A friend of mine, Manos, was working in Greece as a junior civil engineer, in a small office of 10 people give or take.

In four months as a fledgling there, with almost no support, he struggled to learn the tools of the trade and the software that is used to create blueprints and other stuff that have to do with his work. However, because of his little experience, that led to minor mistakes which were heavily criticized by his boss.

Things there started to escalate. Manos' boss would not pay him or would say to him: You made X mistakes this month so, given those mistakes, I remove Y amount of your monthly income for this month.

After 6 months of this continuous situation, Manos explained to him that this is against the law and that he will no longer tolerate this. Things got pretty bad, with shoutings and cursings. In the end, the boss grabbed Manos from the neck in front of everyone, led him out and kicked him down the stairs. Manos got an injured leg as a result of this and a personal threat if this goes further.

Now, I know all those sound very deviant for a workplace, but there are lots of companies in Greece who have slightly similar situations.

How should Manos proceed? How can he get the money that they did not pay him plus to retaliate against this guy with almost no collateral damage?

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    VTC because this is a question only a lawyer can answer. The sort of behaviour that seems barbaric to more civilized places is, sadly, too common in Greece. Given the overloaded and understaffed legal system, it's likely to take years before he sees his money back. Good luck to your friend.
    – rath
    Mar 27, 2017 at 8:15
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    Hi, I am sorry to hear this happened to your friend. Actually hitting an employ is certainly not common or tolerated by any standards even in the current Greek job market. Before I offer any further advice I'd like to ask a few things. Manuel does not sound like a Greek name, what is his immigration status? Also what is his employment status, is he legally employed? Either way the first thing your friend should do is go to a hospital, have his injury treated and documented.
    – Corcus
    Mar 27, 2017 at 8:44
  • Manuel stands for Manos. He is Greek and a local there. He was officially employed. Thank you for your insight.
    – Sidius
    Mar 27, 2017 at 8:52
  • Out of curiosity, if the employer is able to do that, would better fighting lessons be a course of action so if the employer tried it again, he would get his butt handed to him? It's sad that it's like that, but the boss sets the tone and the country sets what's legal. It seems to go that if your boss attacks you you need to defend yourself in like manner as appropriate...just a thought, but as far as the money goes, if there aren't rules tough luck there, find a better boss...lawyer comment is best though as i'm certainly not from Greece...just curious on fighting policy...
    – mutt
    Mar 27, 2017 at 14:52
  • I'd like to add an extra resource your friend can use. The Department of Labor Inspection. They also have a phone line you can call and make a complaint. If he can get them involved he has a chance of getting the money and the insurance that he is owed. A friend of mine got both a few years ago. He should contact them, explain the situation and ask them for help. The advantage of this over a lawyer is that it is free and employers are generally afraid of them
    – Corcus
    Mar 27, 2017 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


Getting unjustified payment deductions is a civil law issue. He should get a lawyer who specializes in employment law and see if he can sue for the outstanding salary payments.

Kicking someone down the stairs is assault. He should report it to the police to have his boss prosecuted. He might also ask a lawyer if it makes sense to file an additional civil lawsuit for compensation for the injuries he suffered.

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    Thank you for the answer. It's quite hard to think what to do next, given how bizarre this situation is. I will advise him, to do as you say.
    – Sidius
    Mar 27, 2017 at 9:39
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    Noe of course that neither of thee legal recourses is likely to result in him retaining his job or wanting to stay there if he is not fired. If he is going to have his boss arrested on assault charges, then he needs to accept that he needs to find a new job as well. Be aware that any witnesses who want to retain their jobs may lie about the assault incident. That happened to me when someone tried to rape me in the office in from of 20 witnesses.
    – HLGEM
    Mar 27, 2017 at 15:24
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    I'd like to add here that lawsuits in Greece tend to take years (if not decades if the defendant has a good lawyer) to resolve. If he goes down the lawsuit lane it should be more about having things on paper and getting the police involved for protection rather than to actually get his money back.
    – Corcus
    Mar 27, 2017 at 16:24
  • You got the point @Corcus... I guess it comes down to this.
    – Sidius
    Mar 28, 2017 at 6:34

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