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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Arrow Former Employer is Threatening Legal Action Due to Overpayment of Wages

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

    I'm receiving some nasty text from my former employer including threats/harassment/slander/possible defamation of character(can some one explain what this is?). This is a medical marijuana dispensary, being paid cash. I can prove employment within the company. But I was never 1099'ed as it was a cash business only. So under the table.

    I was given my last paycheck and a mistake was made and I was paid extra 200 dollars, got text that if I don't bring it back I will get deported(i am a citizen), LOL, will ruin my life, get sued(I've since stopped talking to him) constant threats of being fired, I plan on bringing it back but I have about a years worth of texts from the former employer just constant slander/harassment/threats. The thought of a lawsuit never crossed my mind up until he threatened me. I wanted to let this go, but since he's threatening me, do I have any cause to sue him back? protection? any advice will help thank you!

    Here's an example of one text, I have thousands of texts like this while I was employed.

    (actual text)
    "If you even mention the word lawsuit and me in the same sentence again I'm having you deported. Test me ****. I ****ing dare you. "

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Former Employer Threatens

    To start off with, there's nothing even remotely resembling defamation or slander here. No, you have no cause to sue him. Nothing you've posted give you any grounds for legal recourse.

    Pay him his $200, find a job where you won't be violating the tax laws, and ignore him. His being a jerk does not give you cause for legal action or to keep the money you didn't earn.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Former Employer Threatens

    He was breaking the law employing you, no? Let him threaten you via text message all he wants. But in all honesty, if you were incorrectly overpaid for work that you did not complete, the appropriate thing to do would be to give that money back.

    Aside from the texts, you also have proof that your former employer was the one who actually, physically sent you the text messages? Test messages, in and of themselves, aren't much more than words.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Lake Chapala

    Default Re: Former Employer Threatens

    You were being paid cash under the table and also getting paycheques? I don't understand...

    In addition, just because a business is a cash business doesn't mean the business is therefore forced to pay its employees cash under the table. Paying employees cash under the table is just as illegal in a cash business as in any other type of business.

    Finally, accepting cash under the table as wages is also illegal, so this is one area you will be on the hook for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Former Employer Threatens

    It's not illegal to get paid "under the table" if you pay taxes on your earnings. If you are properly classified as an employee but are paid "under the table", you can create a range of problems for an employer by reporting your misclassification / treatment as an independent contractor, to the state tax agency and the IRS.

    A statement about you that is made to you is not defamation. Defamation involves statements made to third parties.

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