Can an employer stop paying because of slow software development?.

  • start up company.
  • no written contract.
  • employer doesn't want to fire anyone at least.
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  • employee, no never experienced it before and it will happed starting at september, we have a lot of work load but it didn't fit the required time-line because an additional requirement was added – DDD Sep 1 '18 at 17:26
  • the additional requirement was added during the day the project was started but the original time-line agreed upon was for the original requirement without the additional requirement – DDD Sep 1 '18 at 17:35
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    Philippines. and investors are foreigners – DDD Sep 1 '18 at 17:57
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    Employment without payment is commonly known as slavery. I'd avoid it. – Wesley Long Sep 1 '18 at 23:54


Would you be willing to work for free?

Bad idea for yourself (becoming a slave) and the workforce (who need to earn a living) in your industry in general.

You could get together with others and demand payment and threaten to leave as a group otherwise.

Make sure to get written contracts.

However, even in that case, you're gambling that they may pretend to agree and a month later won't pay or declare bankruptsy.

So my advice is RUN !
RUN !!

EDIT (in light of your recent comments):

I only skimmed it and it seems there are fair labor laws in effect in the Philippines.
One thing paused my reading though:

Art. 101. Payment by results.
The Secretary of Labor and Employment shall regulate the payment of wages by results, including pakyao, piecework, and other non-time work, in order to ensure the payment of fair and reasonable wage rates, preferably through time and motion studies or in consultation with representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.

I'm not certain, but maybe they could try to use the "slow software development" as means to apply this.
However it seems that they can't simply determine the amount paid (which still needs to be "fair and reasonable", NOT zero) by themselves.

An underlying problem is that you have no contract and another red flag is that they are foreign investors.

So regardless ... RUN ...

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  • IANAL but I don't think that clause can be applied to salaried employees. – jcm Sep 1 '18 at 23:24
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    Run, don't look back! I learned this the VERY hard way. They will try to guilt-trip you into returning. Look into psychological abuse by domestic partners for a reference as to how they will try to manipulate you. Best answer: Run, do not return phone calls or emails. – Wesley Long Sep 1 '18 at 23:53
  • "run" is not advice - quitting a job also results in no salary. Emotionally it makes sense, but "run" does not answer the OP's question. Your edit is more helpful, but it still emphasizes an emotional position over the merits of the question vs. the employer's action. Especially if the OP made promises, even inadvertently, about results on which the employer paid that are not yet achieved. The lack of contract, vague framing of the problem and bias toward the employee support the emotional position, but your response is clearly prejudiced toward the OP – Jim Sep 3 '18 at 7:50
  • @Jim Oh please,RUN is A)obviously hyperbolical & synonymous for quitting and most importantly B)they refuse to pay employees(according to OP,not freelancers/contractors).RUN(i.e.quit)is very appropriate advice in my(and apparently others)opinion.The employer behaves illegally according to the law.The fact that further payments are denied and there is no contract,makes it prudent to stop working immediately.NOT staying,becoming a slave and undermining other workers in the industry."Additional requirements were added" is clearly the employers fault and warrants payment regardless. – DigitalBlade969 Sep 3 '18 at 8:27
  • Hyperbole isn't advice. Colorful commentary is entertaining but the OP is seeking advice. If the OP is expecting employment and contractor status is not possible, why is there a question about what action to take? With employment there isn't an issue here - work without pay is illegal. But contracts don't make such delineations as clear. It just seems the OP needs to understand if it's employment or a contract (and a verbal contract can be enforced depending on factors). – Jim Sep 3 '18 at 8:42

This is probably just a threat to speed up the development team.

While I would advise putting out feelers for alternative work, you should be doing that anyway since you don't have a contract.

Apart from that you can just keep working until such time as this becomes more than an empty threat and they actually attempt to enforce it, which is probably never.

Jumping up and down before then isn't productive.

Working without a contract has benefits and drawbacks. But it also means that you can walk out whenever you want without repercussions, and non payment would be a walking reason.

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Depending on the country this could very well be illegal. While you probably don’t want to stay working for them it is grounds to sue them for your pay which they would be liable for and you could include damages such as court fees etc...

Check your country laws and decide what level of action you wish to take.

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This would be a legal question. In most countries, the absence of a written contract means that there is a contract, containing what is normal for that situation in your country. If it is normal in your country that your employer adds a clause to your contract that you are not getting paid in certain situations, then it is fine - except in countries where it is illegal not to pay you when you worked. Which is most countries.

I would do two things: Tell your employer that you will be paid for your work, no matter what he thinks what will happen. Not paying will only land them in court. And the other thing obviously is to look for a job elsewhere.

In most countries, just like your boss could fire you immediately if you are found stealing things from the company, you can fire the company immediately if they refuse to pay for your work.

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