-company is more or less like you describe.
Likewise, the manager did set my date.
only didn't "explicitly" mention that notice period shortfall was to be waived.

I have taken the +1 Manager in loop. I am not really sure, how positive is he of this case or his participation.

(But, I know for a fact, that he has been not-really-happy with my Manager. Also a recent development is that my Manager is no longer managing my team, he has taken internal transfer, to be working under the Centre head. He is in transition phase for next 6 months. <sigh> )

Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
I am not qualified professionally or otherwise to provide an authoritative opinion on it; so here are my thoughts based on logical reasoning:

1. You did not specify a relieving date, your manager did. You merely asked for as early a date as possible. It was your manager (legally representing the company in this case) who proposed a date earlier than the prescribed notice period.

Therefore you should not be liable for any payment from your side. I would even go so far as to argue that since it was your manager (i.e. the company or your employer) who wanted you out before your notice period, the onus is on the company to pay you for the period they did not want you to serve.
I really am fed up enough to actually consider that.
But, honestly, I do not intend to cause any actual 'problem' on my leaving accord.
I really am happy with fair "waiver" of notice period shortfall.
I will still keep this in bookmarks, if this blows up & I ultimately have to go the legal route..

Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
I would ask Ace to kindly read through the contract very carefully, especially the clauses dealing with the employee and the employer parting company. I am sure the clauses will deal with either party initiating the parting with details of consequences in either case.

Cheers
Noted, and I will. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
True - usually an approval from BU head will sort this out amicably. I hate making people wait for the sake of fulfilling the notice period and In my previous company, I usually used to recommend strongly to the BU head for early relive with notice period waived off but after the 3rd incident, I got a soft rap on my knuckles by the HR head citing that I am setting a bad precedence and many other managers are not happy with the way I am 'easily' approving early relieve requests.
I hope your breed of considerate managers grow exponentially!

Quote:
Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
Still, I managed to help any associates in my team who had a pressing reason to leave early - all with a good word to my BU head and with his approval letter.
That is indeed so cool of you. Kudos, buddy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
Try approaching your +1 manager\BU head with a request rather than confrontation. Most of the HR policies can be bypassed. But, if you try to confront the HR\BU citing technicalities, then they will usually come back citing contractual obligations and you will be on a sticky wicket. from my personal experience, unless expressed clearly and backed up with enough approvals, the mail from your manager does not carry the weight to overwrite the contract terms.

Wish you a speedy resolution.

--Anoop
I understand what you mean by confrontation <> getting hostile.
I am not sure, if the upcoming meeting with the centre head can be relaxed or it is going down in a "hot manner".

Either way, I need to be prepared.

Damn, this is so taxing!


Thank you all, for taking time out of your Mondays to hear me out & help with your inputs.

I hope to have a logical & helpful resolution soon.
If you have any more inputs, apart from the ones above, please feel free to comment here or PM me.


Ace.
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Old 1st July 2019, 12:39   #15
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Default Re: My ex-company(a giant MNC) wants me to pay notice period shortfall, I didn't propose the last da

Manager may have set the date, but a lot depends on the wordings in the mails. And also your manager's disposition towards you.
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