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My Firm Stopped Paying Me - Advice?

what a sucker

"You want a quote? Haven’t I written enough already???"

RIP

mk17 wrote:

It’s pretty obvious you are only showing up for your family. I would work hard to get a new job ASAP and take legal action for unpaid wages once you start working elsewhere. It’s silly to be loyal to your coworkers who may be trying to do the same thing behind your back. This is finance afterall, not some arts company. Sooner or later someone will need CF badly and just leave, and you’ll be the one holding the bag. If your coworkers are as good to you as you are to them, no one is going to blame you for leaving to take care of your family.

Make sure you have a paper trail and document the non-responses from mgmt and HR. You’ll need those to stay in Court.

Thanks.  Good point about the loyalty.

bchad wrote:

Do they at least agree that they owe you back pay for the last 6 months, or are they asking you to come in and contribute for free, perhaps with a vague promise that you’ll be rehired/paid again when cash flow gets better?  If there is no chance of you getting paid again, then it is pretty crazy for you to keep working for them, except perhaps for the caveat in the next paragraph.  If they can’t afford to pay you because of cash flow, then you should be asking for equity (though - assuming this is a startup company with cash flow problems - you are likely to get diluted in the future even if you get equity).

I get that you might want to go in at least to convince yourself that you aren’t lying on a couch all day, and to tell another employer that you are doing things that look work-like, or perhaps you are still covered by a medical insurance plan that you feel you can’t afford to lose, but it does seem crazy to let yourself be exploited by people who are likely to keep riding your gravy train while they can.  If they can get you to work for free, the only way they ever have an incentive to start paying you again is if you are able to provide something unique that no other person can provide and your disappearance will be a problem.  That’s hard to do, but the only situation where it sounds like they have an incentive to start paying you.

At the very least, you should reduce your hours and take time to 1) look for a paying job, and 2) enjoy time with yourself and/or your family.

I have cut back on my hours.  I used to work 50-70 hours per week when I was getting paid and now it’s more like 40 hours and I take a 1.5 hour break during the day to train for the NYC marathon.  Running’s been an awesome way to cut the stress.  This isn’t a start-up.  It’s a mature company with a decent sized head count. They’ve shown such blatent disregard for the law that I’m certain I will get paid, I’m just hoping they’ll do it the regular way and not through FINRA arbitration where we agree to pay for our own legal fees.  In another life I was a corporate lawyer and I learned prolonged discovery is an easy way for defendents to increase the pain for the plaintiff.  Employers defend themselves within in-house salaried counsel and we pay our lawyers per hour.

JBrowntown wrote:

You need contact your State or County’s department of Labor or whatever it’s called where you live.  Today! 

Everyday you increase your risk of not getting paid.  What’s wrong with you?

Interesting thing is that these labor agencies don’t actually have any enforcement capabilities.  So it might make sense to go through this channel, but if they can’t enforce the ruling and I’m subject to FINRA arbitration anyways, it might be more hassle than it’s worth to go through the department of labor.

Based on all the legal advice I’ve received, nobody has said anything to the effect that “everyday you increase your risk of not getting paid” in large part because they didn’t pay me a new reduced salary, they decided not to pay me at all.  It violates Federal minimum wage requirements and my state wage laws.  But there is a time limit on claims, so that does come into play, but it’s either within the time limit or outside of the time limit.  There’s nothing that causes each day to increase my risk of not getting paid.

I can’t imagine the OPs situation, probably partly because I barely want to show up as is and I do get paid every 2 weeks. 

No one this naive and stupid would make it in finance. This fake afer is a trolling joke and not even good at it. 

Let me be the first one to motion for Blake to be unbanned. He was like the Chuck Norris of trolling.

yo OP, your story never happened. Take your meds Zach.

If you’ve had experience in FINRA arbitration or have a lawyer referral, please PM me.  I work in NYC but the company is HQ’d in Chicago.

Wow, this is unbelievable. 

Although I had the opposite once – I quit and they paid me for months. Likely my space-case former-boss never got around to filling out the paperwork saying I quit, this sort of thing was why I quit. Not my problem, kept it.

Unlike everyone else on this thread I would actually do what you are doing, with the exception of perhaps starting to talk to lawyers much sooner, in order to establish the absolute validity of your claim at the very least. Perhaps you can share the costs with your colleagues?

Merely leaving leaves you with no potential upside and you nix whatever (miniscule) chance there is of the situation actually working itself out.

The major risk you are running is that in fact your receivable is not enforcable for whatever legal reason. Then the last 6 months would be a huge net loss to you, not just in terms of wasted hours but also in terms of job hunting opportunities.

picton wrote:

Unlike everyone else on this thread I would actually do what you are doing, with the exception of perhaps starting to talk to lawyers much sooner, in order to establish the absolute validity of your claim at the very least. Perhaps you can share the costs with your colleagues?

Merely leaving leaves you with no potential upside and you nix whatever (miniscule) chance there is of the situation actually working itself out.

The major risk you are running is that in fact your receivable is not enforcable for whatever legal reason. Then the last 6 months would be a huge net loss to you, not just in terms of wasted hours but also in terms of job hunting opportunities.

Thanks.  Despite everyones’ reactions, I know my course of action is the best choice out of some bad options, but I understand the reaction.  It’s always easier to live someone else’s life.  it’s just a really strange situation.  I had consultations with three lawyers: two paid and one free.  All three said it was a strong case with support from Federal and State labor laws.  There is an additional upside that I may be entitled to liquidating damages (“double damages”) under the New York labor laws.  I’m still looking for a lawyer because I wasn’t satisfied with their FINRA arbitration experience.  As open and shut as the case seems to me, my company can cause some serious pain by dragging out the discovery or retaliating down the road in subtle ways.  For example, if I find a new job, my old company could try to sabotage me by saying my most recent salary was $0 rather than my actual rate.  Companies are much jumpier nowadays when it comes to hiring.  Even something clearly unreasonable like that could cause an employer to rescind an offer.

Did they tell you that you’re no longer being paid because of x and y, or did they say nothing and just stop sending your cheques?

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

geo wrote:
Did they tell you that you’re no longer being paid because of x and y, or did they say nothing and just stop sending your cheques?

For the first four months the company just stopped paying me, managers didn’t reply to emails and HR would only say I was employed by the firm but didn’t have further details.  A little after the four month mark, I was told by a manager that salaries were eliminated and compensation would be 100% a performance based trading bonus, but in a communication a week later they told us to cease trading in all of our portfolios. 

I’ve never heard of something like this; it is indeed very odd.  Did they also cut benefits like health insurance and stuff?

It’s obviously a crappy thing to do, but as time goes on, we all discover how management has figured out ways to extract surplus value from workers, and as the country becomes more and more of an oligarchy, we’ll discover more.

It does seem like the right strategy is:

1) do as little as possible so that you can say you are currently employed while job searching

2) search for a new job as quickly as you can

3) sue the hell out of them (and try to get a class action thing with other co-workers) as soon as you are employed somewhere else.

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

bchad wrote:

I’ve never heard of something like this; it is indeed very odd.  Did they also cut benefits like health insurance and stuff?

It’s obviously a crappy thing to do, but as time goes on, we all discover how management has figured out ways to extract surplus value from workers, and as the country becomes more and more of an oligarchy, we’ll discover more.

It does seem like the right strategy is:

1) do as little as possible so that you can say you are currently employed while job searching

2) search for a new job as quickly as you can

3) sue the hell out of them (and try to get a class action thing with other co-workers) as soon as you are employed somewhere else.

Not sure about the health insurance and other benefits.  My wife’s employer provides great benefits so we’ve always used her coverage for our family.  I would guess that the benefits were eliminated since they are usually paid out of salary.  Can you imagine getting your insurance cut without warning like that, especially if you have a family or are in the middle of a health issue?  This entire debacle makes me upset, the possible reprecussions from just cutting an employee’s health insurance without warning is no exception.

Never happened. 

PequodNYC wrote:
A little after the four month mark, I was told by a manager that salaries were eliminated and compensation would be 100% a performance based trading bonus, but in a communication a week later they told us to cease trading in all of our portfolios. 

My guess is you’re working for free from that point on. They said no more salary, you accepted those terms. I’d continue to show up so you can say you’re employed, but I wouldn’t actually do any work. Just chill out, search for jobs online, post on AF, drink a beer at your desk, whatever.

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

This guy is a sucker. I bet he thinks the pool boy only tends the pool.

This is 100% BS, this guy is trolling and you all are dumb for falling for it.

If he’s so Ivy and the other BS he said, why doesn’t he have another job by now? If this story was true, he would have another job and still be proceeding with legal action.

When I was young and working for a small business, I had something like this happen.  My paycheck bounced, twice…I left that job within a few days and was able to eventually get all my back pay from them…..who is this guy that stays for 6 months? He’s loyal to his co-workers? What about his family?

If by some stretch of the imagination this is true then he is either A) The biggest idiot I’ve ever met that supposedly works in Finance or B) Indepedently wealthy, doesn’t even need to work and likes trolling

Being Born Wealthy > Being Jewish or WASPY > Born Pretty > Top 5 MBA > CFA > Avg MBA > Born middle class > Born lower class > Born in crack house > Working in IT but looking to switch to buyside

geo wrote:
PequodNYC wrote:
A little after the four month mark, I was told by a manager that salaries were eliminated and compensation would be 100% a performance based trading bonus, but in a communication a week later they told us to cease trading in all of our portfolios. 
My guess is you’re working for free from that point on. They said no more salary, you accepted those terms. I’d continue to show up so you can say you’re employed, but I wouldn’t actually do any work. Just chill out, search for jobs online, post on AF, drink a beer at your desk, whatever.

That’s my concern too, but legal advice I’ve received suggests I should be entitled to pay for the entire period since they basically took away my ability to receive compensation when they told me not to trade under the new compensation schedule.  I’m taking your advice.  Like I posted earlier, I’ve been training for the NYC marathon  during the work day.  No beers at the desk though.  Last thing I need is to give them a splashy reason to fire me.

Why has it taken so long to find a job?  Wish I knew, but I’m guessing it’s because of my age and because the finance sector is weaker than it was 10 years ago.  We get a steady stream of resumes from individuals with blue chip PhD’s and big bank experience.

Why have I stayed?  I discussed most of this above, but if this were mom and pop LLC, I would have left a while ago but this is a somewhat recognizable name to most in the finance industry.  I just have a hard time believing they can get out of this without paying me what I’ve earned.  This would be a nice part of a story in the NY Times about employment rights.

PequodNYC wrote:

For the first four months the company just stopped paying me, managers didn’t reply to emails and HR would only say I was employed by the firm but didn’t have further details.  A little after the four month mark, I was told by a manager that salaries were eliminated and compensation would be 100% a performance based trading bonus, but in a communication a week later they told us to cease trading in all of our portfolios

LOL, so in other words you are totally f@#$%d.

Clearly you got played by a VERY weird company, nobody normal does this sort of thing. Sunk cost, there is no future there, go work for a real company.

Are you working for a pink sheets trading company in some dank basement or what??

^na he said its legit

"You want a quote? Haven’t I written enough already???"

RIP

^ Prob GS? ;)

“I can no longer obey. I have tasted command, and I cannot give it up.”

Not sure even the sweet-talking GS guys could pull that one off “hey fellows, so you are 100% trading bonus only now, oh by the way you are not allowed to trade”. ;)

^ So if the firm is not paying them, and the employees are showing up, who’s to stop someone from going Nick Leeson and gambling with other people’s money.  I mean, what is the firm going to do, fire them?

Please post the name of your firm so I can ensure you and your people have no hands on my assets either directly or indirectly.

Since you won’t post the firm, and are seeing legal advice from 22 year old AF zips, I’ll say it again; the fable posted above never happened.

If this is a fake post, I have to say that the poster is playing his character very very well. 

If he’s a troll, maybe he’s one of Putin’s professional troll staff. 

You want a quote?  Haven’t I written enough already???

Lol it was his idea to have Putin sit shirtless on that horse

'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. And a donut with no hole, is a danish'

this whole story sounds very fishy.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

can someone explain to me the reason for elaborate troll posts? 

does it stem from loneliness and getting people to discuss the poster and make him/her feel like the center of attention regardless if the situation is true or not?

Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and greatest weakness.

I can only say that however hard to believe and ridiculous my situation sounds, it is (unfortunately for me and my family), 100% real.  I posted here out of desparation for the slim chance that someone else has gone through a similar issue through FINRA.

If you don’t believe the story, don’t post to the thread. 

itera wrote:

can someone explain to me the reason for elaborate troll posts? 

While it’s a wacky story, I don’t buy the constant internet accusations that everyone is “trolling”. I mean it doesn’t make any sense, it’s not a funny thread, nothing gained by inventing some very specific story. And these so called trolls never post back “ha, I got you guys, you believed it!”. Probably because it’s real, as totally f@#$%d up as it sounds!

PequodNYC wrote:

…if this were mom and pop LLC, I would have left a while ago but this is a somewhat recognizable name to most in the finance industry.  I just have a hard time believing they can get out of this without paying me what I’ve earned. 

But you have no idea why they are doing this? They don’t have financial troubles? Certainly people around the office must talk? What’s the word on the street? People in this semi-well known name know this is happening and nobody talks about it? Couldn’t someone talk to the press and cause a big hassle for them?

I don’t get it.