Page 1 of 2

Unreasonable employer..what should I do?

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 11:00 am
by BlurLiao
Hi all,

I am facing with a situation here where a company in Singapore is threatening to file a police report against me. Urgently required advice from all experienced forumers here on exactly what kind of law that I broke.

I am a foreigner from close neighbour who work for company A since the year of 2008, during 2009 the company send me for an oversea project attached to a so call subsidiary (with no share-holding relationship). My payroll is release to me by the oversea company. At end 2009, company A cancelled my EP to cut down on my per diem claims (which I agreed with some raise lah). According to my limited understanding, from that point onward I am no longer bind to company A in Singapore since the only employment contract in Singapore is only valid if there is approval to work by MOM else it's consider illegal hiring.

During early 2010, company A become inactive and all staff change to the new setup, Company A2. I am not being informed to sign any new contract since during that time I am working for the oversea project. All my pay still come from the oversea company and give to me in cash. During that period, the notebook allocated from company A initially spoilt, taken back by company A. The oversea company then ask me to go to purchase a new notebook for me to use in the project and claims back from them.

During the 3rd quarter of 2010, Company A2 acquired by a listed company in Singapore. Again, since I am working for oversea project, I am not offered any new contract. Recently, the oversea project finished. I went back to Singapore and being offered a new contract by the acquiring company. However, due to some unfair clauses in the contract. I reject the offer after think thru and never signed on anything.

Now the issues are:
1. I am now oversea and not planning to go to Singapore in short term, the original owner of Company A insist me to return the notebook to Singapore.
2. I wanted to return the notebook and have no intention to take whatever not belong to me.
3. I wanted to return the notebook to the oversea company, who is the one that purchase and pay for the notebook. With receipt stating they are the buyer.
4. Company A threaten to report to Singapore police that I stole the notebook, where a. I do not have employment contract with them since 2009, b. they do not have the receipt of the notebook, c. they are not the purchaser of the notebook, d. they do not know the Model, Serial number of the notebook. Just the brand alone, e. nothing being signed that acknowledge receiving this notebook from them and to be return to Singapore.
5. I tried to call and contact the oversea company, but since that owner receive all his operation fund from company A, he never pick up my call and also never return my SMS.

I am trying to figure out can company A (now under the umbrella of a listed company) report a police case that I stole something from them base on the above scenario? Should I bring up this case to the holding company on this issue?

Thanks in advance for any comment and pardon for my language mistake.

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 12:54 pm
by sundaymorningstaple
I'm not a lawyer, but from what you have presented, you haven't actually worked for the company since the end of 2009. The notebook you originally had from company A was duly returned (the fact that it was spoilt is not material as computers have a limited useful life anyway.), therefore, I wouldn't worry about it too much as you aren't working for the company and haven't been for 2 years. The only company that would appear to have any recourse would be the overseas company, especially if there isn't a proper linkage between the companies.

But, it might be worth it to check with a lawyer. However, defending yourself, if the Singapore company comes after you, might cost more that the laptop was worth in the first place.

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 1:07 pm
by aargon
why dont you just return the notebook? :???:

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 2:21 pm
by BlurLiao
thanks for the comment. I wanted to return the notebook, but the Singapore company is requesting me to return it to Singapore to them. I can't as now I am no longer in Singapore and I do not want to fly back to return the notebook to them.

I am more than happy to return the notebook to the oversea company and even file a case recently with the labour department of that country by attaching the notebook receipt to ask the owner to collect it.

Furthermore, I am wondering how can company A have any case here since they do not even know what is the notebook model, serial number, have no way to prove the notebook belong to them (while I have prove it's not belong to them) and also I never sign anything in Singapore with them that said I received the notebook.

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 2:35 pm
by aargon
BlurLiao wrote:thanks for the comment. I wanted to return the notebook, but the Singapore company is requesting me to return it to Singapore to them. I can't as now I am no longer in Singapore and I do not want to fly back to return the notebook to them.
you never heard of Fedex? - they're cheaper than a lawyer and more reliable than some of the people on this forum :lol:

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 3:25 pm
by BlurLiao
aargon wrote: you never heard of Fedex?
heard it, use it.... but they do not want courier and want personal delivery

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 4:07 pm
by sundaymorningstaple
go to a used PC shop and buy an old PC of the same brand and send it to them, keep the good one. Or, just ignore everything as I doubt that they even have a case.

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 5:05 pm
by JR8
Demanding 'personal delivery' is inexplicable and I do not think could be considered legally reasonable. If they refuse to use Fedex etc (at their own expense), then they can collect it themselves in person. There is no way based upon what you have described, that there is any reason you are under an obligation to fly to SG to return it.

This of course does not even consider that Co.A has a nebulous association with the laptop in the first place. What are Co.A going to do, get an international warrant issued for your arrest or something... lol

p.s. In the circumstances you might find this amusing...

Posted: Fri, 06 May 2011 6:16 pm
by Mad Scientist
These are my thoughts

Theft – Theft is committed when a person, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property in order to effect the taking.[84] The penalty for theft is imprisonment of up to three years, or a fine, or both.[85] It is more common, however, for offenders to be charged with committing theft in a building, tent or vessel, which is used as a human dwelling, or for the custody of property. The penalty for this more serious offence is imprisonment of up to seven years, and also a fine.

Theft is under penal code 378/379. The company can file a police report for that matter but proving it will be another kettle of fish all together. The theft must occurred with witness and proof that such incident did occur at all. If you are call by the police and you maintain your innocent, they have no ground to prosecute you.
I believe this is just a scare mongering tactic. Insisting you hand it over to them personally may result in you be liable for a stolen property hence theft by deception.
So either you get another similar PC and sent it over via EMS or pass it to someone from the company overseas staff to bring it back will be a safe bet. Make sure everything is signed during the handling and taking over the item.

Posted: Mon, 09 May 2011 10:46 am
by BlurLiao
thanks Mad Scientist for the informative reply.

I am wondering can someone claims their belonging is stolen without able to prove they own it? Where there is prove to prove they do not own it?

Posted: Mon, 09 May 2011 5:18 pm
by Mad Scientist
BlurLiao wrote:thanks Mad Scientist for the informative reply.

I am wondering can someone claims their belonging is stolen without able to prove they own it? Where there is prove to prove they do not own it?
Blurliao before you act like sotong and become blur like sotong, these are my thoughts. I assume this issue is more sinister than one that meets the eye. Based what you said in your posts , you have nothing to worry about unless for some reason that they have proof from e-mail or signed purchase order by your yourself or whatever that can incriminate you that proof you have stolen property in your possession only than you are done for.
Thread carefully if you on the right path, walk slowly if you are doing a runner on your ex company

Posted: Sat, 21 May 2011 2:22 am
by BlurLiao
latest update...

the company filed a police report against me liao... saying i take his thing nvr return...i m really in a havoc situation now....

i take the initiative to talk to the investigation officer thru phone.. and he advise me to pass the notebook to that company (which i intended all the while) via personal delivery and ask the guy to sign-off....

can someone gv me a hint of what i should do next?

[move out some content due to sensitivity of the issue at this time. I will restore the missing part once this issue put to a close. sorry for the inconvenient cause]

Posted: Sat, 21 May 2011 2:48 am
by Mad Scientist
Police report is only to report an incident has taken place. You have to proof when you signed off albeit bought it on behalf of the company back then is not the one that your ex-company reported stolen. If you return the one that you have in good faith to the police and explained to them the discrepancy , I believe they will be fair. You have to proof your innocent and the discrepancy to that effect

Posted: Sat, 21 May 2011 3:15 am
by JR8
What evidence do company A have that you have company C's laptop?

Posted: Sat, 21 May 2011 12:35 pm
by slayerk2000
How about filing a harassment report within your own country and mention the scamming practice that this company uses to procure new notebooks? Just for the record..

Any files on the notebook indicating it was used two years ago, like a company program/ program associated with the company?