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Case filed by firm

I was working in small private company from August 2012 and then they got me residence under their sponsorship for two years. Then I started having some problems with them as I was working 12 hours daily without being paid overtime and also not getting off on public holidays, no medical leave... nothing.

In fact there was a lot of harassment. So I decided to resign after 9 months of service. (I am holding a masters degree attested by my embassy).

But company did not accept my resignation and as a result I then went to Shoon (Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor) but the officials there told me that I have to complete one year with the company even if I have degree.

So, I hired a lawyer, and after finishing my one year who filed a case in the Shoon, on my behalf, and I started working in other place.

Twice, the Shoon rejected my case without any reason and on the third time we came to know my company had filed a case against me for absconding.

So, in this case now what do I have to do? My lawyer called my sponsor but he was told that I have to pay KD 3,000 to have the case dropped. But I do not have such money to pay. In this case what should I do?

Name withheld
Answer:
You have got yourself into a lot of problems without thinking of the repercussions. All you had to do was wait for three months and then resigned ... because then you would have completed one year and the company would not have been able to stop you as you joined them on a local transfer. It doesn’t matter if you are a degree holder, you have to complete one year if the company doesn’t give you a release.

Transfers for degree holders before completion of one year are only possible if these are accompanied by a release. Then you just went to court and started working for another firm. This was your second mistake. You should have submitted your resignation again and given a copy of the same to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor... only then you should have started working elsewhere. Anyway, all is not lost. Your lawyer should fight the case in court, detailing all the rights that you were denied and also the fact that you had approached the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. Please draw the attention of the lawyer to Article 48 of the Kuwait Labor Law enacted on Feb 20, 2010 which clearly states that you can quit the firm immediately if the company is not abiding by the contract or the law, in this case by not giving you your rights.

You can also leave the firm, under the same article, if you are harassed to an extent that it endangers your safety and health. So, the only way out of this situation is the courts because unless the company drops the case against you, neither the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor nor the Immigration Department will accept any transaction concerning you. Moreover, you could be arrested at any checkpoint. This arrest can be avoided if you take the case to court, which will give you a letter saying that your case is being considered... and as long as the case is with the court, the police will not detain you.

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