What can employees do when not paid?

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explorer
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What can employees do when not paid?

Post by explorer »

Is there anything employees can do when they don't get paid? The employer and employees are all Cambodian.

Two girls work in a restaurant. The employer says: 'I will pay you soon.' So they wait. They are now two months behind in their pay.

I said, get another job. My friend said, if we leave, we will never get this money.

Now that they are two months behind, if they don't get paid soon, they will look for another job.
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by Username Taken »

Do they have a written employment contract?
Who let all of this riff-raff into the room?

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Bitte_Kein_Lexus
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus »

They go together and lodge a complaint at the Ministry of Labour. They actually tend to respond to grievances such as these.
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Nicolas
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by Nicolas »

Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote:They go together and lodge a complaint at the Ministry of Labour. They actually tend to respond to grievances such as these.
Agreed!



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Brody
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by Brody »

Nicolas wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:56 pm
Bitte_Kein_Lexus wrote:They go together and lodge a complaint at the Ministry of Labour. They actually tend to respond to grievances such as these.
Agreed!



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Oh is that all? Great news!

Someone should have told that to the entire staff at the Great Duke Hotel (aka Intercontinental)

That would have saved them the trouble of organizing a protest on Mao Zedong Blvd. last month. :thumb:

newsworthy/great-duke-hotel-staff-phnom ... ontinental

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monomial
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by monomial »

It really depends on why the owner isn't paying them. If he isn't paying their salary because he himself doesn't have the money, then there is probably little pressure that the Ministry of Labour can put on him to pay. This is the same problem everywhere in the world. Even in countries that respect the rule of law you could secure a judgement against the business, but if the business is bankrupt then the most likely scenario is you will be SOL.

The best advice is what you read above and what you have already said. Leave en masse and file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour. Make it public on social media. But don't expect to get anything. At some point you just have cut your losses and move on.
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by armchairlawyer »

monomial wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:12 pm . This is the same problem everywhere in the world. Even in countries that respect the rule of law you could secure a judgement against the business, but if the business is bankrupt then the most likely scenario is you will be SOL.
Yes, except that in most common law countries, it is a crime to continue a business after you know that it is unable to pay its creditors. And if the business is incorporated, the creditors can go against the personal assets of the directors. This remedy is rarely invoked but that is mainly because directors close the company at the appropriate time. The employees are often able to claim as preferential creditors in the bankruptcy btw.
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sigmoid
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by sigmoid »

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.
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by explorer »

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.
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Re: What can employees do when not paid?

Post by monomial »

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.
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