6 weeks ago, I took a job (chef) in a new restaurant in Cardiff (Sale Pepe, St Davids 2). The food is fresh Italian food, made from scratch without a microwave in sight. All good, I thinks. Except the owner is the biggest douche on the face of the earth.
1. On my fourth day, 10 hours into a shift on a saturday (in 45 degree heat) I slightly over cook a poached egg. The owner, Simon, turns to me and screams "YOU ARE A CUNT!" into my face. At this time I am unsure whether to stab him or laugh in his face, but then I realise I need the money and do nothing.
2. He abuses all the staff routinely for the next month.
3. The day before pay day I have had enough of his bullshit, so I start looking for another job. I see on gumtree that the head chefs, the commis chefs and my job are all advertised. We have received no notice of this, nor any disciplinaries.
4. Pay day! Yay! Or not. I worked over 250 hours in a month for this guy, so on my meagre hourly rate I was expecting around £1400 in pay (that's in the region of over 9000 dollars, if my understanding of current exchange rates are correct.)
He gives me a cheque for £915.20. (around $7.89) I go- WTF mate, you've missed off 75 hours from my time sheet! He says "those are the hours you've given me." I go- No (pulling out my copy of my timesheet) these are the hours I gave you. You owe me £500! ($972349!) He says he'll look into it.
5. I try and cash the cheque through Western Union. They tell me they won't, as the company has fuck all credit. I go back to work, and ask for a bank transfer. Simon agrees. I ask for the outstanding money. He refuses. I say, why not? He fires me on the spot. I put the cheque in my bank, and seek legal advice. I notify Simon in writing that he owes me £1400 ($1,000,000) and that he has 7 days to pay me, or I'll be taking him to court.
6. Today, the bank inform me the cheque has been returned unpaid. Under UK law, it is illegal to knowingly write a bad cheque- it is also illegal to stop a cheque for wages once it has been presented, as it is an unlawful deduction of wages.
7. I present Simon with a notification of legal proceedings, advising him that if I am not paid in full within the next 3 days, I will take him to court. I also ask him whether he's breaking the law for bouncing my cheque, or breaking the law by cancelling the cheque. I ask him where the bank transfer is, if he was paying me that way, I would understand if he had cancelled the cheque. He says "so you want to be paid by bank transfer AND you paid in the cheque?!!?" I say, yes, you needed to pay the balance by bank transfer, obviously less the £915.20 on the cheque. As the cheque has now bounced, you now owe me the full balance. He says "no, I don't owe you that. I'll respond to your letter through my solicitor."
Luckily, I now have a new job, where the people are decent. Yay. As it stands, I'm now on the brink of running this guy through the courts and nailing him to the wall for every penny he's got.