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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH and I are in a bad situation and don't know how to move forward. A little backstory: DH started working for a basement systems company in early Feb. He was the first person hired as the company was just starting, and his job title was site foreman. He was hired with the understanding he was making $15/hr. He worked there until May 11, when he quit. His boss totally screwed him over, and here are a few instances:<br><br>
*first, DH was supposed to be making $15/hr. He was paid $12/hr.<br><br>
*his normal work-week was 40 hours, in 4 days: Mon-Thurs. One week right before DD2 was born, he worked 53 hours in 4 days. He wasn't paid for overtime. Over 2 months later, his boss finally gave him a check for the 13 hours of overtime that was owed to him, but wrote "payroll advance" on it. He then told DH that he changed the workweek so that the week ended on Wednesday. That way, he didn't have to pay overtime.<br><br>
*he never, ever figured out what the check was supposed to be. He blamed it on his bookkeeper, but he always just "guessed." We never once received a check stub detailing the wages and taxes.<br><br>
*DH went to Connecticut for 4 days for training, and wasn't paid for the training. Originally, this was supposed to be unpaid training, but DH said he couldn't afford to miss 4 days of work, and we would rather not go. So his boss agreed to pay him. But didn't.<br><br>
*He counted one whole paycheck as a payroll advance. He also counted DH's bonuses as advances.<br><br>
*our last paycheck, on May 11, was $105 for 73 hours of work. He took all those "payroll advances" out. He also gave us copies of all of our pay check stubs (which we had never seen until this point). He had gone through and blacked out parts and handwritten numbers next to it.<br><br>
*DH quit on May 11, and for the next 2 weeks his boss kept calling DH's (personal) cell demanding things--tools that DH supposedly had. DH was working out of town, without a cell, and wouldn't be back until the end of the week. We communicated this over and over, but he kept calling and demanding we give him his tools back. We did have a few supplies in DH's car, and on Saturday DH called his boss multiple times, and got his voicemail every time. Sunday, same thing. Finally, when we went back to work on Monday, he dropped off the box of tape & plastic bags that he had at his boss' office.<br><br>
*This morning, his boss left a nasty message saying that DH didn't meet up with him at the arranged time (there was no arranged meeting because his boss never answered his phone or returned his calls) and he still had some tools and he was going to call the cops on us. We don't have any tools. We have communicated this as well.<br><br>
*We have yet to be paid for the last week DH worked (40 hours) plus the "payroll advances" that had been deducted from his last paycheck. There's a total of about $1300 that he owes us.<br><br>
Do we just chalk this up to a loss and move on? This guy scares me. DH has been gone all week (his boss knows this) so I'm alone with the kids and his boss knows where we live. I see this guy's van driving slowly by our house several times a day, as late as 10 pm. He still insists he doesn't owe us money, and that we in fact owe him money. We have copies of all DH's checks, paystubs, and time & gas logs. What should we do?<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Update: We decided we are going to go through a lawyer. We had to wait because his boss Promised he had sent the last paycheck last Friday. Instead, we got a letter in the mail today saying that he is going to file a police report because DH stole his tools and petty cash <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: . He's claiming DH never turned in receipts for petty cash, which is a complete lie but DH didn't make copies of the receipts, and now it's his word against ours. It's also completely illegal for him to withhold our last paycheck. DH's coworker received a similar letter, only his stated that he (the coworker) owes him (the boss) money because he was overpaid <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:. Rent is due today and there is no way in hell we're going to be able to pay it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> .</span>
 

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Holy cow - what a rat. I would figure out what the total pay (pre-tax) should have been, then collect all pay stubs and all correspondence - email, records of telephone calls, voice mail etc - and draft a narrative description of the problem to make a formal complaint with the WA State Dept of Labor and Industry.<br><br>
I don't think you can require an employee to attend training without paying for their time.<br><br><a href="http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/Wages/default.asp" target="_blank">http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/Wages/default.asp</a>
 

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Whoa. He is driving by your house? I would at least considering filing a police report for stalking behavior. (After all, he *knows* DH is gone.) If this whole labor dispute ends up in court, the police report could help prove that he's unstable.
 

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I second the PP, file a labor complaint immediately! That 'employer' is a piece of work.<br><br>
He has to PROVE the advances & deductions are legit. Looks to me like he's violating multiple labor law violations.
 

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Make a complaint to L and I right away and then call the cops about the stalking. Get a restraining order if you are being intimidated.<br><br>
That totally sucks! What he is doing is illegal in WA state. Not giving you a paystub, unaltered is also illegal. How many employees does the man have? Who was doing payroll?<br><br>
In the futur, when starting a job alsways ask for an employment letter outlining the wages, benefits, HR policies and employment status to protect yourself.
 

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Washington has GREAT consumer protection laws. You could take DH's former employer to court and win, if you have paperwork. Also, file a restraining order. He should NOT be coming by your house without permission. Don't chalk this up to a loss. He cheated you, and you should NOT be out the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone!! We will be going to L&I and filing a claim first thing tomorrow! DH's boss had said that as long as he was being paid minimum wage that L&I wouldn't care, and that WE would have to prove that we were out money. I believed him until I read these responses and took a quick look at the L&I website. It seems that they take our word for everything & that it's the boss's responsibility to provide proof.
 

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I'm glad you're filing a complaint.<br><br>
As for the wage per hour. Was it written in a contract somewhere? Forgive me if you already said. If not, then you have basically no grounds against him to get the missing $ back. I found this out the hard way. I was hired at a company, manager said I'd make X per hour, I was paid a dollar less. My first paycheck, I went to the manager asking what was going on. She oh so nicely told me that her boss wouldn't allow her to pay me the agreed upon amt, and oh, she forgot to tell me. I called the labor dept here, but they said a verbal agreement is impossible to prove (of course).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>an_aurora</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8213431"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks everyone!! We will be going to L&I and filing a claim first thing tomorrow! DH's boss had said that as long as he was being paid minimum wage that L&I wouldn't care, and that WE would have to prove that we were out money. I believed him until I read these responses and took a quick look at the L&I website. It seems that they take our word for everything & that it's the boss's responsibility to provide proof.</div>
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good to hear, and I hope it works out for you. It sounds like there are just so many deceitful, illegal things this guy did -- he's bound to have tried the same s**t with other workers. Good for you for standing up!!<br><br>
Don't underestimate your need to have good documentation though -- I think L&I will be able to do more if you can provide thorough and accurate details of the agreement between your DH and this employer and documentation of the pay actually received.
 
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