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View Full Version : OT: Here We Go Again. Seeking Advice On A Legal Matter



Liger Zero
11-07-2009, 01:21 PM
Text of message sent as follows. Names have been changed to protect the legal process:



Dear Happy Productive Worker Commune And Social Engineering Day-Camp Temp Employment Service:

Brian Richard here, we've spoke several times this week (most recently Saturday November 7th).

I regret to take this tone with you but due to the situation and the fact that this has happened before with other services I am beginning the formal process at this time.

As of Noon, Saturday November 7th 2009 I have not received a paycheck for the hours I have worked at Funtime Printing Company. About a half hour ago (Noon, Saturday November 7th) I called Funtime Printing Company and talked to He Who Does Paperwork. According to a quick check of the records they cannot find any issues on their end. They will investigate further Monday November 9th.

According to you, the check is possibly "lost" in the mail.

To call the situation unacceptable is putting it mildly. I have received checks from as far away as Texas, over a three year period those checks arrived every Thursday regardless of the situation.

In this situation the mail moves from Buffalo to Rochester to Ontario NY, a distance of less than 300 miles.

Due to the fact this situation has occurred before, that two other employers have played fast and loose with my payroll checks I am forced to take the extraordinary step of issuing an ultimatum: If a payroll check for the hours I have worked to this date does not appear in my possession by Tuesday, November 10th 2009 I will report EGW Staffing to the NY State Department Of Labor, and begin perusing other legal remedies to insure that I get what is rightfully owed to me.

I wish to resolve this situation to the satisfaction of all parties involved, believe me when I say I do not wish to go this route with you or your service. I do enjoy my position at Happy Funtime Printing... however I cannot work for free, nor can I go for long periods of time without my wages.

I apologize for the severe tone of this letter but given that this is a near identical repeat of previous situations I am moving to nip this in the the formative stages.

Thank you for your time, look forward to resolving this situation in a prompt and professional manner.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Zero.
(585) 000-1690
(315) 000-3407 (leave message with Angry Redhead Who Kills For Fun or Big Angry Dude Who Is Big And Angry on the machine)



Ok. Yes I injected some humor into this version hopefully that confounds Google a bit.

Now: This has happened before, and I never got what was owed to me, AFAIK NYDOL is still "investigating" the fabrication company that owes me $5,000 in back wages nor will they go after the other temp service that begins with K. Temp Service That Begins With K is a major political contributor around these parts. They owe me almost $2,000 in back wages.

I'm hoping (praying) that they don't call my bluff and issue me a check and we move forward. In the event they call my bluff, what do I need to prove my case in a court of law?

Happy Funtime Printing has records on their end stating that they submitted my hours to the agency. I have official time-stubs with the supervisor and HR's signature. Is that all I need or do I need more documentation?

Yes I know you folks are not lawyers but I'm hoping some of you business owners/professional types might have some insight before I drop a wad on the lawyer.

Evan
11-07-2009, 01:46 PM
Don't use the word "ultimatum". Do use term "small claims court" and "judgement" and "Awarded costs" including "travel expense" to "pick up the check in person" on a specific date and time if it doesn't show up by mail within 4 days.

BTW, EGW are my intitials. Is that a coincidence?

Liger Zero
11-07-2009, 01:58 PM
Don't use the word "ultimatum". Do use term "small claims court" and "judgement" and "Awarded costs" including "travel expense" to "pick up the check in person" on a specific date and time if it doesn't show up by mail within 4 days.

I will keep that in mind for the follow-up to this letter.



BTW, EGW are my intitials. Is that a coincidence?
Listen you cheap bastard, cut me a check RIGHT NOW or I will become even more rude and impolite than I am right now! :mad:


:D


Question: Is Happy Funtime Printing ultimately responsible for ensuring I get paid in this situation or is the service?

Evan
11-07-2009, 02:35 PM
Who signs the check?

Evan
11-07-2009, 02:41 PM
BTW, if the time alllowed to claim hasnt expired yet for the other claims why don't you drop those claims on a collection agency? You will get about 40% at least, try to negotiate 50/50.

MTNGUN
11-07-2009, 03:06 PM
Question: Is Happy Funtime Printing ultimately responsible for ensuring I get paid in this situation or is the service?
That is what I wondered. I'm guessing the temp agency is legally responsible, but don't take my word for it.

I don't know the answer, and can't help you, but this is a sad commentary on our present day workforce. So many people are temps or independent contractors who don't have the legal protections that come with being an employee. The real solution is to change the laws such that temps are only temps when they are really and truly temporary spot workers. Everyone else should be an employee.

I hope your situation gets resolved since you seem to enjoy working at the print shop.

SteveF
11-07-2009, 04:02 PM
First, always keep things civil and polite. The people on the other end are much more likely to work quickly to get things straightened out than if you start threatening to kick ass and sue everyone.

Second, sometimes things do actually get lost. I've had UPS lose a computer for two weeks that they were shipping 20 miles. Spent more time on the phone than it would have taken to drive over to get it. I've had letters not make it to a business 10 miles away. I've had the local Post Office completely lose, never to be seen again, the envelope I dropped at THAT Post Office, addressed to THAT Post Office, containing a check to pay for my PO Box at THAT Post Office.

While this situation might be different, generally you work for and get paid by the temp agency, the company has a contract with and pays the temp agency.

Give them some time to get the problem resolved. Then work the NYDOL, always communicating in writing. If all else fails, talk to a lawyer.

Steve.

Carld
11-07-2009, 04:11 PM
Have you checked to see if the Mafia is running the temps in NY state? I wouldn't be surprised to find they are since they are into the trash business and many other things.

gnm109
11-07-2009, 06:02 PM
File a complaint with your local labor board. They handle unpaid wages.

sansbury
11-07-2009, 06:05 PM
I share office space with a law firm that does a lot of employment-related work, representing both employers and employees. I'm in software, so I have no particular fondness for lawyers, but a lot of familiarity and water-cooler conversation.

The chief question is, why are they witholding payment? My one big fear is that they are in trouble financially, and thus the longer it takes for you to get paid, the more likely they will go bust and run out of money with which to pay you. While the bankruptcy courts give wages first priority ahead of nearly all other claims (I think some taxes may come first), they cannot summon money into existence.

Anyway, my suggestion is to consult with a lawyer who does employment work and discuss whether you can either pay cash or get a reduced fee for them to send a demand letter. That usually shakes the money tree and if it doesn't, and the particulars of the case are simple, you can push for a summary judgment and attach their bank account before it gets emptied. You may also want to discuss your other larger claim as well, in case they can do anything to expedite that.

State agencies can help, and have the benefit of costing nothing, but it is not unusual for them to take a year or more to act on a case that lacks headline potential.

As for finding a lawyer, my suggestion would be to look in the local paper for employment cases, find the firm names in the article, and call them.

Your Old Dog
11-07-2009, 06:38 PM
I always like it when I've made a mistake and someone comes romping and stomping at me with ultimatums :D Just makes my day to 1. know that I've got their goat and 2. That at some point I'll be able to tell them just where they can shove their ultimatum. Guess I'm different then most folks but I just hate getting leaned on.

Business lesson 1. You can always get ugly after starting off civil. It's really hard to calm the bull down and have a heart to heart talk with him after you've waived a red flag and pi$$ed on his head.

I've read nothing in your note that would make me say or think, "gee that's a shame, let me see if I can get this poor fellow his money soon!"

While "testy" letters might make you feel better for the moment, they won't likely net you the results you seek"

My note would have looked more like this:


Brian L Zero
3456 Bridgeport Lane
Rochester, NY
xxxxx


Friendly Employment Service
789 Upyourass Circle
Rochester, NY xxxxx


Certified Mail #: 134-7779-4488


November 8th, 2009


Dear Employment Service:

I most recently spoke with your office on Saturday November 7th when I spoke with XXX XXXXXXXX.

I told him that as of Noon, Saturday November 7th 2009 I have not received a paycheck for the hours I have worked at Funtime Printing Company. About a half hour ago (Noon, Saturday November 7th) I called Funtime Printing Company and talked to the accounting department. They said, according to a quick check of the records they cannot find any issues on their end. They said they will investigate further Monday November 9th.

Your office tells me the check is possibly "lost" in the mail. (If you use Joe Blow instead of "your office" you have just made all your efforts a personnal attack and likely to get you know where.)

I am hoping that EGW Staffing will look into this matter and get right back to me with some explanation as I am still working for this company as I have too much invested to leave without my wages. I am hopefull that I will not have to bring this matter before the New York State Labor Board in order to find satisfaction.

Please respond in writing so that we may both have a clear record of the progress, or lack of progress of this matter.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Zero.

AND, IF YOU'VE ALREADY BEEN TO THE LABOR BOARD AND HAVE A NAME....

Copy to: Brutus Longdecker, NLRB Claims Officer

Liger Zero
11-07-2009, 11:27 PM
Thanks for your feedback Old Dog. That's what I'm looking for.

I'll let everyone know how it turns out Monday.

Edit: I did start out polite. I do not like giving up my weekend plans because a payroll check is four days late due to nonsense on their end. And that's what this will boil down to. That's what it always boils down to. "check is in the mail" is the stock reflex response. Odds are someone at the agency lost or misprocessed my time-card and the local agent can't be assed to follow up on it... after all HER check came when it was supposed to.

If I had an employee call me up on a Saturday demanding to know where the last two weeks worth of wages were I'd bust MY ass to get an answer other than "check is in the mail wait until continue going to work we'll mail you another check as soon as we verify the other one is lost"

In other words continue to march, we're getting paid even though you are not. Pure ****ery on their part.

Liger Zero
11-09-2009, 11:38 AM
They did not like it when I threw a rock at the corporate beehive. :D

Situation is being resolved now, names have been named and fingers have been pointed.

See, doesn't matter what the computer says, my wage isn't considered legally paid until the check cashes. And according to Corporate Procedure new checks should have been issued within three days of my original complaint.

Moving on from here. Moral of the story: Absolutely positively no more "temp agency" work. Bunch of *random profanity* crooks.