Madness-The Nature Textile Company GmbH, Complaint 615

Payment of a living wage Legally binding employment relationship

The complainant claims that he/she started working in the factory on 1 February 2014.

On 7 or 8 February 2019, the blood pressure of one of the female workers in his department shot up and her condition became serious. Therefore, he requested the owner to drop her home by company vehicle and he came along. When he came back he observed that management team was discussing some issue with the owner and just after he reached the shop floor he was asked to leave his job. When he asked the reason for his contract was terminated, he was informed that a wrong label was put on the cloth and that he was responsible for this.

According to the complainant, he was not responsible for putting on labels or supervising the label work. The relevant labels are approved by the merchant, then issued by the store and actual work of putting labels is supervised by another supervisor. He was insulted in front of all the workers on the shop floor. He felt humiliated and therefore, when owner asked him to leave again in front of all the workers, he did not argue, and left.

The complainant believes this was a predetermined plan to fire him. On 12 February 2019, he made a call to the management and also visited the factory to collect his full and final payment. However, the accountant informed the complainant that no directions were left regarding about him picking up his salary, and that because the owner was out of station he was asked to come after 5-6 days. On 20 February, the complainant spoke to the owner who said that the processing of his payment may take one month time. Since the complainant was out of work, he needed his payment urgently, which is why he phoned Fair Wear's helpline.
According to the complainant, he is eligible for the following:
1. Notice pay
2. Retrenchment compensation
3. Gratuity
4. EL payment
5. Bonus

The complainant stated that he started working at the factory on 1 February 2014 but was formally put on roll from 1 December 2014. Therefore, he fears that his gratuity may not be paid.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2019-02-25 Investigation

Fair Wear informed the brand about this complaint, who sought a response from the factory management.

2019-03-08 Remediation

The brand informed Fair Wear that they are working on this complaint with the factory. It was informed that management is willing to pay the 5 years gratuity payment, the full and final payments, and also leave payment after checking the documents.

2019-03-25 Remediation

The worker called on 24 March and said that HR had asked him to come to the factory the next day (on 25 March) to receive his full and final payment. The complainant furthermore stated that HR had told him that they will let Fair Wear know what is offered and whether he is willing to accept that payment.

On March 25, the complainant let Fair Wear know that the full and final payment does not include retrenchment compensation (15 days wages per completed year of service) and wanted to be clear whether he is eligible to this by law. Complainant did not take the payment on 25 March.

Fair Wear sought an expert's advice on this.

2019-04-15 Remediation

Fair Wear sought a legal expert's advice to check if the complainant is eligible for retrenchment compensation. The expert told Fair Wear that the complainant is eligible for this.

Fair Wear recommends the factory to pay the complainant's retrenchment bonus.

2019-04-16 Verification

Fair Wear called the complainant to check on the status and was informed of the following:
The complainant went to the factory on 10 April the receive his full and final payment but the management asked him to continue with the job, if he is willing to. Since complainant was out of job for the duration of the complaint, he happily accepted this offer. According to the complainant, management continued his services in the company rather than rehired him.

The period of two months is addressed as follows: The management proposed to adjust 30+6 days in his unused EL (30 in one month and 6 in other month) and the rest as absence. By doing this the worker may get paid for the period considered in EL, i.e. full salary of one month and for 6 days in the other month. The worker agreed to this.

2019-04-16 Evaluation of the complaint

The worker clearly said that he is happy that he got his job back, as well as the arrangement to deal with the two months period when he was out of job. There are no further issues from his side.

2019-04-16 Resolved

This complaint has been resolved.