Overview of Legal Notice For Non-Payment of Salary
The first step for initiating a legal process is serving legal notice to the opposite party who has done an act or abstained from doing an act which was required to be performed. A notice is sent as a warning to the opposite party of the intentions of the sender about filing a lawsuit before the competent court in case the opposite party fails to comply with the desired remedy mentioned in the legal notice.
In the case of the legal notice being sent for non-payment of salary, the aggrieved employee has the right to send legal notice to the employer by mentioning all the facts and the cause of action that led to serving of legal notice. A notice gives an idea about the reason for the aggrieved party must send the notice to the defendant.
It contains the allegations that have been levied on the defendant and what remedy has been sought by the plaintiff. It helps parties to resolve the matter before approaching the court and saves money and time. A person can send legal notice to another person as per Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure of 1908. It is sent only when the nature of the matter is civil. A person should approach an advocate to get a legal notice drafted.
Reliefs that can be claimed in the legal notice
The reliefs that can be claimed by the employee through legal notice are as follows:
Acts governing the salary payment by organizations
Following are the various Acts governing the salary payment by organisations:
1. Contract Labor (Regulation and Abolition) Act
The Contractor is under an obligation to pay the wages to the workers working under him/her for the work performed under the contract of labour as defined under Section 21 of the Contract Labor Act. The contractor shall pay the workers the due amount before the expiry of the term of the contract or any period specified in the contract.
If the contractor does not make the payment of wages that have become due, then the principal employer for whom the contractor has hired the workers will be under an obligation for making payment to workers. After the principal employer has paid the due wages to the workers on behalf of the contractor, the employer will be entitled to recover the amount paid from the contractor.
2. Shops and Establishment Act, 1953
Several states have their own laws with regard to the conduct of shops and establishments situated in that particular state. As per the sections of the Model Act, a worker is eligible to receive wages at the rate which is twice his ordinary wages or a higher amount if such worker works for more than 9 hours a day or 48 hours a week.
Under this Act, an employer is punishable up to a fine of Rs.2 lakh in case the employer does not pay the due salary to his/her employees.
3. Wages Act
The two major laws that have been enacted in India to govern and regulate the payment of wages to employees by the employer are the Minimum Wages Act of 1948 and the Payment of Wages Act of 1936. The Minimum Wages Act contains provisions with regard to the fixation of an amount as minimum wage that should be paid to all employees without any discrimination. The minimum wages fixed for workers vary from state to state depending on the factors affecting labour.
The Payment of Wages Act of 1936 ensures that workers get timely payment of wages.
4. Industrial Disputes Act
It is one of the important Acts which has been enacted for the betterment of workers and employees. The Act has a separate provision for recovery of due salary. Section 33C of the said Act states the method by which an employee can recover the due salary. As per this Act, any employee or a person authorized by him/her can file an application before the appropriate government for payment of salary. The appropriate government will inspect the application. After the government has been satisfied and finds that the employer needs to pay the due amount, the government shall issue a certificate to the employer for payment of a due amount to the employee.
If a need to calculate the amount of due wages arises, the competent court will have the authority to calculate the amount to be paid.
Documents required to serve a legal notice for non-payment of salary
There are certain documents which are required to be submitted by an aggrieved party if he/she wishes to serve a legal notice for non-payment of salary to the employer. These documents are as follows:
Procedure to be followed
The aggrieved must follow the procedure for drafting and sending the legal notice to the employer who has defaulted in making the payment of due wages. It is as follows:
What should a legal notice for non-payment of salary cover?
The draftsman must keep certain things in mind while drafting the legal notice for non-payment of salary. These are as follows:
The limitation period for legal notice for non-payment of salary
A person who has been aggrieved is allowed to file a suit for recovery of the due amount within the limitation time period of 3 years.
Other options available to the employee
Whenever an employer receives a legal notice, he/she does not fear taking the matter to court and thus does not reply to the notice or does not pay the salary as mentioned in the notice.
The laws in India have provided other remedies to an employee for recovering the unpaid and due salary. Under this, strict action against an employer can be taken with the help of the legal system. The other options available are as follows:
Frequently Asked Questions
The documents required for sending a legal notice to the employer are as follows:
- The appointment letter received by the employee,
- All information related to benefits and perks being provided to the employee,
- A copy of the employment contract between the employer and the employee, and
- A copy of the bank statement as evidence stating that the employee has not been paid on the date decided.
An employee can seek the below-mentioned relief from the employer by way of legal notice are as follows:
- The amount of salary which is due and not paid and
- The interest payment on the due salary for the delay in payment of salary, if any.
The other options available are:
- Labour Commission,
- Registrar of Companies, etc.
The laws which govern the payment of salary in India are as follows:
- Indian Contract Act
- Shops and Establishment Act
- Payment of Wages Act
- Industrial Dispute Act