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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Bad Payroll Checks

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Virginia

    I was hired as a barn manager for a "business" in February of this year.There were no signed agreements stating my salary, hours I would be working, terms and conditions, etc. The agreed upon salary was based on working a 48 hours at $10 per hour, which would not only cover my salary, but also living expenses for myself and one horse. It was agreed that by the second month, I would be able to increase my hours, bring in a second horse, and stay on the same salary. The second horse was brought on March 14th and my working hours increased to cover the extra expense. I worked, on average, anywhere from 60-75 hours per week from March 14th – May 12th. The extra hours on certain weeks accounted for 2-3 days leave of absence on my part. However, additional hours that I worked on normal weeks were not compensated for. I had been given a paycheck on the 12th of May for the week of May 2nd-May 8th and the week of May 9th – 16th. I notified the owner of the business on May 13th that I would be resigning from my position. Upon giving notice, it was suggested that I would work unpaid for an undeclared amount of time to “make up hours that I owed”. However, I filed a weekly time sheet and continued to receive my salary on a week to week basis in previous months leading up to May 13th. Additionally, I had just been given two paychecks. I received no prior complaint of owing hours until two weeks notice was given.
    When I went to deposit checks, both payroll checks were bad. I contacted the business in an attempt to collect my unpaid wages, however, they refused to pay me. Before I go any farther, one of the owners (married couple) is a vet whom I used for my horses. In February, one of my horses had a few tests done, giving me a small bill. The veterinary office offers several methods of payment, and I had signed an agreement to be billed on my credit card after thirty days had passed. Therefore, I had assumed that my card would be charged after thirty days. At the end of April, one of my horses had a fairly severe injury and had to be treated, resulting in a large vet bill that I received around the 5th of May. While I was at the farm, I also adopted a puppy. He showed no signs of illnesses and had visited the (a different vet) the day before I adopted him. The reasons given (this is where it gets messy, to me, all of this is irrelevant to this situation and reflects the unprofessional ism of the business) for putting a stop payment on my paychecks were 1) I had owed $500 to the veterinary practice since February (horse was treated late April, bill came a few weeks later in May, yes, with a balance of around $500, incurred in April!), 2) A claim that my puppy had brought kennel cough to the farm resulting in over $700 of vet bills. There are many things wrong with both of those claims, but I don't feel that it's worth even addressing since it's irrelevant? The veterinary practice is a completely separate business.

    I have filed a claim with the Department of Labor. However, the situation seems (obviously) sketchy to me. I've been told that it is illegal to give bad payroll checks in the state of Virginia? Additionally, I've incurred several overdraft item fees due to the bad checks. I'm hoping that I've done the best thing in filing a claim with the Department of Labor, but any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Bad Payroll Checks

    You could also file a small claims action for the bank fees.

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