A worker can file both criminal and civil cases against the employer for paying with 'unsigned' cheque Image Credit: Shutterstock

Question: I have been working in a private company for five years. I resigned last month and the employer refused to give me all my labour rights. I accepted to avoid problems. The employer paid me with a cheque. The next day, I found out the cheque had no signature and the account was already closed. What are the legal remedies I can do to get all my rights? Should I file a complaint with the police or file a labour case against the employer?

Answer 2: You have the right to file both criminal and labour claims. The employer committed a criminal crime when he intentionally wrote the cheque in a way that prevents its encashing and while he was aware his bank account has been closed.

This is stated in Article 641 Bis 1 of the Federal Decree Law No. 14 of 2020 Amending Certain Provisions of the Federal Law No. 18 of 1993 Concerning the Commercial Transaction Law. It says “whoever endorses or delivers a bearer cheque while knowing that there is no sufficient funds to pay such cheque or that such cheque may not be drawn shall be subject to a penalty of no less than 10 per cent of the cheque value, subject to the minimum of Dh1,000 and no more than the cheque value. The penalty shall be double in case of repetition.

Six month jail

Article 641 Bis 2 stipulates: “Whoever commits any of the acts bellow shall be subject to the punishment of imprisonment for no less than six months and no more than two years in addition to a penalty of no less than 10 per cent of the cheque value, subject to the minimum of Dh5,000, and no more than twice the cheque value, or any of the two punishments: (1) Ordering or asking the drawee, prior to due date, not to pay the value of a cheque he has issued, with the exception of the cases provided for in Articles 620 and 625 of the law. (2) Closing the account or withdrawing all available fund therein before issuing the cheque or before presenting the cheque for payment or if the account has been frozen. (3) Deliberately writing or signing the cheque in a way that makes it unpayable. Penalty shall double in case of repetition.

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Labour claim

In order to receive your labour rights, you should file a labour claim and request all your rights. The employer cannot deprive the employee from the rights granted to him by law as per Article 65 of the Federal Decree law no. 33 of 2021 (Labour Law) which says: “Each discharge, reconciliation or waiver of the rights arising for the worker hereunder shall be null and void if it violates its provisions.”