I am working for a small software company, located in India, for the last 2+ years and the company is managed by a single person, so he can change the policy at any time without any notice. Recently he change the notice period from 1 month to 3 months and the salary will be held for the total notice period. There are a lot of other problems like micromanagement, if you late 15 minutes your half day salary will be cut, and the AC will only be switched on for 2 hours to save on the electric bill.

What is the best course for leaving the company? If I should give resignation, how will I start so that it will not create any bad impression and he will acknowledge my experience (Generally he won't give me the experience if something went wrong and give a bad feed back to new employer).

I do not want to pursue a legal suit because he has a lot of money and I doubt I will win against him so please no legal advice, this is not a legal question.

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    Sorry, we can't tell you what's right for you in this kind of circumstance (it may be that you're certain you can get another job in days; or it may be that it's very unlikely), and we can't give you legal advice. You should check with your local authorities or a lawyer and ask them if a company can change your contract without your signing the new one. (Assuming you haven't signed it; if you have then you are probably bound by it.)
    – pdr
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 11:34
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    The middle part of the question is still "should I quit?" or "should I quit now, so that I can look for a job in two months, when my notice period is mostly run down?" The first is specifically off-topic as career advice; the second requires some legal knowledge of whether you are bound by the new contract. "How can I leave without causing ill-feeling" is on-topic, but I'm fairly sure it's been asked before.
    – pdr
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 13:06
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    You have listed out a few warning signs of a company that is having financial problems. Doing things that prevent people from leaving with out a severe expense on their part, withholding money owed, cost cutting measures that appear to go overboard. There is going to be nothing left to sue in a few months so a few changes that break the law are irrelevant. This is probably one of the few times I agree that the solution is quit. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 13:44
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    @PDR - I do not think so. I do not think the OP is so much worried about having a good relationship so much as not having a bad reference. The question is more focused on the best way to extract himself from the situation. I actually considered redacting that whole line but thought it had some more information that might be useful to someone crafting a well balanced answer. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 15:31
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    The 3 month notice period sounds more like a bluff than a real threat. If you give only 1 day notice all you lose is your last paycheck. If you give 3 months notice you probably lose 3 months' paycheck. I know which I would pick.
    – The Photon
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 4:48

6 Answers 6


The change in notice period is to prevent employees leaving the company. As the employer has found that employees are leaving, he is trying to create hardship to the employees. The employees find it hard to get a new job with a 3 month notice period and this is the trick he is using to retain the employees - The new employer might not wait for 3 months as there are many unemployed job aspirants in the market, who can serve with short notice.

The half day salary cut and the switching off of the AC is to reduce the cost as far as possible and grow rich for himself.

There is no point working with such employers and you should decide to quit. I am experiencing such things and here's what you can do.

a. Check your offer letter and note the notice period required to give when you resign. It should be 1 month as per your offer letter. If yes - then you can quote this and give one month notice when you resign. If the notice period is changed to 3 months, has the employer issued any letter to you either by email or hard copy and you have accepted - If yes, you can try point b

b. If you are un-married, you are better off. If you are married, have kids, please discuss with your spouse about your decision to quit the company and prepare them to handle the tougher days ahead. Once you resign you would not get salary for 3 months. Hence start saving the money so that you can survive for a minimum of 6 months without job and salary. Once you are ready resign from the company and start looking out for jobs. I hope you should get the job in the next 6 months.

c. Stay calm, do not go aggressive on the employer, if you go it wouldn't help in changing such employers. Be aware, you may require his reference for the new job.

  • I don't like giving a 1 month notice in this situation-- playing by the rules when the employer is breaking the agreement. Notice is a courtesy and none is deserved here.
    – Pete
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 15:32
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    @Pete: giving notice in other countries is NOT the "do it to be nice" thing it is in the US, but an actual part of the employment contract, and legally required.
    – kat0r
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 20:53

There are several red flags in your post that point to a company in severe financial distress. These types of companies are desperate and many times the owners think if they can just make it for 3-6 months things will turn around. Unfortunately the measures they take to get them through are likely to doom the company in the end. When the company goes bankrupt there is no money left to settle unpaid payroll, or legal judgements.

he changed the notice period from 1 month to 3 months and the salary will be held for the total notice period.

This is done to give the owner an excuse not to pay someone for their final notice period. It saves the company payroll. The only way that an employee is likely to get their final check is after a lengthy legal battle that will likely draw out over a year.

if you late 15 minutes your half day salary will be cut

Here the intent is to save money on payroll. Right now it is 15 minutes, before long it becomes 5 minutes then suddenly despite being here 10 minutes early he said you were late getting in. It is nothing against you personally. The stress of losing your business and everything you have sunk into it can drive people to do seemingly insane and cruel things.

and the AC will only be switched on for 2 hours to save on the electric bill

This will only save a tiny amount of money, if any, but it is a sign of how desperate he is. The owner likely knows that it will be very hard to pay the electric bill in the coming months. So he is trying to keep it low hoping the company will leave him on longer. (They won't)

This is the part that I hate. You need to protect yourself. You are unlikely to receive many more paychecks. The excuses will come about how the package they were to be delivered in was lost, They have been mailed to your home, the payroll company forgot to process it and now will not be able to until the Xth. They are all excuses that I have heard while working for start ups. None of those companies lasted for 2 months after they missed their first check.

If my read of the situation is right your career is unlikely to be impacted. Companies go out of business all the time and others understand that. Going to work at a new company as soon as you can is the best bet. I would not worry about any notice, as the same reason he does not worry about being sued is going to protect you. The company is not going to be around to file a suit against you.

  • Actually his intention is to keep the employees as the employee are leaving and that is why he made the exit process very hard.Company is not running in any financial, His nature to save money as much as possible
    – Krushna
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 5:16
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    @Krushna - you don't keep employees by making their lives worse. Chad is right, these sound like money-saving measures which will all have negative effects on employee morale.
    – Adam V
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 15:16
  • @Krushna - Well I hope you are right. But I have lived through this sort of thing a few times myself. Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 15:21

Without addressing the legal concerns, The worst he can do is give you a bad reference, and keep your last paycheck if you quite without notice.

If you can find a new job, where that loss of positive reference and a bit of pay will not be a burden, move on.

If you need to give 3 months notice, it is unlikely a new company is going to wait that long for you, and the worst he can do is keep 3 months pay and give you a bad reference.

Lessor of two evils.

  • The problem is all good and big company want a experience latter and relieving letter
    – Krushna
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 5:33
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    If this policy is documented get a copy of the document, keep a copy of it with your resume. His practice is unfair and designed specific to make it impossible for you to leave. Use every caution if you decide to seek other employment. You are working in a different culture then I am and as such there are different considerations. His activity would be inconceivable in my culture, but it has a long history. Read this and be carefully. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_slave Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 11:31

Disclaimer : I am not a lawyer, nor having a little knowledge of such laws that affecting us. Yes us because I have nearly faced such situation, and I feel "We are travelling in same train". I am largely putting these points with reference to talking with fellow people here and there.

  1. Initially we all are bound to our agreements, and management has all the rights to change the rules as time requires. And the changes automatically apply to us.

  2. As per requirements we need to give notice to our employers way before we quit our job, in India it varies from 15 days to 2 months. But it's not legal to stop paychecks. What is fair and may be legal that if we do not respect our notice period, and leave prematurely we are not entitled to receive any payments. If we do respect our notice period(i.e. serving it completely, or leaving early and mutually with our employers written consent) we have a right to be paid money we owe. We can not be forced to stay if we are not paid (enough).

  3. When management introduces any changes in policies, we have every rights to decline the changes, that may lead for discussions. After discussion anything can happen, management may introduce a new exception, a change in policy or come up with a solution if they value us. If they are rigid, we have rights to decline.

    1. When we decline, we may not receive any benefits from the changes. Including new post, new duties, salary rise and some perks+incentives. And Chances are that we are asked to resign, or we have all reasons to leave.

    2. But if we accept, it's our duty to follow these rules carefully.

  4. In India we have contracts, or bond. Where we have to pay some money or give some documents to make sure we don't leave prematurely. Some companies want us to sign such contracts before joining, some wants us to sign within notice period, and some are just another form of NDAs. If your job is falling under such categories. Wait till the contract or bond period finishes.

Try to discuss with your boss if any door of discussion is open, if you really want to avoid burning the bridges (That IMO also prevents bad references). If nothing fruitful comes out you can always leave.

If he's stopping to pay you the money you owe for notice period, there's no guarantee that he will happily pay you after you have successfully served your notice. So losing money is not real concern here. In any case you are already loosing your pay for one month or three.

About reference : Some (even some of the big) companies can understand that some companies and workplaces can be bad with their employees. The showbiz here is our work. If we have good works to show, good knowledge already shared, some good friends made from our workplaces, one bad impression can not make a big dent on your reputation. For techies like me, there are lot of tools from stackoverflow to blogs to app stores where we can show our talents. Use them.

But at last, it all matters how rigid your employer-policy is, how talented you are and above all how flexible your target company is. There is no generalized rule, just standard tools.


Based on your comment here.

Actually his intention is to keep the employees as the employee are leaving and that is why he made the exit process very hard.Company is not running in any financial, His nature to save money as much as possible

If the sole reason for all of those rules is just to save money, then you better leave as early as possible because as what Adam V said on the comment

you don't keep employees by making their lives worse

We are humans, we are not slaves. Besides, working on that kind of company is not rewarding.


This is a legal question. The answer to you question is very dependent on the employment laws of you country, and place of residence. What an employer can say about you depends on employment laws.

In the US, an employer is very limited in what information they can release. About all they could do is confirm the time period that you were an employee. They can say anything about the quality of you work.

You need to contact someone with expertise in the employment laws. The expert doesn't have to be a lawyer. Use your google skills to locate someone qualified to advise you in your area. I wouldn't ask the human resources department at your company for advice because they only represent the company's interests, and not yours. (The HR department is not your friend or advocate.)

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    The question is not a legal question but this answer treads all over legal opinion. You should really back up claims like In the US, an employer is very limited in what information they can release. with a link to reference to a quality source to your claim up. The rest of your answer is a comment not an answer and ignores the fact that the OP is not looking for a solution using the legal system. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 18:51
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    An employer can release as much information as they want. Most don't do it because it's not worth the "risk" of legal action, but you'd have to know they actually did it. If one friend gives another friend inside information not to hire you, good luck proving it.
    – user8365
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 21:09
  • @Chad - No where in my answer did I recommend legal action be taken. I merely suggested that someone with knowledge about employments in the area be consulted.
    – Xenson
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 21:47
  • @JeffO - My sources in the a few HR departments may have just been quoting their company's policy. My advice to consult someone in the geographic area who knows what they're talking about still stands.
    – Xenson
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 21:50
  • @Xenson - I also highlighted the claim you need to back up. Right now with out back up that phrase is very close to providing a legal opinion since there is nothing backing it up. Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 12:41

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