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A former employee at a tech start-up was left in limbo after the CEO said they would be paid in cryptocurrency, before demanding it back after the value skyrocketed.
Writing to Marketwatch, the contracted member of staff claimed that they received their payment in August 2020 and since then the value of the cryptocurrency went up by 700 percent - resulting in their boss asking for it back.
The anonymous person, who said they had worked for the CEO previously, explained that they received an email which claimed that because they failed to generate revenue for the company, they should send back all of the crypto received.
They added: "So basically, stating that I can invoice in USD at seven times less than what the crypto is worth today."
Stuck with their predicament, they said: "I am not really sure what to do. I have worked with this person for many years, and he has a tendency to try to change the terms of payment after agreeing on a certain way of operating.
"What do you think is a fair solution? Should I return some of the cryptocurrency for hours worked? What should I tell this employer?"
In response, Moneyist advice columnist Quentin Fottrell said: "No. Alas, no. No, thank you. Absolutely not."
He went on to say that the CEO could be opening himself to a lawsuit, adding: "If the value of the cryptocurrency had fallen by 100% to zero since August 2020, would he want to pay you in dollars?
"If it suddenly dipped by that amount today, would he follow up with his employees? Not on your nellie.
"Your employer should abide by the terms of his contract, and any efforts to break that contract with guff about how employees didn't do X or Y, which means they should be paid one way or another, are sharp practice at best and open him up to a lawsuit at worst."
Responding on Twitter, a reader wrote: "If the value decreased, would they be paying you the difference? My guess is - NO!"
Another added: "It is an unconditional payment for a job done! Nobody can ask for it back.
"This is not the kind of employer you want to be working for."
Signing off with a warning to the person in question, Quentin added: "You may be sitting on a 700% profit today, but that could change in an instant."
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