How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49779
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I am an American Citizen who was working in Thailand for

This answer was rated:

Hi I am an American Citizen who was working in Thailand for a UK based company who has refused to pay me for a months work, total amount 2500 USD. Do I have rights to this pay and what is the first step in retrieving it?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Which country's laws governed your employment contract?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I would assume England- her business is registered in the UK

but the work was done in Thailand

Did you not have a contract of employment or contract for services which stated which country's laws applied to your relationship?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The company is a Yoga Teacher Training School, offering month-long courses. I had a contract with her, the first month was signed and she paid me. The second month we had the same contract, I emailed it to her asking her to sign and send it back and she never did. She never paid me for the second month- I have emails from her stating that she will send the balance of $2500 USD, then over whatsapp she said that she sent the money, the transfer was done, she refused to send me confirmation and left THailand on a flight to the UK 2 days before the end of the training. She has no reason other than she has to pay her taxes "out of my salary" we had nothing in our agreement about taxes, and she had already claimed to have sent the money, therefore she cannot deny that she owes it to me. The attachment is coming through distorted but I could email it to you if you can give me a regular email adress.

Pursuing a claim in the circumstances will not be easy so I just need to be clear on this from the start. You could consider suing in the UK courts but to do so you would need to be domiciled in the UK at the time of the claim and I presume this is not the case with you. Even if you did manage to claim, being successful in the claim would not guarantee payment. Your claim would be against a limited company so the person behind it would not be personally responsible for the debts of the company – you are relying on the company’s assets, if there are any. Also they may ignore the claim and let you try to pursue it by selecting an appropriate enforcement method, such as getting bailiffs, etc. This won’t be easy to arrange from abroad and you will have to pay extra for each method you try.
You could try and sue in the US courts, but that won’t have any effect on the UK company and you would need to have any judgment transferred to the UK courts – this is complex and expensive and again does not guarantee payment. The same applies if you were to claim in Thailand.
So there are ways of taking this down the legal route but they will cost you a lot and considering the amount in question I am not entirely sure it would be worth it as you could easily find yourself spending the same or even more just to pursue this and may not get any of it back.
So the best way would be to try and pursue them directly, making it clear that you will consider legal action and hoping that eventually they may pay in order to avoid any potential legal proceedings. However, if they know that this will be difficult on your part to pursue they may just bury their heads in the sand and ignore you, forcing you to have to go through the above steps, which as mentioned are not going to be easy or cheap and still would not guarantee you get your money back.
I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you