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In September, I asked how I should approach my boss regarding my delayed August paycheck. The community gave insighftul answers and some advice on how to make sure this doesn't happen again in the future.

Two months later, it's happening again.

Before you rage that I didn't follow what the community said, let me lay down the details first.

After I made that post, I sent my boss a text message regarding my paycheck and he quickly apologized and transferred the money the following day. We meet a few weeks later—this was around last week of September so that means I should be getting my paycheck for that month. He asked if I wanted to receive it in cash right there and then or wait until Monday to have it transferred to my account. I said the latter since it's easier and more convenient for me.

Monday came and there was no transfer.

It's almost November and I haven't received two months worth of salary (September and October 2018).

I learned from our Client Service Director that I am still not yet in the payroll of our parent company—the backer of our startup—which means that my boss is indeed manually transferring the money. I also learned that we already have higher revenue at the moment than they have expected for the remainder of the year.

I love what I do and what we do. I'm grateful to learn and work directly with the CCO.

I don't want to sound like a brat junior who's not grateful for already producing the biggest project of his life but this is money that I've earned. I also want to be professional about this and how to handle it.

How do I approach my boss again regarding this?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

P.S. I'm from the Philippines. November 1 and 2 are holidays so I have a few days to talk to him (or wait if there'll be a transfer) on November 5.

  • 13
    sounds like you're being paid under the table... are you being taxed? – Kilisi Oct 31 '18 at 10:07
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    I don't want to sound like a brat junior who's not grateful for already producing the biggest project of his life but this is money that I've earned: There is nothing wrong with complaining about not getting paid. – Martin Tournoij Oct 31 '18 at 10:20
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    @JimG. That's literally the previous question posted by this same user, which he himself mentioned and linked to at the top of this question. – Steve-O Oct 31 '18 at 13:34
  • 2
    Are you sure your company is not borderline insolvent and juggling their working capital? – Den Warren Oct 31 '18 at 20:55
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    The question is different because the previous question asked "How can I ask to be paid my salary?", whereas this question is "How do I deal with consistently late salary payments?" While certainly related and similar, they are not the same question. – Martin Tournoij Nov 1 '18 at 4:48
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How do I approach my boss again regarding this?

Wait until pay day. Check to see if the money has been transferred to your account.

If not, talk to your boss. "Boss. I think you forgot to transfer my pay again." Mention it each day that your pay doesn't appear in your account.

Repeat until he gets the hint and does it automatically, or he doesn't get the hint. If the latter, just make it a standard part of your monthly routine to request your pay.

You get to decide if you wish to put up with this foolishness or not. If the job is worth it, then just make it your burden to keep reminding your boss each month.

  • I should point out that non payment of salary / wages is a breach of contract – Neuromancer Nov 2 '18 at 23:30
  • Possibly:-) it could also mean the OP is technically not employed any more frustrating the contract by non payment does that, though Philippines law my differ in the details of how that works. – Neuromancer Nov 3 '18 at 21:18
  • I waited until pay day and the money has been transferred. However it was only 1-month worth of salary as I was expecting it to be double (September and October paychecks). I don't think my boss is aware that I didn't get my September pay. How do I tell him this given that he has only given me my half of what is owed to me? It's so tricky because we won't be meeting until December which means I have to tell him this through a text message. – Acer Nov 11 '18 at 13:29
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Personally my wife deals with this a lot. She puts up with it because she is well paid for her experience and education, she enjoys her work, and is giving a lot of autonomy. This month has been rough on the company and she will likely miss a second paycheck. We are in the very fortunate position in that we can live off of my paycheck alone.

Here is my advice:

Determine an exit plan

You have to figure out when "enough is enough" when will the broken promises of being paid be enough to seek other employment. No one has the right to tell you when that is, and certainly random people on the internet fit into that category. Some jobs deserve to be walked out on the moment one is not paid, others should get more leeway.

Understand the payroll process

You need to understand when the money needs to be transferred in order for you to be paid. Lets say it is today. I would remind my boss in the AM via email or phone, and then check with them if they had already done so just prior to the deadline. This way you will know if you are being paid or not without lag. You can then make a determination on what to do. There is nothing worse than hoping to see a deposit hit your account and nothing happens. For some reason, knowing ahead of time makes it less traumatic.

Get over being a pest

You performed the work, you should expect to be paid in a timely manner. Based on what you said, it seems like you agreed to be paid monthly. Going two months without salary, with such an agreement, allows you to be a pest. I would pester him for pay, but doing so at the right time.

Good luck and let us know how it turned out.

4

Putting aside that this job sounds like more trouble than it's worth, with possible red flags of legally or ethically shady behaviour (I'm sure you've heard all that before, but you seem to have decided to stick it out anyway)...

It sounds like you are paid in arrears (as is typical). That is, you work through September, then at the end of September or early October you (should) get paid for September.

Given the repeated problems you have had with your pay, you could ask to get paid in advance instead. That way you are in a better position to put your foot down and say things like "I won't work another minute until I get paid". (Currently saying that would be a risk, because they could decide not to pay you what they already owe you, leaving you out of pocket for work you've already done).

Most companies wouldn't pay in advance, even if you asked... but most companies wouldn't "forget" to pay you in arrears, either, so this is not a normal situation. If they refuse to pay you in advance, and keep "forgetting" to pay you in arrears, then you have to accept the risk (likelihood?) that at some point you might not get paid at all. Whether to accept that risk is up to you (I wouldn't).

  • Some Big companies do pay in advance RELX did when I worked for them – Neuromancer Nov 2 '18 at 23:30
  • This will only work if you have some leverage. Dangerous to attempt if you don't have much. I'd only do it if I didn't care too much about being sacked. – Kilisi Nov 9 '18 at 1:56
  • I have to agree with @Kilisi here. Again, compared to my co-workers, they are veterans in the industry and I'm only in my first year. I don't want to demand right away for an advanced payment considering we are in a startup. As much as possible I just want to give my boss the benefit of the doubt here. Anyway, just an update is that money has been transferred to my account but it's only 1-month. So I'm still owed a month of paycheck. – Acer Nov 11 '18 at 13:31
  • The question was how to make sure it won't happen again. Getting paid in advance would be one way to do that - remember, it is THEM that is in the wrong here, for not paying you, you're not being demanding, you're asking for what you are due. Or, you could... let it happen again. Which you've just said has happened already. I mean, it's up to you. At some point they're going to decide not to pay you at all. But at least you won't have rocked the boat... – BittermanAndy Nov 12 '18 at 10:52
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I don't want to sound like a brat junior who's not grateful for already producing the biggest project of his life but this is money that I've earned. I also want to be professional about this and how to handle it.

Joe's answer is a good one, assuming you want to stick it out and keep working there (which it sounds like you do.)

However, your CCO has shown a pretty clear pattern of forgetting to pay you, and it seems likely that this will continue to happen in the future. Even if you can get a few straight months out of him, there will always be the looming threat of a relapse on his part, so you'll have to forever be watching your bank account to make sure the money appears.

You were promised this money in exchange for the services you provide. You are not being a "brat junior" by requesting the money you were promised - you held up your end, he should hold up his. Being professional means being polite and respectful, yes, but it also means knowing the value of your own time and at least expecting a certain amount of respect in return. If you're a professional, you deserve to be paid for what you do.

In your position I would do two things (in addition to Joe's suggestions):

  1. Get an amendment to your contract that specifies the day of each month on which you will be paid, and hold your boss to that.

  2. If issues persist, turn in your required notice and leave. Ideally, find a new job first. You want to be a professional, but professionals don't let themselves go unpaid for months on end. As above, you deserve the money you have earned. If he won't give it to you in a timely manner, regardless of his reasons why, find someone who will.

I love what I do and what we do. I'm grateful to learn and work directly with the CCO.

I get the loyalty aspect of this, but ask yourself: what you really learning from a guy who can't even manage to pay his employees on time? You say this like it's something special to be learning from the guy who founded his own company, but in my experience, 90% of startups fail, and future employers will be more interested in what you know, not so much who you learned it from.

Also, the mental stress of keeping on top of your boss to make sure he pays you on time is not something that should be lightly discarded.

  • +1 you're learning to be a sleaze, mainly, is what it sounds like. – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Nov 5 '18 at 3:50
  • I see where you're coming from. But in advertising industry, especially where I'm from, it's so small almost everyone knows every one. His name certainly helps if I want to make faster progress in my career. But you're correct. It's not worth the stress. I will try to amend the contract to specify the day of each month on which I will be paid. Just a quick update: November 5 came and I got my paycheck. However it's only 1-month worth of salary. I think he is not aware of the fact I didn't receive the September pay (as mentioned above again). – Acer Nov 11 '18 at 13:37
  • @Acer I do understand what you're saying, my industry is pretty tight-knit too. To be clear, I'm not suggesting you burn any bridges here - you can stand up for yourself without ruining your relationship with him; just be calm, professional and polite. – Steve-O Nov 11 '18 at 14:05
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I expect your boss to be apologetic and genuinely concerned on why this should have happened and that it does not happen again. So if you are sure that your boss just "forgets" to punch in your payment which must be done manually, you could propose the following options

  1. To have you give him a gentle reminder before the due date. He should be very receptive to this idea
  2. Help in setting up a recurring direct debit from source account to your account, every month on a particular date

In case he is nonchalant/defensive about missed salary payments, you need to be cautious, either there is a company wide liquidity problem or some other bad situation you don't know and you must plan to leave quickly.

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