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Help! Getting screwed by a language school! (Istanbul)


In the last few weeks I've had the misfortune to get involved with a school called Alta; it's one of those 5-day crash courses that promises to change your life, etc.

I spent three 9-hour days "observing," for which I was promised 50 lira/day. Last week I put in 45 hours teaching a class as my "trial week," and I did a really good job (I earned 5-star ratings from my students on 23 out of 24 evaluation questions).

Looking it over, I declined to sign the contract, as I'm uncomfortable with the terms. For example, they hold Protected content of your initial salary, and you lose all of it if you miss a single day (god forbid, a pipe breaks in the apartment or your cat gets hit by a car and has to go to the vet). Anyhow, I politely declined to sign a contract and asked for my Protected content Protected content observation and Protected content the week).

They are telling me that I only get paid for the trial week at the end of my first scheduled contract week. This seems absurd, as the idea of a trial is for both parties to try it out and then come to a decision. They charge students Protected content for the five days, so I literally made them thousands last week, and I just want what is fair.

I'm not sure that I really have any legal recourse here (I don't have a work permit), but people have suggested bringing a lawyer, if even just to bluff. Someone else has a friend in the tax office, so there's always the option of holding a nice, prolonged audit over their head. Obviously, I also intend to make it very clear to the rest of the teaching community to stay away from this company.

Any other ideas? Anything is much appreciated. Thanks!

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