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Handyman blamed for remodel Nevada

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  • Handyman blamed for remodel Nevada

    My husband recently spent 2 and one half weeks on a remodeling job. The homeowner had a grown grandson living with her as well as her husband who was in a hospice bed in an adjoining room. The remodel included a new kitchen, and ceramic tile in each room. The womans grandson volunteered to help with the garbage (refuse) hauling, the baseboards and moving the furniture and appliances in and out to save his grandmother some money. The third day my husband was on the job, the grandson got into a knife fight with his brother and he called the police on him. My husband was busy working in the kitchen and did not hear all the commotion outside but was put in handcuffs until they verified that he was the handyman. This and the subsequent behavior of this grandson scared my husband but the homeowner and her husband begged him to come back and continue with the remodel. He went back in good faith. He finished the kitchen with little help from the grandson. The grandson changed his mind on the baseboard and did not haul any of the refuse. The ceramic tile flooring in the room where the hospice bed was had to be started in the far end of the room because of the illness of the womans husband, so when the tile met the kitchen, it did not line up. The homeowner was ok with it. My husband wanted to put a piece of mosaic or decorative tile in the doorway, but they said not to bother, that it was ok. The homeowner and the grandson praised the entire remodel, signed off on the work and my husband collected the last payment for his company. The check bounced and my husband did not get paid. He was short approx. $2000 on his paycheck. When he questioned his bosses, they said the homeowners had issues. He kept asking what issues and what he could do to fix the problem, even though he was afraid of the grandsons radical behavior. His company kept putting him off and my husband went on to the next job. They said they would take care of it. Every couple of days, my husband kept asking about this job and kept getting put off. Finally, last week he called the homeowner and she said 2 handymen were there finishing up. He talked to one of them on the phone and they praised the work he did previously and they were just there to do a few more things for her. My husband was a bit upset that he was not told they were sending anyone back and that he didn't get the chance to fix it but whatever. Last Friday, my husband got a written notice that not only would he not get paid for all the original work he did, they had deducted $1400 for the homeowner. They said they were deducting the costs for the other 2 handymen's estimates of $3200 for the further work they did also. The work they did was not on the original estimates. The homeowner's complaint, the other 2 handyman estimates and all negotiations were done without my husbands input, knowledge or agreement. None of my husband's work was redone or replaced. This homeowner and her grandson loved my husbands work, they just did not want to pay for it, so they complained, got a deduction plus a lot of extras for free and the company stuck my husband for it. Can they really take him to the cleaners like this? The company went to great lengths to keep this such a secret and all of this was done behind his back, in bad faith, he feels, that I think he should fight his case with the labor board. Any information is helpful. Also, approx. 10 other handymen have quit just in the short time my husband's been there, so I think they make a habit of not paying their employees. I just want to know if anyone thinks we have a chance to collect his wages for the work he did and since this was last Friday, he is officially still working there. What to do on Monday, that is the question.
    Thanks

  • #2
    Is he an employee of the contractor or is this his own business? The recourse he may have is going to depend on this answer.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Handyman blamed

      Yes, he is an employee of the handyman company. The thing is, if the company would have included him in the negotiations, none of this would have happened. They did all of this behind his back. They did not want him to call the customer back or find out that they had 2 other workmen there. The two other people who did more work for the homeowner did not know that the work they were doing was in ADDITION to the work my husband had done. None of it was on the original estimate. I know we can't say this officially, but this womans grandson was obviously using something as his behavior was so out of control. We think that's why they sent 2 guys over there. They were scared the whole time they were there. Hostile work environment. Thanks
      Pattygj

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      • #4
        Scared of the homeowners? Shoot, if there was a knife fight, I'd be scared, too. And honestly, I'd refuse to go to that home. However how strange this may sound, though, this is not a "hostile work environment" under the law.


        As an employee, if he was shorted his wages, he can either file a claim with the state Labor Commissioner or file a civil suit. The employer cannot withhold wages because the company has not been paid in full (assuming that's what happened).
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pattygj View Post
          my husband collected the last payment for his company. The check bounced and my husband did not get paid. He was short approx. $2000 on his paycheck. When he questioned his bosses, they said the homeowners had issues.
          Oh, I guess they have issues, but the work performed is the least of them...

          I take it husband picked up the payment from the customer and turned it over to the company to deposit.

          Did it bounce (non-sufficient funds) or was there a stop payment on the check?

          It does not really matter (except to get an idea for what the customer intended), but just exactly HOW is your husband paid? I can envision a scenario where he gets the greater of minimum wage or the commission on a job with that commission being payable when the customer has paid (rubber checks do not count as payment). If so, and your husband was paid minimum wage for his time, but zip for commissions (since none were earned), what happened could be legal.

          OTOH, if your husband simply works on an hourly basis and put in the hours, the company must pay him, even if the customer fails to pay for the work they had done. It is then the company's problem to collect or to take a loss on the job.
          Last edited by ScottB; 12-16-2007, 08:06 AM.
          Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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          • #6
            Handyman

            He gets 40% of the final total. The last check bounced but she made it good. At first, the company used that for an excuse. Then, when my husband kept asking about it, they said there were "issues" but would not let him fix anything or even be in on the negotiations. Anyway, the company wanted to avoid a court hearing, which is what the homeowner said they would do. Looks like they will probably have more on their plate now as we will fight this however we have to. I am writing an official letter today to demand payment. If they fire him, then legally, they have to pay him right away. If not, then the amount they owe him should be on his check on Friday, right?? Yes, he is avidly seeking other employment.

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            • #7
              Handyman

              Just wanted to tell all of you thanks so much for your help. We really appreciate all the feedback. Maybe I can be of help to anyone in the Real estate business, since I am a REALTOR in Las Vegas / Henderson. Thanks so much.
              Pattygj

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              • #8
                Hanyman

                I just need to make one thing clear in this situation. This company refused to pay my husband the rest of his commission for this job: $1724.40 Plus they are charging him $1749.00for the extra work the other 2 men did and the refund they gave the customer of $1372.00.
                We are asking for his commission of $1724.40 and they can do whatever they want to with the rest of the charges.
                Pattygj

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                • #9
                  You should not write anything. Yoiur husband is the employee and he is the one who needs to write to the company to straighten this out. A letter from you has no clout and the company does not have to deal with you.


                  The wages are either owed or not. His employment status has nothing to do with it.
                  I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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