UPDATE 4: I'd be remiss if I didn't update this post with the outcome: I was able to recover about 1.5x lost wages (after employment attorney fees). The advice below I followed included: (1) finding an employment lawyer ASAP (2) Counting the bonus (rightly) as lost; (3) Collecting a few weeks of unemployment; (4) Searching for and landing a new job (at a higher salary, in fact) in less than 30 days after being let go. Thank you,
Personal Finance & Money for the timely and helpful advice. You helped me navigate one of the most stressful situations of my life with advice that was logical and empathetic. I am forever grateful.
UPDATE 3: The firm is likely lying to us and going up declare bankruptcy on May 15 after moving money out of the country. Asked advice here: https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/40917/want-to-sue-my-former-employer-for-wage-theft-or-settle
UPDATE 2: Thank you all for the extremely helpful advice during a time of such duress. Everyone in NYC but the CEO has been let go. It seems upper management has already settled and signed their release agreements, possibly already getting back pay and even severance. It is looking very probable the NYC business unit will declare bankruptcy and walk away. I found out today the company was unable to pay rent for April 2019 so they must have known the company was in dire straits since at least April 1. Regular employees were not made aware until May 1. I'm personally considering filing a lawsuit for wage theft in hopes of discovering additional malfeasance. But really I'd be happy to get my April 2019 salary and end the whole charade. I contacted the NY Bureau of Labor and told them what is going on but I have not filled out the DS-221 yet. I'm looking for jobs (and have been for a while, accelerating that now) and sorting out COBRA and unemployment benefits. I'm also leaving NYC to move back in with family to avoid paying the NYC rent while unemployed. This is very much a legal question now, but I really appreciate all the advice received here.
I was just let go today, May 8. After being let go, 2-3 hours later I was asked to sign a general release. Obviously I declined. I told them I cannot sign a general release as I have a claim to unpaid wages.
My company, based in NYC, has not paid salary for the month of April 2019. There is no update for when salary will be paid out, but it looks like it might happen until shortly after May 20, 2019. I'm optimistic, but also skeptical about this. I'm also expecting a bonus payment for 2018 that has not been paid yet either. It is a long story, but apparently the funds are currently frozen in another country due to the firm being a 3rd party in an ongoing investigation that is coming to a close.
My fear is if I resign I will not get paid my salary or my bonus. The problem is I am going to begin to feel the pinch financially and will need to begin taking some drastic measures to pay my bills. What actions should I take here, from the following options?
- Do nothing and wait.
- Quit my job, seek new employment, and await payment of April 2019 and May 2019 salary (foregoing any bonus payment).
- Get a second job ASAP (bussing tables or something).
- Stop going to work until I am paid salary.
- Seek a personal loan from friends or family.
- Take out a personal loan from a lender of 5k USD to 10k USD.
- Withdraw IRA funds with early-withdrawal penalty.
- Take a hit on the credit card payments if I am unable to pay off the full amount.
- Move back in with parents and get a job out of state.
Please let me know if you have any questions or other ideas.
UPDATE - Details are grim. I was counting on the bonus payment coming through during this period that my wife has been unable to work. As a result, we have already taken on a serious debt burden. Complicating matters is that we are somewhat settled in NYC with our son, but living on one income has been extremely challenging, and this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
- IRA: $210,000
- Current Personal Loan Debt: -$45,000
- Checking Account: $8,500
- Traditional Savings: $0.00 (already depleted)
- Monthly expenses (including rent & loan repayment): -$8,500
- Monthly Income After-Tax (if paid salary): $10,400
- Monthly Income After-Tax (if not paid salary): $0.00
- Credit Card (due May 8): -$6,995
- Rent payment (due June 1): -$3,225