Fashion e-tailer Yepme, which has been in troubled waters amid mass layoffs and delayed salaries, is still not out of the woods. Four of its employees, VCCircle has learnt, approached the assistant labour commissioner of Gurgaon last month, complaining of salary delays and “mental pressure.”
The complaint, a copy of which is with VCCircle, alleges that these employees of Growthways Trading Pvt. Ltd (a subsidiary of Yepme parent VAS Data Services Pvt. Ltd) have not been paid salaries for four months, from February through May. Salaries for October, November, December and January were also received “very late even after doing uncountable follow-ups with the company management,” the complaint further alleges.
The employees have also accused the company of putting “mental pressure” on them to resign, and alleged that they are being asked to return company assets. Besides, they are facing “inhuman” working conditions, the complaint says.
Vivek Gaur, co-founder and chief executive of Yepme, told VCCircle: “We are going to reply to the authority. We have resolved (issues) in the past and we will resolve them now also.”
The employees VCCircle spoke to said on the condition of anonymity that neither the management nor its representatives turned up for a hearing called by the Labour Commission on July 6. July 13 has been fixed as the next date of hearing.
Yepme was founded in 2010 by Sandeep Sharma (COO and CTO), Gaur and Anand Jadhav. Sharma is an IIM-Bangalore alumnus who had previously worked at Accenture, Sapient and HCL. An IIM-Lucknow alumnus, Gaur had earlier worked at HT Media, Living Media India and Hindustan Unilever. Jadhav is also an IIM-Lucknow alumnus and had previously worked at Omved Lifestyle, Reliance Retail and Infiniti Retail.
VCCircle was the first to report on employee-related issues at the Delhi-based startup.
In March, too, a group of Yepme employees had approached the Labour Commission complaining of unpaid salaries.
In the same month, Gaur had told VCCircle that the company will resolve the issues in 15 days’ time. Three months have passed since then.
VCCircle reported in May that VAS Data had raised Rs 4.5 crore (around $700,000 then) in a bridge round. In the same month, Yepme raised Rs 6.26 crore (just under $1 million) from listed garment exporter Gokaldas Exports Ltd (GEX). The firm had said it will use the funds for the operations of its UK entity, Yepme UK Plc, which deals in fashion products exclusively for international markets.
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