Unpaid Pharmacist Sues Employer

December 3, 2014
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

An Indian pharmacist said he has not been paid for the last 14 months while stationed in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, and has not been granted a visa to return home.

An Indian pharmacist said he has not been paid for the last 14 months while stationed in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, and has not been granted a visa to return home, according to The Saudi Gazette.

Syed Kaleemuddin told The Saudi Gazette that he came to the country to work so he could support his family. Now, he said he’s being treated “like an animal.”

“I am depressed,” he told The Saudi Gazette. “My bad luck brought me here. I won’t care if I die. My family and friends will cry for some time, but I will get relief!”

Kaleemuddin’s problems started in August 2013 when he found out his pharmacy was scheduled to be demolished, and the company would relocate. Then, his contract ended in 2014 and his residence permit expired, according to The Saudi Gazette.

Kaleemuddin claims his sponsor will not give him a final exit visa until the pharmacy reopens. Meanwhile, Kaleemuddin’s coworkers were transferred to other cities to continue work, but he was ordered to remain in Makkah until the pharmacy reopened in a new location. However, the Ministry of Health has not yet approved the request to open the pharmacy in a new location, according to The Saudi Gazette.

The Preliminary Commission for Labor Disputes has ordered Kaleemuddin’s employer to pay $4263 to the pharmacist and allow him to return to India, but the employer refuses to pay and has appealed the order, The Saudi Gazette reported.

Kaleemuddin understood his salary would be around $1065 when he first started the job, and his last paycheck was in October 2013.

“I am not here to fight, I just want to help my family. I was not able to send a single riyal [Saudi Arabian currency] to my family for the past 14 months,” Kaleemuddin told The Saudi Gazette.

The pharmacist argues that he should be compensated $14,922, but he told The Saudi Gazette that he would agree to the verdict so that he could go back home and have the problem settled.

Kaleemuddin is currently living in an accommodation provided by his employer, who claims the pharmacist has been “living, eating, and drinking on our expenses,” according to The Saudi Gazette.