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Sweat Shop in IT New York

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  • Sweat Shop in IT New York

    I came to NYC to work on a startup project in NYC for a major Manhattan company, through a sub-contractor as a computer consultant.
    I agreed to work on a contract basis for a flat daily rate.

    Despite me having a contract and all kinds of assurance this things went to pieces fast.
    First, I had to pay all my expenses out of my own pocket and to get setup in NYC and that amounts to many thousands of $ fast.
    Then they did not hire the extra 2-3 people to support the team, but told me I had to do all their work as well.
    When pointing to the many hours of overtime this caused me to work (on top of the rigidly tight schedule to begin with), I was told "don't worry. just put all the hours on your time sheet".
    So I did, only to find out that I wasn't going to be paid for that extra time anyway.
    So I told them that I'd only work 8 hours a day and would do overtime work only on an occasional basis, as I realized I wouldn't get paid for that.
    To that I got the reply that in NYC the regular work day was 10 hours a day in my (the computer) industry.
    So I was expected to work min. 50 hours per week for the same money to begin with.

    When it then seemed like I wouldn't get paid for any of my time I decided to leave the project.
    Yet they still needed my work urgently to get the initial presentation of the ground, so I agreed to help them even "after the fact", w/o asking for extra pay.
    All I insisted on was the written promise that I would get paid for the weeks I had already worked on the project (all on time sheets).

    They agreed in writing over and over again, so I helped them as promised.

    But in return I didn't see one single cent thus far.

    I called two NYC attorneys about this and both of them told me that their legal fees alone would top the ~$10k which are owed to me (???).

    I was also told that NYC courts would have little sympathy for someone with my wage level (despite the fact that I didn't get paid at all) and that there are no regulations prohibiting the one-sided increase of daily work hours by the employer in my case.

    So in essence any computer consultant in NYC can be forced to work till he drops dead and then not get paid at all and there is nothing he can do about it?!!
    Last edited by pine; 06-02-2006, 02:04 PM.
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