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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    1

    Default Employee Who Authorized Work Sued by Vendor, Employer Won't Pay

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

    I hope I am posting this in the right place....

    As an employee, I authorized an outside contractor to perform work for one of my employer's investment properties. Then my employer decided the guy was a rip-off and refused to pay him. Now the outside contractor is suing both my employer and me, because I authorized the work. I tried to convince my boss to pay the guy, or settle for a lesser amount, as he is the warranty representative for the product he worked on and he did do something even if it didn't repair the problem completely.

    Should I be worried? Can a judgement go on my record just because I did as was requested by my boss?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Being Sued by Vendor Boss Won't Pay

    What is the boss/your employer doing to respond to the suit? If the boss has retained counsel to respond, then presumably the attorney will represent both the company and you. You definitely need to speak to the boss about this and find out whether any legal representation has been engaged and if so, whether you are being represented as a co-defendant. If not, then you need to retain your own attorney to handle this for you (which you may want to do anyway; for all you know the boss could throw you to the wolves - "I never authorized this; it's totally on staffer1.")

    If you and the boss do nothing, then you can anticipate a judgment will be rendered by the court against both you and the employer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Employee Who Authorized Work Sued by Vendor, Employer Won't Pay

    If there is nothing in the contract that suggests that you signed in anything but your capacity as an employee of the company, your lawyer (if and when you get one) shouldn't have much trouble getting a breach of contract / simple nonpayment case against you dismissed. If there are additional claims about your misrepresenting your capacity, engaging in fraud, etc., that may be more complicated.

    You have to be careful, if your employer is neglecting the case and you are depending on them to represent you, that your employer doesn't default and that you end up with a judgment against you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Live in NV; worked in CA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Employee Who Authorized Work Sued by Vendor, Employer Won't Pay

    California Labor Code Section 2802 provides California employees with protection in the event of a claim against the employee "in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties". So there is never a misunderstanding, whenever I sign anything on behalf of my employer, I always include my business title and if the document, purchase order, etc., doesn't clearly identify the contracting entity as my employer, I also include the employer's full legal name as part of the signature block with my title.

    (Section 2802.)
    (a) An employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful, unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed them to be unlawful.
    (b) All awards made by a court or by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for reimbursement of necessary expenditures under this section shall carry interest at the same rate as judgments
    in civil actions. Interest shall accrue from the date on which the employee incurred the necessary expenditure or loss.
    (c) For purposes of this section, the term "necessary expenditures or losses" shall include all reasonable costs, including, but not limited to, attorney's fees incurred by the employee enforcing the
    rights granted by this section.
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html (Search on Labor Code 2802).

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