I'll try to be brief:
I work (or used to) as the manager (and perform maintenance work) for a complex in California. It is owned by a family and they used to have one of their family members be the property manager, who I would work with. The family didn't want that family member to run things (I think the property is owned by a trust for all the family members) so, they got an outside firm to replace the property manager. When the transition happened, I was told by the exiting family member and the new property manager that I would still be under the same contract, that everything would be the same, only better . . . that I would be covered by workman's comp and was given a price list that showed how I would be paid for work like plumbing, carpentry, etc. My contract says that I get paid xx dollars, and that my rent comes out of each check (I get paid twice a month). Then it says I get paid extra for extra work, that's negotiated per job -- I work as a contractor for those heavy duty jobs.
The new guy just sent me my base salary and took out my rent which left me with about $105.00 per week. He told me that I needed to work a minimum of 35 hours per week and that I would not be paid any additional money, regardless if I swept the sidewalk, or re-wired a whole kitchen. He was not going to reimburse my mileage, nor pay for my cell phone. He was very rude and walked away every time I tried to talk to him about my pay. He said the owner told him I was going to get nothing more than my base pay, but was still supposed to rip out kitchen cabinets, do plumbing, replace toilets, and reinstall kitchen cabinets, in addition to passing out notices, collecting the rent and other manager type duties.
They instituted a "service request" form of handling requests. The tenants filled them out, handed them to me, I turned them in to the management company. Then the president of the management company would write "yes" "No" or put a ? next to the requests and give them back to me -- some took a week to get back to me, some a month. At first they didn't have a credit card for me, so I could not do any repairs for my first 6 weeks if I could not buy the material I needed. I got a credit card about the first week of last month. I did as I was told, fixed the ones with "Yes" and didn't fix the ones with "No". The ones with ? i recorded the situation, explained what needed to be done to fix it, then sent it back to the office asking for their direction. I kept calling, but no one could find the boss (the president of the management company).
About a week after the first I received a letter in the mail from the new management company that said "as of this morning your service as a manager is terminated. As a reminder, please pay your rent of $XXX (over 2/3 of a month) immediately. I got no final paycheck. My rent was taken out of my check as I worked - paid twice a month.
My contract says that I need to be given 30 days notice if my services will be terminated, and that I need to give my employer 30 days notice that I'm leaving.
They cut my pay to practically nothing, haven't given me a final paycheck, then expect me to come up with over $1,000 immediately. They haven't lived up to the contract.
The president of the company walked around his new manager for this place, the very day I got the letter.
What can I do? They owe me tons of money, and I fear that I'll be getting a 3-day notice any day, and will get thrown out.
Thanks for your help.