My question involves independent contractors in the state of: Florida
Can I file Theft of Services charges against a former employer? Could I also sue him for Theft of Services? Could several of us get together and class action sue him for Theft of Services?
Here's the situation:
I worked as a 1099 Independent Contractor for an insurance brokerage in Floriduh. Commissions were to be paid each week on Defined Benefits coverage policies sold when intial payment of non-refundable registration fee cleared (and definitely by the time the policy went active!), and commissions for Major Medical policies were to be paid when the brokerage received payment from the Major Medical insurance company. We were told that Major Medical commissions could take up to two months to come through. It's now been more than double that time and I have found out from other employees that no one has ever been paid on any Major Medical coverage that has been written.
I kept and have meticulous records of these policies (and the clients that purchased them) that I sold but, amazingly enough, the pay statements from the brokerage kept showing inaccurate and mysteriously shifting, changing information. I also have maintained all past pay statements for comparison purposes and reconciled them to verify my suspicions.
Multiple policies are completely missing from the pay statements and supposedly the management can't find record of them at all (nearly all of these were Major Medical policies) and multiple Defined Benefits policies are marked as commission still "pending" when the payment cleared and the coverage went active months ago. They also claim charge-backs from non-refundable registration fees, often more than once for the same client, and cancellations from coverage that is active.
Their "record keeping" is very purposefully "disorganized" so that most employees never see more than $300-400 per week, no matter what, and after you're gone somehow nothing more ever "clears through".
Long story somewhat shortened; I've now been gone over two months and still haven't been paid at least $1500 in owed commissions. I did some quick math (after talking to several other employees that were there longer than me and did more business) and figured out that the owner of the company is "disappearing", at the very bare minimum, well over $500,000 (not a typo) a year in employee commissions. He has three offices averaging 15 salespeople per office and the turn-over is very high.
I went to the Department of Labor but they are of no use to independent contractors. I went to the Department of Financial Services (which oversees insurance brokers and companies) and they were also of no assistance.
Can I/we have him arrested and sue him? And I do mean him, personally, since HE has money but paychecks bounced for everyone on a regular basis. One bank refused to continue carrying his business account because of this.
What can I do to get paid and stop this predator from robbing other people trying to find a job?