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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Worked for Three Months But Was Never Paid

    Austin, Texas

    I was hired in September by an "entrepeneur" My job was to start his video production studio No contracts were signed at all, worked 50-70hr weeks for $450/wk. I handpicked $15k+ worth of equipment to use, which he paid for and housed

    Another employee hired to do graphic design He didn't grasp how I needed to spend my work time in order to make the studio succeed, kept assigning me unrelated duties and tasks associated with his other enterprises, leaving little time to do my actual job. I did not produce much profit.

    IT guy embezzles $60k+ worth of "assets" and disappears Boss says he can't pay me anymore, suggests I work for Uber on the side but stay and work. I follow suit for 3 months. I supposedly paid taxes on my employment that he should have paid.

    After disrespectful remarks and continued broken promises to "get me back on payroll," I quit on March 21st. Graphic design employee meets me for drinks, offers to pay back what I'm owed out of goodness.

    Graphic design employee also says that the real "reason" I stopped getting paid was because of a scenario during Christmas in which I was rear-ended while driving the boss' car which was on loan to me for a funeral.

    Questions:

    -Do I have grounds for a lawsuit?
    -Does it hurt my case that no contracts were signed?
    -Does how I filed my taxes for that period have any effect on this scenario?
    -Could I be counter-sued for the cost of the film equipment?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Worked Free 3 Months (Weird Situation)

    So you acted as an independent contractor instead of an employee. That's why to paid the employer side taxes. Were any taxes deducted from your check?

    If you had been an employee there would have some issues that you could claim on and I don't think it would be a bad idea to do so anyway.

    $450/week is below the limit to be an overtime exempt employee. So with working that many hours there is a not insignificant amount of overtime this claim could be filed on the state or federal level.

    Lack of contract has no effect.
    Yes if it is decided you were in fact a legit IC then the overtime laws aren't don't come into play.
    Anyone can sue anyone for just about anything. Though I see no grounds to sue you over something stolen for by someone else.

    It doesn't matter if you were fired for lack of work, because you wrecked the bosses car or he just decided he didn't like you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Worked Free 3 Months (Weird Situation)

    No taxes were taken out. I had requested a W-2, but he sarcastically said he "didn't need any more charity write-offs" and told me not to pay the taxes until the following year. I paid them anyways and didn't tell him.

    Hadn't even thought about the OT. I was concerned with the 3 free months but the OT would increase the wages owed exponentially if the case ruled in my favor.

    Although I don't have a complete record of my hours. Witnesses could be called, but they are friends and I would hate for anything to come between their work or our friendship.

    Regarding the counter-suit concern, I'm not worried about what the IT guy stole; more about the cost of the equipment that I hand-picked which didn't really produce profit for the company since I kept getting reassigned.

    Thank you again for your input

    Also: the wage agreement was that my $450/wk would be considered i.c. salary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,531

    Default Re: Worked Free 3 Months (Weird Situation)

    The only thing that makes any difference here is whether you were legitimately classified as an ic. If you were you have no claims for anything. An ic can work for free. An ic can accept or refuse work as they choose. An ic does pay all taxes an employee as well as their employer would pay. An ic does not receive overtime under the wage and hour laws but only by contract.

    I dont understand why you would ask for a W2 if you considered yourself an ic, which apparently you did given your wage agreement.

    So, file an ss-8 with the IRS and see where it goes. If you were improperly classified as an ic you have a lot of claims available.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,324

    Default Re: Worked Free 3 Months (Weird Situation)

    If really an employee, you can try to get UI. Quitting because you didn't get paid for three months would pretty much be good cause.

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