Question about how to handle ex-landscaping boss...

atarinoxAugust 8, 2006


I didn't really know where to post this question...but i'll ask it here and if it's not the right place maybe you could point me in the right direction.

I recently got a job working for a landscaping company which paid under-the-table. I had to quit the job after about a week and a half because the only other landscaper who was employed by the owner was an ex-convict, alcoholic who showed up at least 2 hours late everyday I was supposed to meet him. I ended up working 28 hours, and only received 100$ from the owner, as he said he'd have more money the next day. I've since been calling him for about a week everyday, and he keeps putting me off, telling me he'll call back and never calling, or telling me to call back and then not picking up.

My question is...should I be contacting the Department of Labor about this guy? Or someone local? I mean, I realize I entered into a shady situation...but if i'm not going to be paid the remaining money for the hours I worked (which I desperately need!), i'd at least like to not let the owner get away with stiffing me...

Oh, and he does have another job, which I guess serves as his successful cover-up.

Any help at all would be appreciated...thanks


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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Sounds like you're not going to get paid anytime soon, if ever. I don't know how important it is that you knew you were working illegally when you accepted the position. I'm inclined to think that probably the existing system will tend to focus its glare on the illegal employer, but this may vary regionally. Somebody else here may know. Then there is the matter of what tends to actually happen vs. what is supposed to happen, it may not be worth it to blow the whistle. Much of this may depend on how much money you are out, if that is enough to pursue a complaint.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 1:42AM
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patrick_nh(z4/5 NH)

If everything happened the way you say it did, then obviously the guy's a loser. Sure, go ahead and report him if it makes you feel better, knowing that he's getting away with not doing things that legitimate business owners have to deal with. But if you're doing it expecting to see your money, think again. Don't cry when you get bit if you see a snake and you pick it up. You knew from the start that the guy was crooked. I'd chalk it up to a lesson learned, and education always costs something.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 9:48PM
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Well I honestly didn't know from the start that his business was illegitimate. It was on the 2nd or 3rd day of work that I found out, after asking my coworker when we get paid, his reply was, "cash every friday". Maybe at this point I should've quit, knowing that the business was under-the-table.

He owes me about $100, which may not seem like much, but i'm in college and it's a good portion of my rent which was just due. If I don't see the money I mine as well report the guy who's not only illegitimate but also a jerk. I wouldn't want to grant my free labor to anyone so dishonest.

Am I looking at more of a hassle than it's worth if I report the guy? And if I decide to, who should I call...the Department of Labor...or would I have more luck with the local police?

I'm going to give him an early morning call tomorrow. I've been polite up to this point, but it's just getting ridiculous...

thanks again, Mike

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 1:09AM
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You would file a complaint with the DOL. It won't get your money.

About the only thing that will get you your money, is to black mail the guy with the threat of filing a complaint with the DOL, and the IRS seeing as he neglected to inform you that he would not be paying your withheld taxes when you were hired? And then for giggles you could say something like "oh and I'm sure you want to have a record of my mailing address when you file my 1099 since I was obviously a subcontractor..." LOL play dumb and 10 to 1 he'll pony up out of fear.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 11:28PM
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