General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

If you are held hostage in, say, Iran or Russia, do you continue to earn your salary?

Asked by elbanditoroso (32747points) 1 week ago

I was just reading that an EU official has been held in Iran for 500 days (as of today).

And then there’s the Wall Street Journal reporter who was imprisoned in Russia in February or March, still being held.

And several more Americans (and a couple or Iranian-Americans) who have been in Iran prisons for years. Including one guy who they accuse of being a CIA operative.

If you’re help as a hostage, are you still on the payroll? When (if) you’re released, do you get your back pay? Are you earning vacation and sick leave?

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11 Answers

Forever_Free's avatar

I think it depends on the organization that you are with and what they will do.
It really is a case by case thing. Who, How long, Why, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

Probably depends. If you work for the government or military probably you do keep getting paid. Maybe your spouse is receiving the pay if you have a spouse.

When my husband was an expat in Colombia with a telecom company I know they had kidnapping insurance for him, maybe that covered pay also and not just release, I have no idea, but just guessing.

A friend of mine works for the legal system in the UK something with the courts, and her exboyfriend is suing her and being horrible, so she was put on paid leave from the court, they forced her to not work, but they kept paying her. Kind of ironic, because the ex is horrible and trying to wring money out of her, and because of him she got a few years off from work paid, and then she retired.

Jeruba's avatar

Just guessing, but maybe you get it if you were there on business for your organization and took the risk for the sake of your employer. And maybe not if you chose to vacation in a hostile or unstable setting.

Lightlyseared's avatar

What @Jeruba said.
If you’re there on business I’d expect the business to take responsibility. (and if they don’t, when you do get out released quiit and sue them)
If you’re there on vacation you’re on your own

CyanoticWasp's avatar

To answer the strict wording of the topic question, i.e. “to earn”, I would say emphatically “No.”

There’s no way you’re ‘earning’ a salary as a hostage, political prisoner or suspected spy (or any other criminal convict or suspect) … and the ‘where’ doesn’t even matter. In those cases, there is no way to ‘earn’ a salary. You’d be a deadweight loss to the employer, a fiduciary and technical liability who can incur continuing losses as long as you live.

Whether a salary is paid is a different and to my mind off-topic question.

How standards have fallen in my absence!

JLeslie's avatar

^^It might be covered by insurance.

I wouldn’t get caught up on the word earn. I think it’s understood the OP is wondering if the person continues to get paid.

filmfann's avatar

I doubt it. If you open that gate, wouldn’t you be due overtime?
By phone company pay plan, all day Sunday would be 36 hours pay. Monday would be 8 straight plus 16 at time and a half, so 24. Tuesday would be one hour straight, plus the rest of the week at double time.
So each week you would be due 307 hours pay a week. That doesn’t include meal vouchers, which were about $18 a day.

Zaku's avatar

I mean, if you are a CIA operative, then probably yes. ;-) Hazard pay, even.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

If it’s a business trip, yes.

seawulf575's avatar

I agree with the ones that suggest it is a case by case basis. If you were sent to that country by a company you work for and are grabbed as a hostage, it is likely they would keep you on the payroll. If you are taking the family on a vacation and are grabbed, it is possible you would not.

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