What can employees do when not paid?

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explorer
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by explorer »

I have no direct involvement. This is about friends.

I don't know why the owner is not paying his staff. If they asked, they may not get an honest answer. Maybe the business is not making money.

Cambodians are normally less confrontational than we in the Western world. We would probably ask more questions sooner, and quit sooner.

I am just trying to get ideas here. I will then talk to my friends, suggest ideas, and see what they want to do. I have already suggested looking for another job.

They will probably look for another job if they don't get paid soon.
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Yerg
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by Yerg »

monomial wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:15 pm
explorer wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:11 pm
sigmoid wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:28 pm Well, of course, if they just quit, they won't get the money. However, if they inform the employer "if you don't pay me, then I will will quit", the employer might pay them. And, if the employer doesn't pay them, then they know they are wasting their time.

It's quite logical really.
They have spoken to the employer many times already, and been told they will get paid sometime in the near future. So it goes on and on. They may get paid soon. We don't know.

If they quit, they may not get another job immediately, and not have any income.

They could look for other jobs while working there. However, they have very little time to look for other jobs.

It is difficult for poor people when employers do the wrong thing by them.
OK. First, they don't have any income now, so that is not an argument. Their problem is deciding which path is likely to generate income the soonest.

But you still haven't answered the most important question. *WHY* is the owner not paying his staff? This is a judgement call whether to stay on and hope for the best, or if it is better to cut your losses and go. If the owner has no money to pay salaries, no recourse in the world is going to make that money suddenly become available. I have never seen a case where someone was successfully able to collect on a director's personal assets, because limited corporations are specifically designed to make that very, very difficult. You would need to prove the director was personally liable for something (like embezzelment) for that to work. And I seriously doubt the owner is knowingly and intentionally defrauding his employees. He probably genuinely believes he will be able to earn money to pay them, so his personal assets are likely not attachable, even if you could get a settlement against the company. The employees might be able to lay claim to any assets the business has, but that would take time and require arbitration. The Ministry of Labour may be able to help negotiate a settlement along those lines, but if you are planning to strip the capital of the business in order to pay compensation there is no reason to continue working there for free.

So you have to get details on *WHY* there is no money in the company. The boss may not be willing to provide that, but if his entire staff threatens to walk at the same time unless he comes clean, you may get a real answer. I've been on the receiving end of this situation several times, and the employer's end of it once. It is never fun for anybody, and taking an antagonistic approach is usually not helpful.

It sounds like you are trying to find a way to make money magically appear from thin air. It won't. Businesses fail all the time and it is very hard to get money when they do. If the guy is not paying his employees, there is likely a serious reason. They need to decide if it is temporary or systemic. If temporary, get a contract in writing from the boss that says he will personally be liable for wages plus interest if the company doesn't pay. Walk if he won't sign. If systemic, and the business is failing, just cut your losses and leave ASAP.

Of course, if he has not set up a limited company and is running the business as a sole proprietor, you may have more options.
There are also some big business owners in KoW who's MO is to continuously late pay their Khmer staff, despite clearly having the money available. Some misguided business "norm" on one particular individual's behalf. His belief was that people would stay because he owed them money. It was his idea of creating "loyalty" :facepalm: (TLDR; all the staff left immediately they got paid.)
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by explorer »

Yerg wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:19 pm There are also some big business owners in KoW who's MO is to continuously late pay their Khmer staff, despite clearly having the money available. Some misguided business "norm" on one particular individual's behalf. His belief was that people would stay because he owed them money. It was his idea of creating "loyalty" (TLDR; all the staff left immediately they got paid.)
Years ago, I worked for a boss in Australia. The others told me, when people left they did not get their last pay. So when it came time to leave, I left the day after pay day.
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Yerg
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by Yerg »

explorer wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:00 pm
Yerg wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:19 pm There are also some big business owners in KoW who's MO is to continuously late pay their Khmer staff, despite clearly having the money available. Some misguided business "norm" on one particular individual's behalf. His belief was that people would stay because he owed them money. It was his idea of creating "loyalty" (TLDR; all the staff left immediately they got paid.)
Years ago, I worked for a boss in Australia. The others told me, when people left they did not get their last pay. So when it came time to leave, I left the day after pay day.
What a douchebag he was, then!!! People like him get what's coming to them eventually (I Hope)!
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by sigmoid »

explorer wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:11 pm
sigmoid wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:28 pm Well, of course, if they just quit, they won't get the money. However, if they inform the employer "if you don't pay me, then I will will quit", the employer might pay them. And, if the employer doesn't pay them, then they know they are wasting their time.

It's quite logical really.
They have spoken to the employer many times already, and been told they will get paid sometime in the near future. So it goes on and on. They may get paid soon. We don't know.

If they quit, they may not get another job immediately, and not have any income.

They could look for other jobs while working there. However, they have very little time to look for other jobs.

It is difficult for poor people when employers do the wrong thing by them.
Yes, they have spoken to the employer, but have they directly said, "we will quit if you don't pay"? I understand that there are cultural differences and maybe they are young with little life and work experience, but they should just draw the line and make it clear that it's not acceptable, assuming this is in PP and there's some demand for the kind of work that they do.

Anyhow, the ideal thing would be to first find a new job and then quit, or just don't show up. They can use the Internet to search for jobs and then contact potential employers by e-mail to apply and hopefully set up an interview.

Edit: Oh, I see now in the OP that they work in a restaurant. I think they can easily find a new restaurant job.
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by Freightdog »

[militant reactionary hat on]
If the restaurant is feeding customers, and customers are paying bills, then an unpaid employee sitting at a table patiently waiting to be paid rather than serving a customer might focus the owner’s attention.
[reasonable head back in charge]

How many employees in total, and how many are unpaid at present?
Is it just the serving staff that are unpaid, and the chef/owner are doing fine? Or is the problem much greater?
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frank lee bent
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by frank lee bent »

They can just go on strike. Let the owner see the consequences. They will be paid within an hour if the biz is viable.
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by Mishmash »

It seems to me that working for someone who doesn't pay you is foolhardy.

Carrying on doing so is not a viable option.

The employer is clearly using blackmail.

Whichever way you look at it, he is not running the business on professional or ethical lines.

Cash-flow problems are the owners responsibility and should have been foreseen and the cash in the bank to cover any circumstances before the business started.

Even if he pays up, the trust is gone.

People would definitely leave after payday.

Find another job, get some cash in the bank.

File the complaint with the Ministry and chase the money owed.
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by explorer »

frank lee bent wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:58 pm They can just go on strike. Let the owner see the consequences. They will be paid within an hour if the biz is viable.
If they were Australians, yes.

I don't think you could talk the Cambodians into doing that.
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by explorer »

There were 33 staff. At the present time there are around 20. The others have left already. Those still there have told the boss, if they dont get paid by the end of this month, they will all leave. The boss is supposedly trying to get money from somewhere.

I think the business is about to fail.

It is possible, the boss knows it will come to an end, but is pocketing all of the money until it happens.
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