So, I'm being sued by the cleaning lady..

BT-Done That said:
There are 4 national sports in Argentina:

!. Futbol
2. Making babies
3. Not paying your taxes
4. Finding a way to sue your employer

If she was employed 6 hours per week or more, you owe the govt the local version of social security payments.

You do need a lawyer and you will lose. There is a whole system of lawyers and arbitrators here devoted to employer lawsuits--it is a big business. May employ more people than 'love hotels". Did you notice that in the post office there are free letters already designed to document that someone quit in a legal fashion?

Your lawyer's job is to negotiate the lowest possible settlement.

Next time only hire someone who has a monotributo and will give you a legal receipt for each payment.

I have to add to your number 4. It is more about suing anyone regardless of who they are or whether or not the lawsuit is real or frivilous (especially if you are a foreigner).

Everyone is on the take. Many of the people that I know who live in BA do not give out their address or phone number. People pretend like everything is okay but everything is not okay. People live in fear.
 

sergio

Registered
As as been pointed out here, this is a common practice here. I am afraid that you are going to have to come to an out-of-court settlement. If you go to court she will come up with phony witnesses - porteros, possibly - who will state that she worked more hours than she really did. Labor law is clearly on the side of the employee, whether the employee was competent or not. A good question is how to get rid of a maid without a lawsuit. Refuse to increase wages? Get her to resign and offer a modest settlement? Keep in mind that when you end this kind of employment you must go to the Ministry of Labor and have the employee sign an agreement.
 

modulus

Registered
sergio said:
If you go to court she will come up with phony witnesses - porteros, possibly - who will state that she worked more hours than she really did.
No doubt. She seems to be at a slight disadvantage in this respect though, as she was only cleaning on-demand, and I have her emails she sent me with her hours.
Cleaning comes down to a maximum of 20 workdays in 2008.

Muddying the picture somewhat is my stupid agreement to a hefty per-month-compensation for half a year for the "responsibility of keeping the keys", paying some facturas, etc.
 

syngirl

Registered
sergio said:
If you go to court she will come up with phony witnesses - porteros, possibly - who will state that she worked more hours than she really did.
Yes, be aware there is no law against perjury in Argentina -- anyone can say anything they want, change their story mid-stride, come up with wild tales, and then later tell "the truth", all without penalty. So it's relatively easy to convince people to be false witnesses when they don't face even a slap on the wrist for saying whatever they want.
 

nikad

Registered
syngirl said:
Yes, be aware there is no law against perjury in Argentina -- anyone can say anything they want, change their story mid-stride, come up with wild tales, and then later tell "the truth", all without penalty. So it's relatively easy to convince people to be false witnesses when they don't face even a slap on the wrist for saying whatever they want.
Who told you there is no law against perjury? There actually is one and very specific ( 1-10 yrs imprisonment )
 

BAJoe

Registered
Modulus: she can win all she wants, but if you have no assetts here and no traceable income SHE CAN´T COLLECT a CENTAVO. You will be an "INSOLVENTE". The courts cannot put liens out on overseas property.

The value of real-estate now is at an ALL-TIME HIGH so it´s the best time to sell-out anyway before you lose value. Forget your sentimental attachments. You should invest in USA where property will double in a few years. Take this as a WIN and not as a LOSS.

The rent on your foreign real-estate paid into a foreign bank would also be off-limits for the courts. You can just pull it out of the ATMs here. Just in case you better consult a banking specialist to see if the government "sees" these overseas funds, and if they can legally act on them. If so, keep your account in a local bank abroad, with no debit-card, and use a credit-card or change checks here.

I know of several cases where locals facing the courts for back-taxes, rent payments, or workers-comp such as you, HAVE ALL GOTTEN RID OF THEIR LOCAL TANGIBLE ASSETTS.

If you do this quickly, you can actually tell her not to bother with the law-suit since you have no assetts/income. Since you´ll need to move anyway, just tell her you are leaving the country, so she might give up on you, and find another victim.
 
modulus said:
No doubt. She seems to be at a slight disadvantage in this respect though, as she was only cleaning on-demand, and I have her emails she sent me with her hours.
Cleaning comes down to a maximum of 20 workdays in 2008.

Muddying the picture somewhat is my stupid agreement to a hefty per-month-compensation for half a year for the "responsibility of keeping the keys", paying some facturas, etc.

Depending on how smart or how greedy her lawyers are they could also put a lien on your apartment making it impossible for you to sell. Then, you would have to start a lawsuit against the lady for making it impossible for you to sell. These situations can become incredibly complicated and drawn out for years.

The person who posted that sometimes when they are asking for 30k they really want 5k is absolutely right. Everything is negotiable in Argentina.
 

modulus

Registered
Yes, I'm counting with a lien, so in this sense it is a race against the clock.

The more I look into the ridiculously low number of work hours the lady did, the more I am convinced that their gamble is that I will be scared enough to settle.
Somehow I think that about 80 hours worked (by her own count) for the whole year of 2008 will be hard to sell as a full-time employment even to an Argentine labour court.
 

RobW

Registered
My lawyer buddy here says that they often bluff people with official letters and such to see if they can settle outside of court. Court cases can last years and cost money. Granted his work revolves around a different sort of law than labor disputes, how serious does it seem/look?
 

modulus

Registered
RobW said:
My lawyer buddy here says that they often bluff people with official letters and such to see if they can settle outside of court.
Well, the letters have been official enough that Tribunales is preparing the expediente these days. It will be interesting to see if the judge slaps a lien on my property or not.
 
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