Unpaid wages and my rights

4 posts in this topic

Hello everyone:)

So I'm not sure if this is the right place to be posting this but at this point I'm not sure where else to turn to.

I know the title isnt the sexiest, but I will explain my situation.

From May until December I was employed by a work agency and was working at various places through them. Basically I would work at company X but the work agency handled all my wages, sick days, and vacation days. Anyways when I joined the work agency I had to make what's called a "arbeitszeitkonto" which in english loosely means an "overtime work account". 

Basically, on my contract I was being paid for 35 hours/week and any extra hours will be placed in my overtime account which I can use, theoretically, to take additional time off work or when there are a few days without work. 

I was against this idea, as after all, it's basically the same as my employer withholding my wages and to use them when it's convenient. But after discussing the issue for a bit I (to my regret) agreed to it. I was new to Germany, had no real qualifications, and barely spoke german, So I was pretty desperate for any job. As time went on I would talk to other workers who were from the agency and they told that this whole set up is normal and that they haven't had any issues in the past. So I just let it be. They assured me that when my contact ended at the end of the year, all the hours/wages from my overtime account would be paid to me in full. Note that I everytime time I requested to withdraw money from my overtime account, these requests were always denied...

As luck would have it, the day after my contract with them ended, the work agency went into bankruptcy. After having long and difficult discussions with them and their lawyers it became apparent that while I will be paid the hours I worked for December based on the 35 hours/week basis, all of the hours on my overtime account (100 hours/1000€) will not be paid as the company goes into insolvency. It's been a couple of days since discussing the matter with them and it seems apparent that there's nothing I can do to get my money. 

I know that there's not much I can do, but if anyone here has any advice or has gone through something similar, I'm more than happy to hear about it

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12 minutes ago, Valencia said:

while I will be paid the hours I worked for December based on the 35 hours/week basis, all of the hours on my overtime account (100 hours/1000€) will not be paid as the company goes into insolvency.

 

That really sucks, but yea, AFAIK that's about right...

 

If anyone here knows another way you could get your money back, I'd be interested to hear it.

 

12 minutes ago, Valencia said:

It's been a couple of days since discussing the matter with them and it seems apparent that there's nothing I can do to get my money.

 

As I understand it, you can try to get your money back if you lawyer up (€€€), but you will have to add your name to the list of those who want their investments back (for you your time; for others' it'll be property rental/leases, office furniture, computers, company cars, all that kind of fun stuff, any loans the firm took, etc.). Only if there is anything to give back to 'debtors' once all accounts are settled, you can have your turn -- maybe. I wouldn't hold my breath, though. 

 

To me, this is just another reason Zeitarbeit firms are the devil.

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- Find something to proof the status of your Arbeitszeitkonto

- Go to the Arbeitsamt and tell them what happened

- Send the people you discussed with (Leihbude? their lawyers?) a request of proof that the Arbeitszeitkonto was insured and protected against bankruptcy.

- Tell them (in written form, together with the above one) that so long no proof is provided you exercise your right of retention (Leistungszurückbehaltungsrecht) under §273 BGB

 

 

 

P.S., I am not a lawyer.

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