I'll try to keep it short.
I lived in Australia for a time (in U.S. now). While working there, I accumulated leave/sick time that I was entitled to be paid out for upon leaving my job. I didn't know this until the day after I left the country, when a Canadian friend who had just left (from the same business, too) told me that he got paid out a few $k. So I contact my boss about this information (4 1/2 months ago, now) and after he took extended holidays/finished with an unfortunate string of personal emergencies, he paid me half of my money. About AU$1.5k, promising me the second half on the next pay day.
Maybe two months have passed. I've been busy, haven't been on top of the situation like I should have. A few emails had been sent (me->him) with no response. Finally, I get a response last week saying I'll be paid this Friday. Then, two days after that email, I get one from the accounts department saying they've just received notice that 6 months ago - yes six months
- I took part in a traffic violation in the company car in a city 3 hours north of Sydney. I had to google the place. I've never been there. Plus, I have proof that I was working on that day. The offense is apparently driving in a bus lane, with a fine of $1200
. Which is just ridiculous. They have no proof that it was me driving (which is impossible, anyway, because I wasn't). Here's the kicker: I am 99% sure I'd returned the company car by then, because I didn't need it anymore (I never really did; they just gave it to me as an incentive to stay). My boss had asked for the car back so his dad could use it while his was in the shop, or my boss' was in the shop. The problem is I have no confirmation of when I handed over the keys. I swore I took it down somewhere, but apparently not. I'm kicking myself so hard for that.
No money's appeared yet. This would be into an Australian account of mine, holiday/weekend processing times wouldn't be an issue. I'm also pretty broke now because a contract job has ended and several financial emergencies have crept up, as they always do, so that's why I'm being so insistent now after two months of waiting patiently. Being an ocean away makes it pretty much impossible to take any meaningful action against him.
He has a history of fucking over employees who leave. I was buddy-buddy with him, so I thought he'd treat me with a bit of decency. I guess I've learned that lesson, though. None of my emails have been returned since they told me about the traffic fine. I'm going to call him tomorrow, but I've seen him deal with situations like this, and - especially over the phone - he is incredibly capable of manipulation and persuasion. I know I'm in the right - unless somehow I blacked out and drove to a place for no discernible reason - but I'm not sure what to do/say to even make an impression. I have very little ground to stand on and, realistically, if he has made his mind up not to pay me, there's nothing I can really do about it, as far as I know. Advice?