Bad Business


#1

Here’s my situation: I signed a one-year contract at a school and have been working there for about 4 months. Last month they tried to scam me out of money I had earned in several different ways. I objected and they made up most of it–but they did not make up a certain sum which should have been compensated me by contractual agreement. So they have broke my contract, period.
I might stay if it were an honest mistake, but these are just not honest people. I’ve been lied to flat out–they look you in the eye and lie to you when you damn well know it–about many different issues regarding our arrangement now. Most recently is a matter of raise: I agreed to sign with a verbal agreement that I would recieve a raise of $10,000 after 2-3 months. Well, after confronting them about my missing salary previously, I made it clear that it was to be made up, and next month (this month) I expected to see that increased salary, too. They played the fool and said they made no such promise. That part wasn’t in writing (the contract is a joke), so I can’t prove it–I didn’t bring a tape recorder to the interview or document signing.
So now, not only have they tried to screw me once, they will not give me the raise they agreed to. That’s unacceptable. I’m not leaving without my money, and I need your help to make sure of that. I need to play my cards right, though, or I could end up in trouble. Please advise if you can.
The first thing I will do is try to reason with them one more time. If they will not listen to reason, I will have to play dirty–but I’m not turning my back and walking away without that which I’ve earned.
The trump I want to play, if they can’t be reasonable and professional, is this: I know they haven’t been paying taxes and I know I could use this to shut them down but I need to get educated before I make that move. If you can advise me legally, please help.
The other concern is this: The guy I’m dealing with is a moron and a fool, and he’s got no business sense. But he’s got money he never should have earned, which means he has connections–possibly mafia. I don’t mean to sound paranoid, I just want to make sure I’ve got all my angles covered. If I have to threaten to shut them down to get my earnings, am I endangering myself? Anybody have any knowledge, experience, or stories about that sort of thing? I know gangsters are common, but is it a concern in this sort of issue?
Please help–any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!


#2

This is probably not the advice you want, but swallow your losses, chalk it up to experience and move on. Your proposed “threat” would be laughable to them, and they could do a lot more damage to you than you can to them. It sounds like you have no idea what you are getting into.


#3

You will probably find more people willing to comment on these issues in the Legal Matters Forum. However, I will add my two cents here for what it is worth.

Actually, the under-reporting of income in Taiwan is so common that the tax people don’t consider it a big deal. However, I once heard of a Chinese man who got a school shut down for failure to pay taxes. That is unusual.

Here was the situation. He had been working there. He had all the bookkeeping records, and knew exactly what was going on. He could DOCUMENT their unpaid taxes very explicitly.

When they fired him for no good reason and withheld his severance pay, he put together his packet of materials documenting their underpayment of taxes, when to a photocopy center and had 75 copies made, and then delivered copies to every government organization, and every department within every organization, which had any relation to tax issues.

What this story does point out is however that in order to be effective, your report to the authorities has to be much more than vague surmises.