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I am starting a new job tomorrow, but my boss insists I need to finish tasks at my old job or else I can't leave. What should I do?

Context

My old boss is running his own business on company salary while I do his job for peanuts. Besides this he has been abusive toward me in a number of ways, including:

  • assigning tasks from multiple projects without explaining what needs to be done, often not being in the office at the time
  • calling me at night and abusing me if the tasks are not completed
  • dumping his responsibilities on me including talking with clients
  • forwarding mail which was intended for him and asking me to teach him so that he will know what to say in meetings
  • asking me to work Saturdays and Sundays without informing HR
  • Everyday I have to work from 9-11 and if I finish by 6 he assigned me new tasks, and if I came across any difficulty he would abuse me rather than guiding me on what to do

I finally resigned from my job and almost completed a 60 day notice period, but my boss assigned me tasks from two projects and told me that I have to finish all these tasks by today, otherwise I cannot leave. My start date at my new company is tomorrow. What should I do now?

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    What country is this in and what leverage does your boss have over you? Since you are working from home, nothing should stop you from not ever logging into your companies network again. – Helena Dec 19 '20 at 8:01
  • We need more details to be able to help: which country are you in? What is the nature of your relations - are you an employee, contractor etc. – Tymoteusz Paul Dec 19 '20 at 8:30
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    This is from india – User432mi6 Dec 19 '20 at 8:58
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    @User432mi6 And I assume that he is withholding the relieving letter with his threat? Or what does he suppose as consequnce? – Tymoteusz Paul Dec 19 '20 at 11:24
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You leave, and you start your new job tomorrow.

Your old boss is trying to take advantage of you. If you don't turn up for the new job, they will fire you, and you will be stuck working for your old boss until you can find another job.

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Check your contract, in 99.99% of the cases, there is nothing in the contract that stops you from leaving the company after providing a notice and serving the notice period. You might be missing on certain things, like the relieving letter, experience certificate (if those are thing in your country), and/or, listing that manager as your reference (but would you really need them to provide reference/ can you trust them?) - but those should not be a deal breaker.

In my opinion, write an email, asking for the exit formalities, with a clear mention of your last working day, with HR in CC. Let them respond.

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    "but those should not be a deal breaker." lack of relieving letter may mean that OPs new job will drop them, it is a pretty serious thing in India. – Tymoteusz Paul Dec 19 '20 at 11:16
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    As you're profile states that you're also from India, could you explain how a missing relieving letter is not a deal breaker? From many, many questions about those letters, I got the impression that you won't get any job without it. – Chris Dec 19 '20 at 11:38
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    @Chris That's a subset of it. Most of the companies would accept the copy of the acceptance of notice submission by the employee (email copy/ exit portal confirmation), or even email about initiation of exit formalities. There are cases where payslips are demanded as part of interview process - but that's mainly because majority applicants don't know how to ask "why?" They fear that asking questions might portray them in negative light - that they might have something to hide or alike. They are not aware of their right to privacy and what information can or cannot be shared outside. – Sourav Ghosh Dec 19 '20 at 14:47
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    For one, In my carrier I never had any (or cared for) relieving letter, or provided payslip as part of interview / onbarding process. Yes, I'm employed. – Sourav Ghosh Dec 19 '20 at 14:49
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    @SouravGhosh That's all fantastic information that I think would help OP quite a lot, could you incorporate it into your answer? – Tymoteusz Paul Dec 19 '20 at 20:31

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