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Hungry_Hippo

Company broke the contract, getting Chinard hard

Question

Hello,

I am currently working in a school teaching English. I know - shocking... Anyways, the company broke the contract - didn't pay my wage as scheduled (late for over 2 weeks), paid incorrect wage last 2 months ( however, I was paid in the end). Also, contract says I should only work 30 hours a week, but they want me to do 40+ hours... 

In the contract it says that the party which breaks the contract needs to pay 10 000RMB penalty. They're refusing to do this...

Also, when I said I want to quit, they said I need to pay the penalty AND give 3 months notice...

I have a Z visa. Temp permit is being processed now. The lawyer told me to get the media involved and publicly shame them. I am hesitant to take them to court - costs a lot of time and slim chances of winning (#laowai_life)...

so what should I do? any lawyers you guys could reccommend or maybe anyone went through a similar problem? I don't mind going back home... Also, I thought about not showing up to work until they pay me the money :)

I am still down 10 000RMB since coming to China - and that's after 3 months of work... I have a feeling I'm doing it wrong.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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1 hour ago, sainthood said:

I spoke to a contract lawyer last night.

I'm thinking of setting up a 'business' where FT's (and, for that matter, any other expat) can make monthly contributions (say, 100/month) have the services of a lawyer on retainer. This means, any questions you need to ask can be answered, and any letters from lawyers should be sent without further payment. Obviously, if it goes to the next stage, there will be more money involved, but hopefully even that can be bargained with so it wouldn't cost too much (eg, going to the arbitration stage).

Would those who have commented on this thread like to comment on this idea?

good idea. Actually I'm a paralegal in foreign affairs division of Zhejiang Zeda Law Firm (which is the biggest law firm of Zhejiang Prov.). I passed the BAR of China and got a postgraduate degree in UoE but haven't got my Lawyer License. So I'm free to provide my consultation here but cannot help you guys with a lawyer identity (such as sending a letter or present on a court). And I'm sorry my team's major is Foreign Corporate Affairs instead of civil affairs. Otherwise, it would be easy for me to provide help for you guys,

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Free advice is always helpful! (well, actually, it's not... but hopefully :p)

 

 

 

(ok, let's be honest - free advice is rarely helpful.....).

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6 minutes ago, sainthood said:

Free advice is always helpful! (well, actually, it's not... but hopefully :p)

 

 

 

(ok, let's be honest - free advice is rarely helpful.....).

lol, to be honest. It's true. Since I have my own job and I won't pay too much time on free legal consultations. Anyway, at least there will be some help better than nothing.

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I'm hoping that for most such disputes, that letter from a good, reputable law firm may be enough to dissuade the arseholes from screwing us over.

@Haohao... do such firms have any contacts to SAFEA etc... or at least, anything better than what most foreigners have? I've heard SO many stories from people (and myself) who have tried to contact them, but with ZERO luck! Unanswered emails, unanswered phonecalls.... broken English.... no results!

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4 hours ago, Haohao Wei said:

 

I know that legal issues concerning the IP disputes (which accounts for most foreign cases in China) foreigners lose most because of the local protection. But cases involving the labour contract do not have such a situation, most of the disputes are solved at arbitration stage and you don't need to go to the courts with some fee and long time.

Hope your info will help the dude out. 

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I think reputable law firm in Beijing may have some contacts with these centre department. Local large law firms have connects with the local governments. 

For your complaints about the Chinese governments low reply rate, it quite common in China. Our Chinese never write something to government because they never reply. There are too many people and foreigners in China. The better way is contact local administration.

Some people went to Beijing to complain and were caught to custody.

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2 hours ago, Haohao Wei said:

Some people went to Beijing to complain and were caught to custody.

Gotta love the irony in that!

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I have time to kill so I thought I'd give a quick update. Just a public service announcement :)

So this is what happened. The company broke the contract and refused to do anything about it. I ended up getting a new visa and a new job. Basically I just walked away as there was nothing I could do. 

The company again decided to screw me over by not paying me 2 weeks salary. Apparently, I needed to give a 3 months notice and... I broke the contract :D :D :D which is a great example of how things are here for foreigners. The contract is only applicable when they can benefit from it. 

I went there to ask for my money one day (unannounced) and they were threatening me and my SO - apparently they lied to the parents that I left the country and whatnot. I didn't even speak to anyone while I was there. And got threats to be put in jail, that they would go after my SO's business, guanxi and all that bullshit.

The school I worked for is called Pingu's English. It is a part of a much larger conglomerate (owned by the same people) which include Sesame Street and My Gym (at least the majority of them). In my case, it wasn't a real school. These places are called "education consulting companies" - they don't have a license to hire teachers. So on paper you work somewhere else, while in reality you teach in their center. 

At my new job, I met a guy who worked for one of those schools for years, but recently left because they broke his contract too. 

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I hope to achieve 2 things by posting this info :

1) for newbies researching schools in HZ and China - hope this gives you an idea of what can happen in China. Also, when you are looking up your potential employer. I tried to find that franchise and couldn't get any solid info about them... which I hope will help someone as those cunts are opening new centers all over HZ.

2) maybe.. just maybe all the people moaning and bitching about how shitty China can be are on to something...

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Thank you to share the details to everyone to not encounter future scam.

As San said here the only way to get something back is threaten someone to make loose his face. Try to envolve the media if things get worse without any shame, good luck!

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