Seeking Urgent Assistance Regarding Employment Issue In Bulgaria

Dear Community Members,


I hope this message finds you well. I'm reaching out to seek your guidance and assistance regarding a serious employment issue I'm facing with my current employer, which I believe may violate human rights.


Recently, I was hired by a reputable company in Bulgaria and obtained my visa to travel for work. However, to my dismay, the company has decided to reduce their expatriate workforce and no longer require my services. This decision comes despite having obtained all necessary legal documentation from Bulgarian authorities, including a renewable work contract, a three-year work permit approved by the government, three-year insurance coverage, and a three-year accommodation contract.


Additionally, I incurred significant expenses totaling over €6000 during the process of applying for my work visa. The sudden termination of my employment under these circumstances is deeply troubling and unacceptable. As I've already acquired the visa, I'm considering traveling to Bulgaria to assert my rights and seek reimbursement for the expenses I've incurred.


I'm reaching out to this community for guidance on how to proceed in this matter. Any advice or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Additionally, I incurred significant expenses totaling over €6000 during the process of applying for my work visa.     

    -@irankaDM


It sounds a lot like you've been scammed

@Fred

I appreciate your concern, but I don't believe I've been scammed. The company I worked for is one of the top chain hotels under Marriott International. The decision to reduce the expatriate workforce was made by the new management, and unfortunately, I was affected by this change. I'm seeking advice on how to address this situation and assert my rights.

If they asked for money, it's likely to be a scam


https://news.marriott.com/news/2016/06/ … iting-scam

The company never requested money from me; however, these are the expenses I incurred to obtain my visa: travel to different countries, accommodation, document attestation fees, visa fees, and so on...

I was interested so I took a look.

It seems the employer applies for the visa so there is no cost for you.

@IrankaDM


http://www.anglo-bulgaria.com/


A Bulgarian Barrister I got to know a few years ago ....

I'm not a legal expert by any means, but if the employer gave you a three year work contract, then provided the contract is genuine and not a scam, that should give you some rights under EU law, depending what was stated in the contract. Your best option could be to have a lawyer experienced in Bulgarian employment law check the contract for you and advise you whether it's genuine and whether you have any claim under Bulgaria law against the employer.


I can see that even if the employer pays for the visa application there could be costs incurred by a potential employee, things like getting to the appropriate Embassy, obtaining required paperwork, etc. If you didn't pay them money directly, it's less likely to be a scam. I hope it wasn't!

Given the hotel in question is still advertisng for workers, and they advertise scam warnings so there's clearly a history, something seems off.

Also, the OP mention visa costs, something that should not be on his list.


Perhaps the OP can give us the email address he's been in contat with, especially for the hotel.


Also, it would be handy to know how the OP first contacted the hotel, or if they sent an offer first.

@janemulberry

Thank you for your advice. Just to clarify, I haven't paid anything for the company, and all expenses related to my visa, including the application process, were covered by me. So, there's no financial involvement from the employer's side in that regard. Your insights are appreciated!

@Fred

Thank you for checking. In this situation, the employer could only assist with providing the necessary documents for the visa application. However, I had to personally apply for the visa at the embassy, and unfortunately, all associated costs, including the visa fee, were incurred by me.

Since it is Mariott - you can sue them; get a lawyer and you will be reimbursed for your expenses.


    Since it is Mariott - you can sue them; get a lawyer and you will be reimbursed for your expenses.
   

    -@TonyFF


IF it is Marriott


https://www.globalization-partners.com/ … #section-2


The Bulgarian employer is responsible for submitting the work permit application on behalf of foreign employees.


There are too many things that don't quite add up. Unless we can see the email addresses of the people the OP has been dealing with, and we know how they came to get a job offer, we can't say Marriott has anything to do with this.

Be aware, Marriott's name is in use by scammers


careers@marriotthiring.com

hr@marriottint.com

careers@marriotthire.com

xx@marriottint.org

marriottworldwiderecruitments@europe.com

job.jwmarriotthotel76@aol.com


and about 20 others - all scams

@Fred

Thank you for thoroughly examining the details; your effort is greatly appreciated.


Would you happen to know a Bulgarian lawyer specializing in employment law?

@janemulberry

Thank you for thoroughly examining the details; your effort is greatly appreciated.


Would you happen to know a Bulgarian lawyer specializing in employment law?

@TonyFF


Bulgaria Marriott Hotels are owned and operated by an independent franchisee, Centurion Hotels. The franchisee is a separate company and a separate employer from Marriott International, Inc.  The franchisee solely controls all aspects of the hotel's employment policies and practices, including hiring, firing, discipline, staffing, compensation, benefits, and all other terms and conditions of employment.  If you accept a position at this hotel, you will be employed by a franchisee and not by Marriott International, Inc.


Also, they have to offer jobs to Bulgarian citizens and then the EU citizens first. Only then they can look elsewhere if they can't find anyone in the EU.


Companies only do this if they need highly skilled workers because it's too much trouble doing all the paperwork, the cost of getting a visa.


Depending on the job, you will also need to speak the local language.


Just too many red flags are showing up here.

@SimCityAT

Does this imply that even independent franchisees can violate their own contracts?


Can the employee request reimbursement for expenses incurred to cover the visa cost, considering the company has provided written confirmation?


    @SimCityAT
Does this imply that even independent franchisees can violate their own contracts?
Can the employee request reimbursement for expenses incurred to cover the visa cost, considering the company has provided written confirmation?
   

    -@irankaDM


Let us know how you found out about the job.

Give us the email addresses you have been in contact with.


That should sort out if Mariott, or anyone associated with them, are anything to do with this

@SimCityAT

Your observation is absolutely correct! I contacted Marriott International and was informed that while they do not have direct influence over the employment status or contracts at franchise hotels, I was advised to seek a resolution between myself and the ownership company.


I need to find a way to recover all the expenses I've incurred so far. Unfortunately, there has been a change in management, but I have all email correspondence confirming that I will be reimbursed upon my arrival.


As a non-EU national, I am somewhat hesitant about the potential outcome of legal action against the company. It may lead to unnecessary problems for myself, especially while living and working under the same property.

@Fred

I contacted Marriott International to discuss the matter. They clarified that while they do not have direct control over the employment status or contracts at franchise hotels, they advised seeking a resolution directly with the ownership company.

My primary concern is how I can recover all the expenses I've incurred thus far. I live and work under the same company, but the current management is unwilling to acknowledge my expenses, despite the written agreement with the previous management.

As a non-EU citizen, I'm wary of the repercussions of pursuing legal action against the company. I fear it could lead to complications that I'd rather avoid.

but I have all email correspondence confirming that I will be reimbursed upon my arrival.

    -@irankaDM


That about confirms it's a scam.

However, we need those email addresses to be 100%

@irankaDM

I'm sorry, no, I don't know any suitable lawyers for this, and I hope you can get a suitable recommendation.


I do hope it's not a scam. There are some red flags, especially as scammers are known to be actively pretending to be Marriott franchisees.  Maybe, before spending more money on a legal opinion, providing @Fred with the email addresses you dealt with could be wise. You can do it via the private message system if you prefer not to post them publicly.


On the other hand, as you sent no money directly to the scammers, unless they asked you to send money to intermediates they linked to, it's very possibly not a scam. Unfortunately even with genuine companies these situations do arise and often there's very little one can do to get recompense. There's a member here who has expertise as an employer in the hotel industry, unfortunately I can't remember his correct name! I hope he will see this here and suggest someone who might give you a no-cost opinion on the chance of legal action succeeding.

I don't think that you're alone in this kind of situation.  A few years back I met a British couple who sold their house in the UK, packed their bags and moved lock, stock, barrel and two massive dogs to Sofia, on the back of a very lucrative job offer.  They rented a large house with landscaped gardens (and a gardener paid for by the tenants) and prepared to finalise the terms of the new employment.  I was certainly taken aback by their insouciance at not getting everything signed, sealed and delivered before they upped sticks, but they were confident that everything was above board and his new job (she was a lady of leisure, and large G&Ts) was going to start momentarily.  They didn't stint themselves while they were waiting, but of course it eventually dawned on them as their finances dwindled that something was very much amiss and they eventually returned back to the UK much chastened and even more out of pocket.  They hired an expensive lawyer before they decided to leave, but he just relieved them of more of their cash before informing them that there was nothing he could do for them.


You may be luckier, depending on whether you have a contract and if so, what's in it, but court cases here are expensive and time-consuming with no guarantee of success, or of obtaining a remedy even if you do win a few years down the line.  I could regale you with one story about a long-winded legal case that went nowhere very slowly, and how the company which "lost" the case came out very much on top, but it's not really relevant, apart from as a cautionary tale about the vagaries of the Bulgarian judicial system.  Suffice it to say that you may well be better off taking the hit and not throwing good money after bad, especially if it's not a clear-cut case; in any event, it's likely to take years to sort out, especially if you win and the company then appeals.

@janemulberry

I greatly appreciate your assistance. Thank you very much!

I can very probably tell you the real situation if you give me the email addresses you have been talking to

Sadly, I think Jim is correct. Although morally the employer owes you and fair play says they should recompense you, legally your chances of getting repaid aren't high.


I know of at least one situation in the UK where similar things have happened to British workers -- genuine employer (an NHS hospital), no scam, the hospital just changed their mind about staffing needs -- the most anyone got was a month's pay in lieu of notice. Some had resigned from their previous jobs, signed rental leases in a new town, incurred quite significant expenses.


If you can find someone willing to give an initial opinion on your legal chances for no cost, it would be worth enquiring. But the cost, time, and energy pursuing the case would require might not be worth it.


    Sadly, I think Jim is correct. Although morally the employer owes you and fair play says they should recompense you, legally your chances of getting repaid aren't high.
    -@janemulberry


Less than that. All the language used in the thread shouts SCAM.


However, without the email address, I can only say it's highly likely.

I can be 100% certain with them.

@Fred, yes, I agree that he would be wise to share those email addresses with you so you can check them out.


    @Fred, yes, I agree that he would be wise to share those email addresses with you so you can check them out.
   

    -@janemulberry


He has been unwilling to do so, possibly because he doesn't want to likelihood confirming.

There are plenty of clues - Start with he applied for the visa which shouldn't be the case, then move on to the promise of returned money - A very common lie scammers tell.

I have 30 years of experience working in the hospitality industry and so does my wife. This is some sort of scam. Hotels don't work this way. As the OP isn't willing to say where or how this company contacted them or even give an Email address. They have not given the work title of their job.


But sorry, this is a lost cause and we will go around in circles unless they do give such details.


  • Job title
  • Email Address
  • Address (Hotel)
  • How they were contacted

@irankaDM


I'm very sorry for your situation, and I can understand that it's extremely upsetting. It's also a huge amount of money for anyone, let alone someone in your country. I certainly hope you can bounce back from this.


This is just my opinion, of course, and I very much hope I'm wrong... but I'm another voice in the "SCAM" camp. Employers apply for employee visas. Getting a visa for a Sri Lankan national would be very hard, and probably not worth the aggravation. Nobody pays for 3 years of health insurance or accommodation, regardless of the length of employment contract.


It's a painful experience, no doubt. But it will be even more painful and expensive if you attempt to sue the supposed employer.

I've contacted both hotels in Bulgaria and neither of them have advertised any jobs. Only job going is finance and the knowledge of Bulgarian is needed.


Sorry but you have been scammed. I'm asking for the Admin team to close this.

Closed