Indian-origin Singapore Man Gets $2.9 Million for Bad Reference Letter

first_imgAn Indian-origin man, Ramesh Krishnan, received SGD 4 million ($2.9 million) from his former employer, AXA Life Insurance Singapore, after he filed a case against the firm for a scathing letter of reference that cost him a new job.Krishnan accused AXA Life Insurance of defaming him in 2012 while providing references on his work performance, the Straits Times reported.The court awarded the sum to Krishnan to make up for the loss of earnings from the negligence on the part of AXA Life Insurance Singapore.Compensation for LossIn 2015, Krishna, 47, lost his defamation suit against AXA in the High Court, but the Court of Appeal ruled that AXA had breached its duty of care to Krishnan.On August 15, Justice George Wei described the stands of both parties as “polar opposites” regarding the damages. While Krishnan had sought $63 million, AXA claimed that he should be given a nominal sum of $1.Krishnan, who has been working at a vegetarian cafe, calculated his loss from April 2011, which would have included a commencement allowance of $675,000, and an initial monthly salary of $65,625 for the first one year and $43,750 for next few months until July last year. He also looked at the loss of future earning he suffered between August last year and July next year at a discounted rate.The judge deducted the salary Krishnan earned from working at the vegetarian cafe from these claims.Bad Reference Cost Him JobAs per the charges, when the company Krishnan had applied to asked AXA for the reference, they said that Krishnan “showed a very poor 13th month persistency rate”. This was meant to indicate that many of his clients did not stick with their policies, because of which the company said “we are very concerned as to whether the clients have been provided with proper advice”, reported News 18. These statements led Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, the company that Krishnan applied to, to decide against hiring him.The Court of Appeal said AXA’s comments could have wrongly implied that Krishnan was not competent, something that didn’t go well with the evidence according to Krishnan, who was described as “one of AXA’s best-compensated advisers”, and the fact that the company had persuaded him not to resign.Ruling Significant The apex court ruling is significant, industry sources said, as it brings clarity to the standard of care an employer is required to observe while preparing a reference, according to the Straits Times.“People must know that justice is served. Somebody must go out there and make a point,” Krishnan was quoted as saying by the publication.The AXA Singapore spokesman, however, said that the company is seeking legal advice on the judgement. “Providing for and protecting our policyholders is our top priority and we remain committed to ensuring that our appointed representatives are fit and proper and meet the competency, financial soundness and integrity standards required by us and the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore),” the spokesman said. Related ItemsAXA Life InsuranceAXA Life Insurance Singapore caseAXA Life Insurance Singapore Indian workerIndia Singapore compensationLittle IndiaRamesh Krishnan AXA Life Insurance SingaporeRamesh Krishnan Singapore compensationlast_img read more