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4467 posts

Uber Geek


#268431 19-Mar-2020 15:57
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It's an American and his wife over here in New Zealand on an entrepreneur visa.

They're "ghosting" me. Neither would pick up the phone or answer emails until I rung his redirected US phone number.

When I did finally reach him he said "I'm too busy to pay you because you quit."

I dispute that I quit. Needless to say, I won't be giving these guys a good reference.

What the cheapest way to collect? Luckily he paid me close to the final day. The last paycheck is $1,198.


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1000 posts

Ultimate Geek

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Chorus

  #2441391 19-Mar-2020 16:07
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Well the good news is that this Geekzone post is the 3rd result I get when googling the company, so maybe that will shame him into doing something about it. Maybe you should tell him that....


2674 posts

Uber Geek


  #2441403 19-Mar-2020 16:08
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I would have thought that a stiff letter from a lawyer asking him to pay before you take it to court should do the trick.


 
 
 
 




4467 posts

Uber Geek


  #2441448 19-Mar-2020 16:17
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Does dispute tribunal handle this sort of thing?

4658 posts

Uber Geek


  #2441511 19-Mar-2020 16:45
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kingdragonfly: Does dispute tribunal handle this sort of thing?

 

 

 

Depends, were you an employee or a contractor?

 

 

 

If you are an employee, then nope you have to go to the ERA...

 

https://disputestribunal.govt.nz/can-help-with/#cant

 

if you were a contractor then you can use the disputes tribunal

 

 




4467 posts

Uber Geek


  #2441532 19-Mar-2020 17:18
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I was a contractor. Thanks for the clarification.

231 posts

Master Geek


  #2441549 19-Mar-2020 18:12
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If you're a contractor then best course of action would be the Disputes Tribunal.




4467 posts

Uber Geek


  #2441568 19-Mar-2020 18:35
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I read the language on the disputes tribunal.

"We can’t deal with disputes about ... debts when the person owing the money agrees they owe the debt but doesn’t pay anyway. In other words, you can’t use the Tribunal as a debt collection agency."

So will have to weigh to cost of a lawyer versus the hassle.

 
 
 
 


433 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2441572 19-Mar-2020 18:39
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Make sure you get the jurisdiction correct if not and you turn up to court the defendant can have it thrown out and claim costs they incurred.

 

 


927 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2441580 19-Mar-2020 18:46
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The OP was not employed. This is a straightforward debt collection situation - give the debtor 14 days to pay or otherwise the debt will be sent for collection, including additional fees.





BlinkyBill


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Uber Geek

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  #2441660 19-Mar-2020 19:50
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Does your contract have fees as recoverable?



4467 posts

Uber Geek


  #2441669 19-Mar-2020 20:09
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I have no idea.

As mentioned the owner is American here on a entrepreneur visa. His visa was given specifically to set up a New Zealand company.

Unusually he had me sign an employment contract which cited Florida state laws. He still maintains a US company though and I was setup on under that I believe. I never got a clear idea of which of his companies was paying me. All my logins referenced his US company.

The contract appears to have a number of illegal clauses. For example, in the contract it specified that work breaks were unpaid. Even though he said he'd been in business for 18 months, he appeared completely ignorant of New Zealand holidays.

Again New Zealand gives these visa under the condition that business set up a NZ business and employ Kiwis. He seemed more interested in buying a New Zealand home than running a business.

16095 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2441675 19-Mar-2020 20:13
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I wasn't paid by a customer in the USA once. After weeks of trying I retained a reputable debt collector, I was paid a couple of weeks later. Cost me nothing, cost the customers some extra but not a crazy high amount. That'd probably work in NZ as well.


927 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2441717 19-Mar-2020 21:19
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Which is it, employee or contractor? There are different paths depending on which one.





BlinkyBill




4467 posts

Uber Geek


  #2441884 20-Mar-2020 08:23
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Contractor.

It's a New Zealand contract, and I'm a New Zealand citizen & contractor, even though it cites Florida laws.

Florida laws, if you don't already known, have zero worker protection. Even by US state law standards, Florida doesn't care about its workers, or their health. For example Florida doesn't require employers to have any sick leave, not even unpaid. Also no requirement for vacations.

He seems to want the best of all worlds. Living in New Zealand, buying a NZ beach home, retiring in NZ, and using US labor laws for his NZ contractors.

I should have walked away from this position when offered.

I promised to move near his office, because he said it was a 10 year job. Luckily he revealed his true personality under a stressful deadline, a neurotic bully, before I sold my home.

927 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2441906 20-Mar-2020 09:02
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If you are a contractor, you are not an employee and therefore not entitled to “worker protection”. If you are a contractor you invoice the business you worked for on an agreed fee-for-services basis. If you are a contractor you may be gst-registered and therefore your invoices may have included gst. Contractors are not entitled to annual or sick leave.

 

If you are a contractor and did not provide services abruptly, you may well be in breach of contract and therefore any outstanding invoices may be disputed.

 

it is unlikely that the business would hire a contractor for a 10-year term - contractors work short-to-medium term. 

I don’t think you were a contractor. I think you will need to apply to the Employment Relations Authority because you were in fact an employee.





BlinkyBill


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