Terrible Biotech Company - withholding pay, contradicting bs (May/24/2011 )
Sigh.. time for a big time rant....
I was laid off at the end of March due to budget cuts and my employer told me that I didn't have to come to work if I didn't want to, but that regardless of whether I did I would be paid until mid-April. So that sounds like a pretty sweet situation for me because I'm continuing to paid salary and all I have to do is answer some phone calls or emails once in a while when they need to clarify some procedures with me. So during the first week of April I'm answering emails and calls once in a while, and then suddenly the second week rolls around and they want me to come back to work for a "meeting".
I come in and the whole time they are trying to coerce me into taking the blame for some machine that's broken down. The next day, they email me and tell me they aren't going to pay me for the second week of April anymore because I'm an incompetent employee who didn't notice something was wrong with the machine. Nevermind that I was never trained to recognize such errors or was told that was part of my job. So I try to resolve this issue of withholding pay without getting the labour board involved and tell them that incompetency isn't a legal reason to withhold pay from someone.... That's like saying "Hey, I wasn't satisfied with your work today so now I'm not going to pay you" The whole thing is ridiculous especially since they themselves admitted they aren't blaming me for the machine breaking down in the first place!
So they write me back and tell me that I'm incompetent because I wasn't able to cover my own salary in the last 6 months... But wait... I was hired as a Research Technician and I worked in R&D.... so sales isn't part of my job at all. To add insult, they send the whole thread of emails with their ridiculous and defamatory statements about me being incompetent to a bunch of my colleagues. And I can only assume they'd do this to either humiliate me or threaten the rest of them into being quiet subservient bots. This being my first job out of uni, I've been pretty upset by it all. I've lost sleep, couldn't eat for a long time and I had to go to the doctor for something to help handle the stress of it all. I mean, when I was told I was being laid off I didn't make a scene, I made sure everythign was in order for a proper and smooth transition. I acted in good faith the whole time and then they turn around try to humiliate me!
Next, I had to apply for unemployment but the whole process was held up for a month because my employer wouldn't give me my Record of Employment, which they know I need! After I filed complaint with the government, I eventually recieved somethihg. Except when I got my ROE it states an employer I never worked for! The whole things seems super shady to me.
So after a month of waiting, my unemployment case worker calls me and tells me that my old boss is trying to claim that I was only going to be paid if they had work for me to do and not regardless of whether I came in to work. The whole thing is ridiculous because I have more than one emails where they state I'm going to be paid regardless. At no time did they ever state to me that this is the reason they aren't going to pay me. Instead they state the reason they aren't paying me is because I'm incompetent. Seems like they are changing their story because they know they can't justify withholding pay because of incompetency.
I just can't understand why someone would give so many different stories and think they are going to get away with it. I'm so angry that they are doing this to me. But then again I shouldn't be surprised since I've seen management tell their employees to make up data to present to potential customers and have given out customer information to whoever asks for it.... I mean if they're falsifying data to their customers then I guess its no surprise they're trying to bully me and change their story whenever it suits them.
I really hope I win my labour case and recover my wages.... Everything is documented in emails so I guess that will help.....
Crikey, I was just expecting to see a story about a bad sales rep or something...
I really hope everything works out fine for you. I would be making sure that you have printed copies of all the emails etc, dated, signed and verified by an independent person (someone who is neutral and in a reasonably high ranking public position, or an official witness) if possible. and checking the contract you had.
the ROE thing may be a parent company of the one you are working for - check your contract and see who the agreement is between.
I read this post thinking you were complaining about some kit you bought, but this is even worse. Guess you have transferred all email communication to paper and another mail address (other than the company mail address).
It is unfortunate that the management (for little money) is ruining its reputation. Forwarding those mails to threaten others is like openly asking people to leave the company. Hope they learn a few good lessons in these times about company culture and work ethic.
Dont worry, you will get what you are fighting for. You must be prepared for the wait though. Anyways, good luck finding your next job and guess you will be able to read employer better next time
you're lucky you are in a country that you can claim something. my advice, find another job immediately. are you?
thanks everyone for the support! yesterday I got a call and was a offered a job at another local biotech company. I'm really excited and happy because everytime I visited the company, people were friendly and open.
I've printed copies of all my email correspondance with my ex-employer. I'm nervous about the whole thing because I'm worried that they will create fraudulent paper work so they can support their new story. The whole thing is seriously ridiculous... I've made sure to only correspond with them in email so that I could have documented proof about these things. At one time, before they said they weren't going to pay me, I even asked for an official letter re-stating the things said in the email. They told me they would provide this but then didn't after the whole labour things started. The first email about my layoff says "On April 15, 2001, you will receive your half-month's salary" not "you will receive any wages for time worked in April". They can't even claim they expected me to maybe come back to work for a couple days because they took away my company keys, asked me for all my passwords, took away my lab books and other materials, shut down my email account, and then had me clean out my desk and had someone else sit in it. Clearly they weren't anticipating my return at any time.
And yes, its amazing that they are fighting me for only over a thousand dollars! If they're found in contravention of my provincial employment act, they will have to pay me more money as a penalty for each violation. Seems to me like they're digging themselves a giant hole.
oh and the ROE thing... I ended up with 2 ROE's. one from my ex-employer and one from the other company. they are entirely different entities. I only met the other company owner a couple times, and the last time I saw him he was saying something to me about how I was being paid with grant money and that you only have so much time to use grant money or it disappears, so what was he going to do.... sigh...... I wanted to find another job before I got laid off but the market has been tough and I recently moved out so finances were an issue.