employer doesn't want to pay me for work done?

Oct 18, 2013
1,367
0
www.fakeblonde.net
Hi ladies! I need some opinions on a horrible situation I'm dealing with right now.

I have been working for a company for about 3 months, but was laid off 3 weeks ago today. No problem, it was not devastating and I didn't cause a big stink. I sent in my time sheet the next day and was told my final check would be on its way - great. Three weeks later, here I am with no final paycheck. I contacted my ex boss via email and inquired about my check, no answer. Until this afternoon... I received an email back where my boss is basically questioning all of my hours worked? He understated my work load/ turned in projects so much it was insulting. I was fuming! He knows very well what I've done and I have the proof. I keep track of my own time as they don't have a way to, so I am responsible for my own time sheet. I am SO upset and insulted, he wrote a four paragraph email devaluing my work and pretty much calling it unsatisfactory. Why wasn't this an issue while I was working for them? I never heard one thing about it.

Here is the tricky part - I don't have an employment contract. In fact, I don't know what I'm considered. An at-will employee? Independent contractor? The only working relationship established was through email, which I still have. All I received what was to be my hourly pay. During my time working, I did not receive one paycheck. Apparently I was to be paid at the end of my contract, which I never knew about because I didn't get it.

What are my options here? I have already been researching an employment attorney and wage claims as it's been three weeks since my last day and I was to receive my last immediately and I figured it hadn't been mailed when it hit the two week mark :rolleyes: I have sent all proof of work to my boss and am still waiting a reply. How should I try to settle this with my boss? When would it be smart to consult an attorney to take action or file a wage claim? I'm sick to my stomach that I am pretty much being accused of falsifying my time sheet and the only "proof" they have is that my hours are significantly higher than everyone else's, even people who "did more work" I have a feeling this is all because this company is short on money and is trying to shortchange me as much as possible. Why are they waiting three weeks to ask about this? I simply don't understand.

Any advice is much appreciated!
 

Silversun

Member
Apr 28, 2011
1,504
23
London
I'm sorry to hear about this situation, OP. Could you please let us know where you are? Hopefully someone with knowledge of the employment law in your jurisdiction can then give specific advice.

Generally, though, I would think that if you performed the work in good faith under an implied agreement (documented in emails, as you note), that would count for something when claiming in an employment tribunal or equivalent in your jurisdiction. Depends on context and evidence, and it sounds like you have plenty of evidence.

I think it's good that you are looking for legal advice. Consulting a lawyer is not a bad idea as long as the cost/benefit side of it stacks up. I'm aware some employment tribunal representatives work on contingency fees although again this depends on where you are. Are there any community law centres in your area where you can get some initial free advice?
 
Oct 18, 2013
1,367
0
www.fakeblonde.net
I'm sorry to hear about this situation, OP. Could you please let us know where you are? Hopefully someone with knowledge of the employment law in your jurisdiction can then give specific advice.

Generally, though, I would think that if you performed the work in good faith under an implied agreement (documented in emails, as you note), that would count for something when claiming in an employment tribunal or equivalent in your jurisdiction. Depends on context and evidence, and it sounds like you have plenty of evidence.

I think it's good that you are looking for legal advice. Consulting a lawyer is not a bad idea as long as the cost/benefit side of it stacks up. I'm aware some employment tribunal representatives work on contingency fees although again this depends on where you are. Are there any community law centres in your area where you can get some initial free advice?
Hi! Thanks so much for the reply. I am in the US, Texas to be exact. I was reading up and if I don't have a written and signed agreement, I am an "at-will employee" by default, which means nothing other than they can fire me whenever for whatever reason. I still have all my rights, thank goodness. There is a contract even if there isn't a contract.

I'm weighing my options here, I don't want to file a wage claim with the Department of Labor because I've been hearing they are so backed up and it can take 6-9 months to settle this. I also don't want to file suit and have this turn into an ugly lawsuit and have attorney bills stacked to the ceiling. In these cases, the employer is often required to pay the employee's attorney fees when they are rewarded the money, but I don't want to take any chances. I'm going to have a lawyer draft up a demand letter (which is usually required before you can file suit) and I am crossing my fingers that does the trick.

I'm more hurt by the fact they would accuse me of such a disgusting and dishonest thing such as falsifying my timesheet just to shortchange me as much as they can, though. :sad:
 

nooch

Judge Roughneck
Apr 25, 2008
9,887
9
I am so sorry, op. I've got no advice for you but I feel you so hard.
 

Vegas Long Legs

Traveler
Nov 13, 2006
11,009
9
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/customers/jsemp/employee-rights-laws.html

Call them. I'm betting he'll cough up real fast when they give him a call. (An employer has to be a moron to mess with the states employment division. They yank the business license & lord knows what else.) Tell them about your communication with him. He's admitted you work there. Why did he choose 3 weeks after you leave to question your hours? If he had an issue with your work he should of mentioned it long before now. He's grabbing at straws.

You'll get paid. Even if he went bankrupt employees wages aren't discharged.
 
Oct 18, 2013
1,367
0
www.fakeblonde.net
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/customers/jsemp/employee-rights-laws.html

Call them. I'm betting he'll cough up real fast when they give him a call. (An employer has to be a moron to mess with the states employment division. They yank the business license & lord knows what else.) Tell them about your communication with him. He's admitted you work there. Why did he choose 3 weeks after you leave to question your hours? If he had an issue with your work he should of mentioned it long before now. He's grabbing at straws.

You'll get paid. Even if he went bankrupt employees wages aren't discharged.
Thank you so much! I was weary about filing a claim but since you told me how serious it gets, I am not going to hesitate. I realized I left out an important detail, the company is based in California. I do know it doesn't matter, that I still file in my state. I'm not going to be the nice and understanding person anymore, I've been here for nearly a month without a paycheck. It is absolutely ridiculous that he has the nerve to claim such a thing almost a month later!
 

redney

Lovin' Life!
O.G.
Apr 21, 2006
13,709
3,260
Thank you so much! I was weary about filing a claim but since you told me how serious it gets, I am not going to hesitate. I realized I left out an important detail, the company is based in California. I do know it doesn't matter, that I still file in my state. I'm not going to be the nice and understanding person anymore, I've been here for nearly a month without a paycheck. It is absolutely ridiculous that he has the nerve to claim such a thing almost a month later!
Good luck suncity! Since the company is based in CA, I'm sure CA would love the employer piece of your wages too and it could end up helping in some way.

Go get 'em!
 
Oct 18, 2013
1,367
0
www.fakeblonde.net
Good luck suncity! Since the company is based in CA, I'm sure CA would love the employer piece of your wages too and it could end up helping in some way.

Go get 'em!

For justice! :P

People are so ridiculous! How can you think it is okay to not pay an employee? If I had a business I would not jeopardize it by being selfish :sad:
 

Northergirl

Member
Jun 6, 2009
1,017
1
Canada
send an email back saying.....thank you for your email on (insert date), but I'm still waiting for my final pay for (insert # of hours worked including from what date to what date). I expected my final check last week and as of today I still have not received it. Please advise ASAP as to when the check will be sent to me.
Make sure you get everything in writing. This way you can prove to the department of labour he refuses to pay you. Also, is there an HR person you can CC in or his boss? Also, if you were a contract employee you would have to pay your own taxes to the government ( here in Canada you would pay Federal tax & CPP) or were you paid cash under the table?
 

Lindsay2367

Member
Sep 17, 2009
1,140
4
If it is cost effective, I would suggest having an employment law attorney draft a demand letter to the employer. Many times, the employer will cough up the money, as the company doesn't want to get dragged into a lawsuit any more than you do. If the employer still refuses to pay you after the demand letter is sent, then the attorney can advise you as to your options.
 
Oct 18, 2013
1,367
0
www.fakeblonde.net
If it is cost effective, I would suggest having an employment law attorney draft a demand letter to the employer. Many times, the employer will cough up the money, as the company doesn't want to get dragged into a lawsuit any more than you do. If the employer still refuses to pay you after the demand letter is sent, then the attorney can advise you as to your options.

This is absolutely what I'm going to do. It is going to be a month on Tuesday and I haven't gotten a response to my emails since Monday. I was told demand letters do the trick most of the time. If I was to file a lawsuit, I do it in my county and the cost for them to fly down here is more than just giving me my money and moving on.
 

Lindsay2367

Member
Sep 17, 2009
1,140
4
This is absolutely what I'm going to do. It is going to be a month on Tuesday and I haven't gotten a response to my emails since Monday. I was told demand letters do the trick most of the time. If I was to file a lawsuit, I do it in my county and the cost for them to fly down here is more than just giving me my money and moving on.
Especially if travel is involved for them, they likely do not want to spend a bunch of money with travel, a lawsuit, attorneys, etc., to save a little (relatively speaking). Definitely not cost effective for them. We usually had decent responses when sending demand letters on behalf of clients for issues like this, so hopefully you will as well.

Good luck and keep us updated!
 
Mar 10, 2007
6,159
2,210
USA
I got a collections agency involved but ideally you would want to do that after a demand letter because they take a portion of what was collected.
 
Top