worker speaking with caption 'I GOT GHOSTED BY MY EMPLOYER and I have not gotten paid' 'I got ghosted by my employer' (l) worker speaking with caption 'and so because the income that I was depending on to pay my rent was gone' (c) worker speaking with caption 'I GOT GHOSTED BY MY EMPLOYER and I have not gotten paid' 'and therefore I'm about to be in so much debt' (r)

@sophhialee/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘It’s been more than 2 weeks… and he still hasn’t responded’: Worker says tech startup ghosted her without paying her

‘The amount I get paid for each project is $1,500, which I depend on to pay my rent.’

 

Braden Bjella

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A user on TikTok is turning to the platform for help after the tech startup that employed her stopped answering her emails.

“I got ghosted by my employer, and therefore, I’m about to be in so much debt,” the creator, Sophia (@sophhialee), explains.

According to Sophia, she had been contracted for work at the startup and, following the completion of her second project in the third week of May, emailed her contact at the company to ask for edits and approval. The contact responded that she would be paid within 5 days. 

“I do have email proof—evidence of all of this,” Sophia says. 

Needless to say, that payment did not arrive, and Sophia says she spent over a week emailing her contact to try to find a resolution to the issue.

“Right now it’s been more than two weeks since I sent the first original email, and he still has not responded at all,” Sophia says. The TikToker then explains that, if she does not get paid, she risks running into issues paying for rent and paying off her credit cards.

@sophhialee It’s definitely my fault for depending on this as my summer source of income but to be fair i did communicate with him and let him know i would be doing this “full time” during the summer and he agreed. I’ll make a pt 2 soon but this is my journey to being more financially responsible and stable by hopefully August 😢 #storytime #ghosted #advice #debt #internship #job #employee #finance #financetiktok #help #money ♬ original sound – SOPHIA LEE

“It’s definitely my fault for depending on this as my summer source of income but to be fair I did communicate with him and let him know I would be doing this ‘full time’ during the summer and he agreed,” she wrote in the video’s caption.

As Sophia is based in California, she is likely protected by the rights afforded to workers in the state.

“Generally, remote employees are subject to the employment laws of the state and locality where they are physically present and working,” states author Michael J. Nader of employment attorney office Ogletree Deakins.

This is why many commenters under Sophia’s video suggested she take the issue up with the state.

“You’re in California (yay) contact the Labor Commissioners Office,” advised a user. “Make sure you have all your unpaid hours & the time they haven’t paid u.”

“File an online claim to department of labor,” echoed another. “They take it serious in CA.”

Others had additional advice.

“Contact other people in the company such as the CFO,” suggested a user. “You should be able to look them up on the company website or LinkedIn.”

“Go to your university’s legal center,” noted a second, as Sophia is still a student. “I was in the situation and got legal help. They paid me with the quickness.”

In later comments, Sophia said that she had filed a complaint with the city and told her contact “to consider this as my resignation.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Sophia via email.

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