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Delhi HC Says No Discrimination Against Sick Employees by Employers

The petition alleged that the employee engaged on contractual basis cannot be terminated without giving valid reasons for the same and hiring employees on contractual basis increases the likelihood of arbitrary termination by the employers. The petition further alleged that the termination of the petitioner is arbitrary

Petition challenging the dismissal of an employee named Ms. Chitra Sharma of Airline Allied Services Ltd.  Employee’s reinstatement was denied by the employer after she took 18 months of sick leave and the Delhi High Court came to her rescue.

The contract of the employee was terminated during her absence from work on account of sick leave while earlier the contract of the petitioner was renewed after every three years. 

The petition alleged that the employee engaged on contractual basis cannot be terminated without giving valid reasons for the same and hiring employees on contractual basis increases the likelihood of arbitrary termination by the employers. The petition further alleged that the termination of the petitioner is arbitrary. On the contrary, the airline company submitted that the unauthorized leave taken by the petitioner is the reason behind her termination.

On hearing the matter, Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Sunil Gaur of HC observed that the termination of the employee during her illness amount to discrimination against the said employee. The court was further of the opinion that as per the  provision of Article 14 of the constitution the Airline company was reasonably expected to see that the contract of the employee be renewed and her illness be not be an issue for consideration in any case. The refusal to do so amounts to discrimination and hostile treatment towards the employee.

The Court directed the AIrline company to reinstate Ms.Sharma by renewing her contract within the four week time and held that the termination of employee by the AIrline company was arbitrary.

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Mehak Sharma
Published on 7th Nov, 2017
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