Grofers had revoked the joining of 67 fresh hires, an act that has landed it in a soup with the revoked students seeking legal help against the company.
It may be just another task for organisations, but revoking campus job offers at the nth moment has an adverse impact on students’ careers.
Last month, online grocery delivery services, Grofers decided not to honour the job offers it had made to 67 students from various campuses, such as the Delhi Technical University, NIT Allahabad, PEC Chandigarh, ISM Dhanbad and Birla Institute of Technology and Science.
Normally, students take it as an act of destiny and look for other options, but not this time — 17 of out of those 67 students decided to take the legal route.
The point of contention for these students has been the fact that though the job offers were made in September 2015, and the company was in regular touch with the students for the following nine months — not once did the company show any such intent or even drop a hint. Allegedly, it was only on June 30 — a day before the date-of-joining, that students were informed that the company was revoking the offers ‘owing to market conditions and changes which affect their business.’
That is when the students felt cheated.
As a policy, most institutes do not allow students to appear for interviews once they get a job offer. If Grofers had given some clue of their intentions well in time, the students could have sought help from the institutes themselves.
One of the candidates who spoke to HRKatha, says, “We were offered an annual package of Rs 12 lakh with an additional joining bonus of Rs 1 lakh, and were one of the first few people to get placed with a popular brand. We relocated to Gurgaon a few days before the joining in order to settle down in an appropriate accommodation. We invested in a flat nearby the Grofers office, anticipating a new beginning in a day or two. However, the entire excitement and the efforts slipped away in a moment when at 6 pm on June 30, we received a blunt mail revoking our offer without any satisfactory explanation.”
“It’s not that all of us will not be able to find jobs, but we are now finding it difficult to get the average pay package as was being offered by Grofers and other companies that visited our campus for placements. We might even have to settle for half of what we were meant to receive. We have been betrayed and derailed right at the beginning of our careers, when we were supposed to be the smartest among the lot to have bagged a premium offer,” a student says.
On the other hand, Grofers is of the view that the students are trying to malign its reputation.
MyaAdvo, a legal tech startup is now helping these students reach out to lawyers and take the right measures to ensure they are compensated for the loss.
17 of these 67 affected students sent a legal notice to Grofers, to which the company clarified that the letters issued to the students were only ‘letters of intent’, and their employment was subject to confirmation from the company.
As a response, Grofers sent a notice on July 29, which was received on August 4, wherein it has further asked the students to withdraw the allegations within 14 days.
A total of 17 notices have been sent to Grofers, which the company termed as ‘a colluded attempt to cause harm and bring disrepute to the company’.
According to MyAdvo, “Currently the reply by Grofers is being discussed by the lawyers and the students. Further strategy will be informed when it is formulated. The matter will be taken to litigation.”
“Such situations have become a trend, and strict legal action can hopefully set the right precedent going forward. Grofers, in their response to the legal notice, has denied any liability towards the students. The students are now going to consult their lawyers and are likely to file a case against Grofers,” says Vasundhara S, legal head at MyAdvo.
The students are now caught up in a whirlwind of struggles, fighting for what they deserve and at the same time finding other job opportunities.
It has also put Grofers and other similar organisations in a suspicious zone for upcoming graduates looking at joining popular startups.