Unpaid salary due to employer going bankrupt...which way to turn?


(Karen Peckham) #1

Hi there.....I'll try and keep this brief but it's kind of complicated....I worked on a CDD from 01/04/2014 to 31/10/2014 as a Receptionniste at a Residence de Tourisme in Corsica where I live - the company was SARL Balagne Vacances and they were running the Residence on a 3 year gerance.....on 12/10/2014 the 2 people running the Residence did a runner in the night without saying anything to myself and the other remaining member of staff and we then found out that the director of the gerance had applied for bankruptcy on the 13th October. I worked until the end of my contract anyway as nobody would answer me to tell me what else to do and I was well aware that I could not just walk away and rupture my contract - there were also still guests staying at the Residence until the 30 October who had to be looked after. Anyway the case was heard in court in Bastia on 4th November and the ownership has now been transferred back to the original owner. My problem is that I still haven't been paid my wages for the month of October, and as it was the end of my CDD my holiday pay...congees payee. I also do not have any of my paperwork in order to sign on at the Pole Emploi....attestation...solde de tout compte etc. I understood originally that the liquidateur would deal with my pay etc on the insurance scheme so was waiting patiently as I understand this could take some time to sort out ...however I have now just been told that as the liquidation happened after my contract ended it is the original gerant who should pay me and sort out my papers. He has finally just responded to an email and has passed the buck back to the liquidateur and says its for them to pay me ..this is a copy of what he just sent me ''C’est en effet au Mandataire, de vous régler votre salaire et vos indemnités non réglées, pour la fin de votre contrat, sachant que votre dernier salaire correspond au mois de septembre 2014, et que nous avons déposé le bilan en date du 13 octobre 2014.''. I am assuming that I will have to go through the Prud Hommes now....the liquidateur contacted the gerant yesterday on my behalf and has given him until Tuesday 2 December to sort it out. I guess my question is.....should I wait until Tuesday or do I already have the right to start a procedure via the Prud Hommes and is this the correct route I should take? I speak fairly OK french but not when it comes to legal matters so any advice would be gratefully accepted. Many Thanks Karen


(Karen Peckham) #2

where is the like button on here?????...i am just getting used to survive frances layout....moi suis plustot facebook!!!


(John Dislins) #3

You are most welcome and sleep well.

John.


(Karen Peckham) #4

thank you for your reply...sadly it is now apparently beyond the jurisdiction of the prud hommes as its gone into liquidation judiciare.......i was hoping to scare my ex employer...but between him and the appointed mandataire out here i think things will progress very slowly but Please Help are helping me!!!


(Karen Peckham) #5

than you..it is a tad more complicated...John Dislins is now helping me.


(Karen Peckham) #6

the pole emploi were not really interested unless i had my paperwork that I needed officially..even though i am well known to them......you have to go through certain procedures here in Corsica.......she could offer me no advice legally as she is probably related to the mandataire!!!! anyway am now in touch with John Dislins on here and he is helping me!! thanks for your interest anyway. K x


(Karen Peckham) #7

thank you John for your help so far.....it is really appreciated as i cannot tell you how stressed I am over this whole situation....with your help the letter recommande has been sent to the mandataire today.....and I can only wait and see..........i might get some sleep tonight!!!! for a night anyway.......Karen


(Ian Mitchell) #8

Many banks have 'Juridique Insurance/Assistance' - not expensive, and it covers most areas of life and the problems associated with them. Ask your bank if they have this


(Karen Peckham) #9

(John Dislins) #10

Hi Karen,

I have helped in this situation before and successfully got ALL the wages for the employee up to the date the were required to work contractually. Dealing with a mandataire takes legal knowledge, project management skills and patience. Is there an appointed employee representative?

Once a mandataire is appointed, all legal action is stopped but you can request an audience with the judge handling the receivership, he then simplifies the court action and the state intervenes to pay outstanding wages.

It might be better to call me to discuss this in detail.

Good luck and keep pestering the mandataire.

John


(Peter Bird) #11

Have you asked the advice of the Pole Emploi ?

Sounds like you need the advice of an avocat specialising in employment laws etc


(Peter Lewis) #12

Karen - Sorry to hear your tale of woe, but I guess it's par for the course in that type of business.

The link between liquidation, bankruptcy & responsibility in France is way beyond me, but one thing would appear to be pre-eminent under any system of law: With whom was your CDD employment contract, and do you have a written contract (or written evidence of the contract)? Under most legal systems, you need to look to the legal entity that employed you (i.e. the person or company with whom you contracted) in order to get paid your missing salary. If you were employed by SARL Balagne Vacances then, regardless of when that company went into liquidation, it' would normally be up to the liquidator of that company to settle its debts, with unpaid wages having a high priority, at least in the UK. If, OTOH, you were actually employed by some other entity, the director personally or some other 'legal person' (i.e. business), it doesn't seem very likely that the liquidator has any responsibility towards you as you weren't actually employed by SARL Balagne Vacances.

At least determining your actual employer should give you a firm basis so that you can put an end to the finger-pointing, which doesn't get you nearer to being paid.

It would, perhaps, be an idea to ask at your local mairie if there is any kind of legal advice centre in your area. We have a local point d'acces au droit which operates a permanence on 3 days a week, sometimes supplemented by avocats from the préfecture. Alternatively you could contact your local Order of Avocats who provide what looks like a means-tested legal aid scheme.

Best of luck with it.


(John Scully) #13

For the sake of a couple of days I'd wait until Wednesday. You have then given everyone ample opportunity to sort the matter out.