My situation is that I am a full time student and in the meanwhile I have a job that allows me to work remotely most of the time and only come in to the office once or twice a week. I am not from the country I am in, and I work part-time as I need to attend school, so I have short-term contracts with them (before it was seasonal now monthly), I worked here for 2 years and did not have any problem with payment or the contract, and I was working directly with the CEO.

Now that we have different projects going on and I was reassigned to work with other managers and a board member of the company. The board member was on the project initially but stopped participating in the process as a new person was hired for it.

Then as usually I went back home after my exams during summer vacation for 3 weeks, I had notified them about my leave weeks ahead after one meeting and one of the people I work with took notes on the dates of my leave and my return. However, right before I left they seemed to be totally surprised with the fact that I was leaving, and they were NOT happy about it and in fact the person that took notes freaked out and sent me emails like "you can't be leaving in the middle of the project". (I totally should've emailed them about it instead of verbally). I left on the 24th which was almost the end of the month, and I was still working remotely from home. The reason why they are not happy is that before, I did not have much work to do, but the on-going project needed to be done as soon as possible, so they preferred to have me in the office at least once a week.

My job mainly is to translate some texts from English into my native language and talk with companies we cooperate with which are from my country. So communication with them was more convenient while I was home because of the time difference.

Now I am back in the office and I haven't got a contract for this month while I worked through out the month remotely and now in the office and I haven't got paid for last month either. I asked HR and they told me to ask the board member about it. So what should I do/say to him?

In addition, during my leave they gave my work laptop to someone else and emailed me whether I have something I'd like to save from that laptop (I mainly use my own laptop for work apart from times when I did not take it with me to the office). They did not ask whether I still need that laptop at all but just gave it to someone else. Secondly, I came back in the office finding someone else sitting on my desk (I don't have many things there but still..). This happened many times already that they move me somewhere else without asking or informing me ahead but let me find out when I am in the office. So all these things happening is kind of a warning for me that do they want to replace me by finding someone else now? I'm sure they still need me on the current project as it's urgent and I know the situation and our partners the best. But should I confront with them? If so, what should I do/say?

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    It does not sound like a warning they are going to replace you, it sounds like they did replace you. Were you in communication regarding the project work while you were on vacation? – JasonJ Jul 18 '16 at 12:50
  • This is like the movie "office space" where they stopped paying one of the guys because nobody actually wanted to fire him, so they figured he'd take the hint after not being paid for a while. – Old_Lamplighter Jul 18 '16 at 14:35
  • You have no contract, they didn't pay you, they gave your desk and laptop to someone else - you don't work there anymore. – The Wandering Dev Manager Jul 18 '16 at 16:05
  • One key point I did not mention is that what I do there is not easily replaceable in a short period of time. Especially given that the current project has a harsh deadline they're doomed if I quit now in fact. – user54043 Jul 18 '16 at 16:07

First, if your contract was not renewed this month, then you do not work there. Above all else do not do any work at all until they renew the contract.

Next contact the board member with a list of dates and times that you worked last month and ask why you were not paid for this time. Ask him why your contract was not renewed and if they intend to reinstate it. If you received tasks to work on in emails, make sure to take the documentation with you that you were being asked to do work. If he says he doesn't intend to pay you for work you did at their request, tell him that he will be hearing from your lawyer concerning that (even if you don't intend to hire one, often just the threat is enough.) You can threaten to use a lawyer because the bridges are already burned at this place if they are refusing to pay for work you did. So there is no need to "Play nice".

Finally, start looking for another job as it appears that they are no longer interested in using your services.

You may also need to hire a lawyer to collect the pay that they owe you. If they continued to give you tasks to work on last month and you worked on them, then it is likely they legally must pay you. If you worked on things without a contract or without being assigned the work by someone in their organization, it would be murkier.

And next time, don't plan on any vacation time without written approval in advance.

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    Any advice for if the lack of payment is not intended but a symptom of this workplace being a total s***show? – Myles Jul 18 '16 at 17:33
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    Pretty much the same thing, ask the board member why and get him to push HR to do the paying immediately. In no case should he continue working until he is paid. Once they know they can get you to work for free and without a contract, what incentive do they have to pay you?Depending on the country, the government Labor bureau may be able to help him collect the money owed as well. – HLGEM Jul 18 '16 at 18:30

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