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Company playing games 2008/9/11 22:46

I accepted a job at a medium-sized Japanese company. The main source of income is cram school classes, but there is also a children's English conversation ''branch'' of the company, where I work as a teacher.

According to the job posting the salary was to be 255000 a month before taxes, plus transportation reimbursement. I went in for an interview and was told that the salary was indeed 255000 plus transportation, and that due to the fact that the company did not want to pay for benefits, etc, hours would be capped at just under 30, total.

So after the interview I was offered the job and I started the following week, as they were desperate to replace a teacher who had just left suddenly due to illness.

The first week was merely following a teacher from school to school to observe class. Meanwhile, suspiciously, I was told that the contract was not quite ready to be signed but would be ready ''any day.''

About two weeks went by and finally I was brought into the office to sign the contract. My boss (whom I trust) confided in me that the owner actually wanted to offer me less than was stated in the posting and interview, because they had made a mistake and hadn't realize that I was making more than the other teachers. However, to his credit, my boss refused to even consider it, but felt he had to at least mention it to me, since the owner had basically ordered him to bring it up.

Then when I was looking at the contract there were some weird things going on.

I had two separate contracts. In order to get around the 30 hours (benefits) issue, one contract was for my 29.5 salaried hours, and the other contract was for 1.5 hours a week of ''overtime.'' My boss explained to me that this was how the owner decided finally to get around the issue of my pay mistake. My salary would be 250000 per month at 29.5 hours (it's actually 180000 a month in salary with 70000 in ''extra pay'') a week, and I would get 5000 a month extra for the 1.5 hours of ''overtime.''

This seemed pretty suspicious, but I had no other option at the time and needed a job so I took it.

So to cut to the chase! My salary is actually only 248000 a month plus transportation! By boss actually mentioned it to me before I even opened my paystub because he wanted to be straight with me. He brought it up with the office manager but her response was, ''he didn't work the 1.5 hours of overtime so he doesn't get paid the full salary.''

So here is where I am confused. Can they split the contract up like that? If I am working 29.5 hours a week plus 1.5 hours a week of ''overtime'' doesn't that put me at 31 hours a week?

I feel a little helpless about this. I have no control over my schedule, the office determines when I work. Was this just a way for them to get around their mistake in the job posting and during the interview?
by anon  

Not sure 2008/9/12 10:39
Not sure but it sounds like the office manager was saying that you didnt work the 1.5 hours of overtime for that pay period.
by Yuki rate this post as useful

ok 2008/9/12 11:24
The thing is, I don't control the schedule, the office manager does. I can't work the 1.5 hours unless she schedules it for me.

And if I did work the 1.5 hours of "overtime" wouldn't that put me past 30 hours per week?

It just seems like they came up with this screwy overtime thing to avoid paying me the salary I was offered at the interview.
by anon rate this post as useful

... 2008/9/12 12:00
This is not in direct response to your question, but does that mean (if they got around the benefits issue) the company has not enrolled you in ealth insurance, pension, and unemployment insurance schemes at all??

And in response to your question, you were promised 255,000 yen for 30 hours, right? Then for 29.5 hours (going by simple calculation) you should get 250,750... and it's very strange that there should be a separate contract for 1.5 hours of overtime. I would not complain about the difference in amount, but anyway the set-up where you can't work overtime though you have this separate contract for overtime ONLY with which you get the full original pay you were offered IS indeed strange.

Any colleague of yours (or other English teachers) you could contact to discuss this employer?
by AK rate this post as useful

yes 2008/9/12 19:31
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, you are correct, I have not been enrolled in any benefits programs at all. I have signed up with the ward to provide health insurance at my cost.

As for the pay thing, I brought it up with my manager this morning and he assures me that I will get the full pay and that this was merely a mistake on the part of the office manager. We'll see though. The 1.5 hours of overtime on a separate contract makes no sense to me either (nor to my boss). It confuses me just thinking about it.
by anon rate this post as useful

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