Re: Company close down but refuse to pay salary
Dear KL Siow,
I'm in a dilemma now, the co. i worked with (originate from KL) shut down its operation office in Kuching (Kch), Sarawak by end of March 09. During that time, the co. still owe me my salary for Feb 09. The boss (based in KL) told me that he is just temporarily shutting down the office to lower its overhead expenses due to economic downturn and he open up again soon. He did not give me any termination or retrenchment letter and told me to wait and i'm still considered under employment and that he would clear my salary soon.
However, by early April the boss called me and offer me to continue work for him at Kota Kinabalu (KK), Sabah (he has another co. there) and he would raise my salary. He said I could go over to have a look at the new work place before i decide whether o not i want to accept his offer. After my visit, i went back to kch, and waited for his reply. I've asked for a higher pay if I am to work at KK due to high living cost at KK as compared to kch. Due to that reason, he kept on delaying his decision whether to accept my request. I received my Feb 09 salary during April after my visit to KK, after i successfully helped him to sell off the co. car.
At the first week of May, the boss asked his Operation Manager to call me instead and inform me that he cannot accept my request and would like to settle the salary he owed me for March 09 and April 09, but he would pay me until May 09 considering my termination of service as a one month notice. I requested the operation manager to give me a letter of termination or retrenchment as a proof but he refused. Therefore, i offered to write him a resignation letter, he again refused. He said that it is unnecessary and it would be on a "gentlemen's agreement", meaning that it will not be in black and white or written format but just verbally instead. I've asked him that just in case the co. fail to repay me during end of May, what would happen? He told me that I would still be considered under employment and continue to receive my June 09 salary.
Until now, it is already July, I still have not receive any payment in any sort. I've been calling the operation manager and the boss himself during June. All they did was keep on giving me excuses such as they have no money at the moment, or the cheque has not yet clear, and keep on asking me to wait. The worst case is that, the operation manager told me that the co. will receive one cheque by the last week of June and that the cheque would clear on either 29th or 30th of June and by that time he will ask boss to allocate a certain amount of money to pay me my salary. But when i called on the 30th June 09, he told me that the money has been used off at other places. He said there are other more important projects that the boss want to do and use the money! So once again, they failed to repay me.
I am very frustrated now, i cant claim back my salary and i don't dare to find other jobs as i scared that it would afffect my claim in case this matter is bring up to the labour department of court. What should i do now? I have no job and no money and yet i still have to pay my loans and living expenses. I've tried to go to the labour department yestersday (2nd July 09), but i found that the lady officer(non-chinese) there was not very helpful at all. She even discourage me to claim because she said this case is very difficult. She even told me to write a proper letter pertaining to this issue if i really insist on claiming so that it would be easier for her to key in the details. I've brought all the necessary documents such as my i.c., employment letter, salary slip, co.'s address and contact, my boss's and the operation manager's contact, and i even brought the breakdown of my salary and allowances and epf claims details typed properly in a A4 paper for that officer. But she would not accept it unless i go back and write her an official letter stating all the details i brought for her yesterday in a pieces of A4 paper, only by then she would entertain me. What kind of unreasonable request was that?!
Dear KL Siow, is that how it really is in the requirement of making a labour claim or complaint? You are a retiree as i read in website. So i guess you should know better than I am. Just for your extra information, the co. that failed to pay me my salary also did not contribute my epf and socso from the moment i started to work(14th Oct 2008) for them until this moment even though they have already deducted it from my monthly salary.
Please advice me what should i do next? Thank you very much. Hope to hear from you soon.