Join now
Log in Join

Employment Issues - Urgent advice required (Moscow)

My wife has this last week been laid off from her position at a local Pre-school and told that she had until April 1st to vacate our apartment and could collect her final pay on that day as well. Her boss is trying to renege on the amount of the final pay which was to include 1 month notice period and airfares home, and is demanding to see all sorts of documents from me regarding the expenses we had incurred to get here which he has already agreed on and paid 7 months ago without any issues.
I have had a prolonged conversation with him via email trying to come to a mutually agreeable settlement but the guy is just being a complete ass.

He employed her in September never actually got around to giving her a formal contract, requesting that we draw one up (with no knowledge of Russian Law...) and submit it to him for approval and agreement which we did, this had been mucked around and while we both agreed about 2 weeks ago to the terms of the contract it hadn't been formally signed. He is trying to claim that a previous verbal agreement we had with him that the salary would be made up of 66% for my wife and 34% in my name so he could avoid paying the recruitment company additional fees is in fact the governing contract as the final one was not signed, yet justifies the validity of the first contract on the fact that it was agreed upon electronically (same as the final one...). He has refused to hand over my wife's Employment Record which I understand he was meant to do on the day of dismissal, claiming that as he has set his company up as a US registered company and that he wasn't actually paying her legally (ie. wasn't declaring any tax on her or any staff salaries) that she is in fact not considered to be working, therefore the Employment Code doesn't apply to her.
I have read through a lot of information now about the Employment Code here and believe that he is talking a lot of bull and is just trying to scare us into taking whatever little amount he will offer and walk away.
I understand also that he was required to finalise her pay on the day of the dismissal and that demanding she wait to April 1st is against the law.

What I need to know is firstly;
Do we have the right to say to him to pay up the balance he owes us in full by say Wednesday next week ? as we don't want to threaten him and then find that he gets shitty and doesn't pay her at all and then we have to go through the courts to get it.
Secondly, even if he is operating his business in an unlawful manner, doesn't stop his employees having employment rights does it ?
Thirdly, If we were to seek an unjustified dismissal ruling through the courts, are there any no win no fee type employment lawyers here in Moscow, as we couldn't afford to pay one up front as, well her employer has all our money....

Thanks in advance