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Is this a sample case of Involuntary servitude/Fraud ?- Can I use this to oppose a breach of contract

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lito.caponpon


Arresto Menor
I am employed by this company as an Engineer and was covered by a 2 year contract as what the company calls as Development Term. I am currently on the 13th month. In this contract, I am bound to pay them an amount if I will not finish it and the contract stipulates service to the company, on site or offsite.At the point of the job offer there was a briefing of out of the country assignments which I agreed and signed the offer.

This year they sent me to an assignment in Oil Platform assignment. In Manila they briefed us about the assignment but was very limited in terms of what is the working condition on the Off shore oil platform...I learned the risks from the previous assigned employee 2 weeks before the expatriation and a week before the time to travel I am backing out citing the fear I have of the safety as well as my fear in water and isolation..They demand that I should go for the assignment because I have no choice because it is included in the contract I signed in the pre-employment(but the oil platform was not discussed)..


Here are some points I want to emphasize that is included or supplemetal on the previous paragraph
1. The assignment was discussed and the risk of the Oil Platform was not presented for us to have time to think about the offer

2. During the time the assignment was discussed ,there was no discussion that another bond will be included on a new contract - i only learned this when the time the Manager asked me to sign - He said all the things we have discussed is there, but when I noticed the amount that was never discussed he said it is just to cover for the expenses if I will not finish the contract

3. The contract states that the assignment is Developmental , to help or support the local office here abroad - but we where sent here in compliance with a purchase order to Manila ordering people with Specialized skills....We are sent to support customers alone on offshore, and the customers are expecting we are very skilled....

4. We are issued with a working Permit....but we are documented by office as on the job training

5. OWWA or POEA do not know that we are working here....if something happens to us in offshore, we are still undocumented in the Phils Goverernment as working here in abroad...our campany gives the salary in Manila to evade this (Is this legal?)




> I would like to state a case: That there is a Fraud regarding the assignment details and a force of labor even I am stating that I have fears with the different aspect of this assignment...even I am begging them to send me to other destinations to still serve the company but without the oil platforms......

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attyLLL


moderator
i recommend you go to poea to get an opinion whether this is considered overseas employment and there is anything unlawful about the contract. it seems to be direct hiring, but it should still go through the poea. this might be a legal basis to get out of the contract.


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lito.caponpon


Arresto Menor
Thanks Atty for the quick reply..

Would like to ask another question..Since I did not applied for this work here in this country and I was made to be assigned using their" management prerogative" , Is it legal for the management to just send us wherever they want?, even if it is in Pakistan? I have colleagues that were sent there for short term assignments like 3 weeks, though they considered it as a hazard place, they just ad 10USD on the standard allowance as a Hazard pay. Do anyone will agree that this amount is worth the danger? The poor employee do not have the choice if you will be be sent to such countries..

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attyLLL


moderator
that can be a very complicated question and it depends on the circumstances.


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lito.caponpon


Arresto Menor
Hi Atty,

How about this. I have a letter of assignment stating that my presence here in this country is on the job training, but the actual is not, I am doing works to serve the requirements of our customer which is being paid by them to the local office here, then the Manila office also gets being paid on my presence...I have a working permit though.....

Discrepancy on the assignment as Developmental vs the actual doing work.......Is this some kind of Fraud?

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attyLLL


moderator
have you gone to the poea? what did they say? they are better experts in answering your queries.


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lito.caponpon


Arresto Menor
Hi Atty.

Good Idea. I will send or call the POEA or the POLO here in Malaysia regarding this concern.

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lito.caponpon


Arresto Menor
Hi Atty.

The POLO here in Malaysia said they do not have any jurisdiction on my inquiry since I do not have any OEC. They instruct me to direct my concern to DOLE in Manila.

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attyLLL


moderator
look up their legal department on their website and shoot them an email. this is a developing issue in labor law and remains to be a gray area.

i find the excuse of the POLO there to be flimsy. they should still help you even if you don't have a contract. make your inquiries in writing and address it to the head of the office.


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Warning and Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer; and you are not my client. With the limitations of an  Internet forum, a thorough review of your concern is not possible. View my comments at YOUR OWN RISK. It is best to actually retain a lawyer for your individual concerns.
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lito.caponpon


Arresto Menor
Hi Atty,

THanks for the advice. I will send email to DOLE and POEA.

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