Resolved Work ethics for translators

Discussion in 'Translator's Corner' started by Eishun, Mar 31, 2022.

  1. Eishun

    Eishun Well-Known Member

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    The thing is, I just heard from my manager. She said the company was having some issue with Payoneer so they wouldn't be able to pay me till they sort out the problem. I was supposed to be paid some day between the 20th and the end of the month. But it's already April 1st today.

    I have only started working for this company a few months ago so I don't know if this late payment of salary is just a one time thing or not. But even if it's just a one time thing, I still don't like it. It's a proper company after all, holding limited etc.

    Now that I've given the backstory, here are my questions.

    #1. Since I haven't been paid for the work I did in February and they still owe me salary for the work I did in March, would it be ethical for me to drop all work I'm currently working on and tell them that I will only continue after I've been paid for the work I did in February?

    BTW, the company is supposed to pay me on the 20th of each month for the work I did in the previous month. According to my contract. Although, for the past few months, they would pay me some day between the 20th and the end of the month.

    #2. So far, before they informed me of the late payment, I've already done 3 chapters for them. Would it be right for me to withhold the 3 chapters? That is, if I still don't get paid by next week?

    #3. If I do resign, should I still list this company in my resume? If I do list them in my resume, what steps can I take to ensure that they'll give me a reference?

    #4. Is it ethical to reveal the name of the company to the public and warn fellow translators about them?
     
  2. elengee

    elengee Daoist Ninefaps

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    Depends on how you resign and under which terms, if you can get your point across how you can't continue working for them due to financial insecurity but give prior notice, maybe give them a buffer to work with and some time to pay the remainder that they owe you it could still be a reference.

    Although this situation is not the likeliest scenario. As for if it's ethical? i guess that'll come out after you see how this turns out and their reaction. If things go sour, due to their end failing to live up to your contract then the warning wouldn't be out of spite but about an actual concern whether they're a trustworthy company or not.

    Not a translator myself but they sound pretty lax with payments or are in serious financial trouble themselves, rendering them unable or unwilling to properly pay. At the very least i'd consider some kind of compensation, since you could fall behind on bills and rent.
     
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  3. nonononononono

    nonononononono NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO

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    Did you sign NDA or did you contract include NDA clause?

    Its better to stop translating more chapters until the problem solved.
     
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  4. simak

    simak Well-Known Member

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    Good luck.

    Edit: my response got bunched in the quote.
     
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  5. Guan Zhong

    Guan Zhong Well-Known Member

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    You should look at your contract as it ought to state what procedures need to be taken when one party doesn't fulfill its end of the contract. No one here can tell you what you are liable for, you'll have to consult your contract. As for the resume, yes list it, it's work experience. References are not recommendations. They are there so the new prospective employer can contact them and ask "Did So-and-So work here from such and such a period?" and your old company will say yes or no accordingly. That's all it is. As for the last question, you can do whatever you want unless contractually bound not to speak on something. You don't owe a company anything beyond what your contract stipulates (if you have one) or what was agreed to beforehand.

    This kind of unprofessionalism with translation companies is unfortunately not so uncommon. I worked at Wuxiaworld and volare, both as a salaried employee (but never signed a contract with them). Wuxiaworld was constantly late paying people. I got paid before the translators did, who sometimes had to wait a couple weeks, but I don't know if I was ever paid on the first of the month as we agreed when I started. Because there was never a notice given on the day payment was sent (of course wiring overseas takes time to process, so it would have been nice to get a notice when payment was sent). You just had to wait till your bank received it, which was a different day every month. It wasn't because of a problem with the payment system but because RWX hadn't gotten around to doing it yet. The lasy payment I got from Wuxiaworld was supposed to be sent on such and such a day (a specific day was given). It wasn't. It ended up being delayed because RWX was taking his then-girlfriend on a vacation.

    volare was similar but it was always within the first week of the month, so a bit better. The rationale was that it took a few days for the pageview counts to settle at the end of the month so pay calculation was delayed a couple days for that (I was also a translator there and my pay for both positions was given at once, so I didn't have a fixed date for the salary at volare). I've never encountered such pageview issues on my sites I've run, so I'm doubtful, but whatever. One time I was told that pay was going to be delayed because she had to get money out of an account or something (I forget the details). Anyway, it was because all her ducks weren't in a row. So I asked how long would the wait be and was told "I don't know". Which I said an unacceptable response. In the end, I was informed later that day that payment had been sent. Another time at volare I was told I would be paid "today". I wait a day or two and ask if payment was sent. I was told no, but that I would be paid "today". This happened three times in a row, and only on the fourth time asking was I finally paid.

    I think people ought to talk about this stuff more Why protect companies? You have your obligations and usually no exceptions are made for you if you don't follow through (I'm speaking about the work world in general here). Shouldn't the employer be held to the same standard? Often the only thing the little guy can do to hold companies accountable is to speak out. Empoyers don't want you to talk about how much you get paid and stuff like that because they don't want the other employees to know who's getting less.

    In your situation, if it's the first time, I would wait and see what happens. Just keep translating as normal. Give them the benefit of the doubt. If it happens again, then I'd start complaining. If you still haven't been paid for February though, I'd be saying something. But that's just me. You can do what you like.
     
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  6. Eishun

    Eishun Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your feedback, everyone! :)

    Here's an update regarding the pay situation. I checked my email earlier and found that a payment was made to my Payoneer account at 1.30pm. Today is still the 1st of April, meaning the company is only a day late.

    So after giving the matter some thought, I've decided to continue working for this company. Since, you know, this was their first offence so far and they did remedy the error almost immediately.

    Of course, if they do it again, I will raise another complaint.

    Wow, I didn't know that. I've only worked for 2 companies so far. The first company I worked for was always prompt with their payments. Even during the CNY months. So I went away assuming that all translation companies were like that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2022
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