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Jstucin5525
12-14-2009, 04:05 PM
Hello,

I am not sure this is the appropriate spot to post this thread- if it is not I can repost it somewhere else.

I am looking for advice and opinions regarding the situation I will describe. Any thoughts are appreciated thank you.

Situation:

My husband started working for a lawn care company in March 2009 until September 2009. He did not have lawn care/landscaping experience before, he took this job because he lost his job and at the time this was the only job he could find.

The lawn care company he worked for – the owners, a wife and husband team (the wife is the legal owner of the business and her husband helps her since he does not have a job) bought the company from someone else that started it. These owners did not have lawn care/landscaping experience at all. In addition, they never managed a business before either. The company has about 50 accounts and the wife and husband managed it, and my husband and one other worker.

In September, my husband was told to weed-eat a small courtyard with pea-gravel by the owners. My husband did it. The weed-eater kicked up some of the gravel and broke the house owner’s window. My husband apologized to the owners of the lawn care company and they said it was not a big deal.

About a week after this happened my husband found another job working for the city. He was not happy working for the lawn care company because he was working on 15% commission and there were a lot of times when my husband’s paycheck just did not add up. We both spoke to the lawn care company about this several times and they had every reason in the book or excuse for the pay difference – one of the excuses being, “well we cut gas money from your paycheck” or “our leave blower broke so we cut that money.” We bit our tongues because my husband needed the job until he found something better.

So, after the window accident my husband found another job, told them he was leaving and they went nuts. They told him it was his fault the window broke and their business insurance will not pay for it. In addition, they did not pay him his last paycheck – at that time we were not concerned about the last paycheck because we were glad he no longer had to work for these people.

We did not hear anything from them until this week. They sent a certified letter to my husband stating the window broke due to my husband’s negligence and their business insurance does not pay for it because the deductible is too high. So, they paid for it out of the operating expenses and now they want their 196 dollars back. Thye enclosed a copy of the receipt for the window.

In addition, in the letter they stated my husband borrowed 300 dollars from them, paid 250 dollars back, and that they want the 50 dollars to be repaid. Well, my husband for a fact did not borrow any money from them (I know with certainty) and he never signed a paper saying he does, and they do not mail any proof.

In the end of the letter, they say if my husband does not pay the 196 dollars plus the 50 dollars back they will take him to civil court.

We just mailed them a letter out today (certified) stating my husband never borrowed money from them and to explain the 300 dollars, and to provide proof of the borrow. We told them we would not pay for the window because my husband followed their instructions for that yard and the window breaking was an accident, and that this goes along with owning a business, and being responsible for it.

So, that’s the end….what does everybody think of this crazy situation? Comments, thoughts, advice….if these people take it to the civil court what do you think will happen?

My thoughts are a judge would throw it out because the owners told my husband to use the weed-eater and they were there on-site. I think this expense goes along with being a business owner.

Sorry the post is long.

Steve
12-15-2009, 03:00 AM
That is a very interesting situation. All in all you have to first realize that job was bullsh*t.

You mentioned they were paying him 15% of the job? Were they claiming he was a subcontractor? Were they paying him with a 10-99 form? How were they dealing with the tax issue? Was it a w-2? Were they with holding taxes?

I would venture to guess they weren't with holding taxes. See this is why it's so much better to be legit than not.

Say they piss you off enough over this and you contact the IRS on the way they were handling all this. They would be in a really bad spot.

Read this:
Is there a difference between an employee and a subcontractor? (ftp.irs.gov/pub/irs-regs/subcontractorsfaq&a.prn.pdf) PDF File

I bet you could take them to small claims court to collect your last paycheck too. They just can't willy nilly decide to hold it like that. I am sure a lot of small rinky dink business owners think they can. And I am sure some do it all the time. Everything is fine until someone complains.

Read this:
Employer Negligence Through Illegal Paycheck Withholding - What to Do? (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/292770/employer_negligence_through_illegal.html)

I wouldn't worry about their 'certified letters.' They can send all the certified letters they want and it means nothing. If they want to take you to court, they should. Let it all come out.

I am sorry you are dealing with this.

If you get to uncomfortable with the situation, talk to a local lawyer and get some help. Also, I wouldn't send them any more letters to them until you talk to a lawyer.

Keep us posted on how this goes because I am sure you are not the only one dealing with such a situation. Other readers I am sure are too.

CHEESE2009
12-15-2009, 03:31 AM
Well that's a pathetic company.

Your husband was hired to do the job, which means he was employed by them.

Which should mean that the damage is at the companies expense & not your husbands.

There are so many scenarios where the company would cause problems for itself over your husband.

Even if your husband wasn't in the books & the company took him to court, they would just tell the company they are at fault for not having him in the books before they point a finger at your husband.

Hmm.

Your husband didn't have to sign a contract before beginning his job with these clowns?

Even if, the company is still screwed up & two faced.

Jstucin5525
12-15-2009, 10:45 AM
Thanks for the responses everyone.

My husband will receive a 1099 from them, and he will have to pay his own tax for this job. This is another thing we are kicking ourselves for because when he first started working for them I asked if they would be paying his taxes and they said yes, but I never got that in writing. Than later they decided to change it and not pay his taxes. Live and learn - unfortunately it was the only job he could find for six months.

I think if they decide to pursue the civil court than we will counter sue for the paycheck.

But I love the document who gave me regarding the 1099. Because she wasn't treating him like a sub-contractor. So we will be following up with the IRS. I am filling it out right now. Thank you. I had no clue about the requirements for a 1099.

Steve
12-15-2009, 12:07 PM
Thank you. I had no clue about the requirements for a 1099.

It's not something that is common knowledge. You really need to look into this further before you pay the extra taxes. Talk with a local accountant or your tax preparer.

Who knows, you may find you learned so much through this process that you decide to start your own business.

Keep us posted on this.

CHEESE2009
12-15-2009, 08:08 PM
This just might be Karma's way of saying things will only get better!

I hope everything is settled & that you & your husband will be rid of the stress this may have caused you both.

There was a company I had called when I got ripped off from a job 4 years ago, I wish I remembered the name. They took me through all the steps necessary in order to make things right. They took their job seriously when it came to helping me out, which got annoying because they called all the darn time, but what a great company.

dexter
01-10-2010, 12:55 PM
Thats why we business owners pay liability insurance incase this does hapen.
In your case, I wouldn't pay.

Jstucin5525
01-11-2010, 10:04 PM
They do have insurance and there reason is there deductible is too high. $1000

Which is pathetic reason.

We sent them a letter back stating we are not paying and explaining that we do not think my husband should be classified as a 1099 worker, but as a regular employee. And if they send the 1099 that we will proceed to send the SS-8 to contest the classification.

We have not heard back from them yet. so we will see. tax time is coming.

Steve
01-12-2010, 01:07 PM
Keep us posted on how this turns out.

cklandscapingorlando
01-12-2010, 04:33 PM
This lady posted the exact same thread word for word on LS a month ago. She got alot of feed back and if she's for real should know just what to do. Or she's trolling

Jstucin5525
01-14-2010, 11:20 AM
Yes, I did post it on LS the same time I posted on here. Why??? To get people's opinions and advice.

For instant people on LS did not mention about the SS-8. So if I posted on just one site, like LS for instant, I would not have learned about about the tax information.

Also, trolling

"Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."

I did not mention specifics about a company or who it is. So what is the problem?

Also, where is the emotional response from others then?



for everyone else thank you for all your invaluable help.

Steve
01-14-2010, 12:47 PM
I can understand. I'd want as much advice as possible in this situation too.

cklandscapingorlando
01-14-2010, 05:50 PM
I do apologize because I thought this was a new thread that was just posted. Thats why I thought it was weird. Sorry for that. You need to contact a lawer. The owners owe you money plain and simple. Maybe a good amount at that.

Again, sorry for the misunderstanding

Jstucin5525
02-01-2010, 10:53 PM
Well, thanks to everyones great advice my husband received a W-2 in the mail rather than the 1099 his former boss was saying she was going to send. So, the scare of the IRS must have worked.

Still have not heard anything else regarding their threat of civil court but probably not going to happen.

Thanks again. My husband and I are both happy that the lawn company paid his taxes.

Steve
02-02-2010, 12:06 AM
Great!

For new business owners that are considering going down this road with their employees, what advice do you have?