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need help for 6 ppl in texas

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  • need help for 6 ppl in texas

    We are dealing with some pretty under handed people here. My hubby and 5 other people are needing info on what can be done. He was working at a Restaurant here in Texas that has 12 employees. They always paid him in cash and docked him pay for burning rolls and changed his time card a lot. The next to the last payday the owner paid him in cash his wages, then his wife came in and told him he had to give her back a lot of the money for things like burned rolls. The last pay day they gave him a check for the first time for his wages it was for 38.72 hrs and he worked 55.25 hours. He did not quit the job he was fired after a heated argument with the owner. The owner was nose to nose with him and he told the owner he needed to back off. The owner told him to leave the property and not to come back. It is a long story.... The others are saying they were docked pay, forced to work off the clock for an 1hr and 1/2, this can't be legal. We all want to do something about it but not sure what to what can we do and who do we fill the complaint to. I have much more info to give if needed! This is just part of it!
    Please help us!!! We all have family s' and need to get our funds. I know if the 6 people all work together we can get something done about all of this! We want to see him closed before he does this to others.
    Last edited by LizAnn1075; 07-13-2009, 11:15 AM. Reason: type o's

  • #2
    I see two options...

    One, any of the affected employees may (individually) file a claim for unpaid wages with the Texas Workforce Commission. This would include amounts deducted from pay without the specific written authorization of the employee. Again, a claim comes from an individual, and is not a class action.

    Second option is to file a claim (or group of claims) with the US Department of Labor, if the employer is covered by the federal wage and hour law, the Fair Labor Standards Act. If they do interstate commerce, or generate more than a half million in gross revenue per year, they are covered.

    Neither method is quick, neither method will result in receiving more than the pay to which the claimant is entitled, and neither method will result in significant damage to the employer, if that's what you want. It's unlikely that anyone will close the restaurant as a penalty.

    There may be some inherent problems. If your husband was paid in cash, and no records were kept, it may be difficult to establish the amount of time worked, the pay rate, and any amounts deducted. So, the tax free income comes back to bite him in the butt.

    Claims with TWC are described in detail here:

    A claim with DOL can be filed by calling them on the phone (blue pages of your phone book), and asking about a claim. They have the ability to investigate multiple cases at the same time, but are only interested in ensuring that employees receive minimum wage.


    • #3
      Agreed with everything said. However, at some point, a bad employer is a bad employer, and the only solution is to find a better job somewhere else. Anywhere else. My main (mostly) unasked question whenever I hear this sort of question why did not everyone leave the very first time any of the stuff starting happening. I can see get locked into a $100K job with good benefits, but being paid under the table in an abusive environment? How did this job ever look atractive enough to even finish out the day?
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        Add on to need ehlp for 6 ppl in texas!

        What i was told is they have someone to do their payroll and they have time cards to keep up with hours worked. And he said that they mail out 1099 forms for taxes. I hope this info will help you. He was only there for 6 weeks. The pay was not what they said it would be and all the other problems. But we have a young child so he had to find a new job first. And he did 2 days after he was fired, he got the call back and started right away.


        • #5
          OK. The employee apparently has gotten a new job at a different employer, if I am reading this correctly. That is the key thing. Sort of like if your house is on fire, the first thing to do is to get the heck out of the house. Past this point, there are two possibilities, neither of them great.

          - The employee(s) can file a wage claim with the state DOL. I think that is TWC in TX. Focus on unpaid minimum wage or overtime against actual hours worked. I am not saying that other laws have not been broken, but it is easier to get a possible judgement on laws the government actually cares about. This includes MW/OT. I am not saying that the employee(s) will certainly win, but it costs nothing to file and it is arguably worth trying.

          - Option #2 is that you have 6 employees involved. In theory you could collectively find a local attorney to sue the employer for some of the issues you raise. The problem with this course is that you are not talking about a deep pocket employer and you are also not talking about violations that would tend to generate large recoveries. I could be wrong, but I am skeptical that there will be a lot of local attornies willing to do this on contigency.

          Not your question, but IMO, never take a cash "under the table" position, especially if this is supposed to be a real, long term job. I suppose that there might be an honest employer somewhere in the country who deals in cash "under the table", but no one on this website is familar with that employer. Employers who play games on taxes are IMO likely to play games in other areas. Saying a worker is subject to 1099 reporting does not make it true. Workers who work for a single employer are legally 99.99999999% of the time legally employees, not independant contractors (1099). Workers who take cash under the table are arguably breaking the same laws as the employers.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


          • #6
            When he took this job he was told he would be getting a paycheck every 2 weeks. Not "under the table cash"! The pay rate was supposed to be $9.00 an hr. they changed it to $7.00 after he was hired, but as you see they have done nothing but lie, cheat and steal the whole time he was there.
            We are very honest people. And good friends with the local law enforcement here, we would never do anything to hurt us or anyone else. We have a toddler to think about!
            A job is not a very good reason to go to jail. Or worse have to deal with the I.R.S, we will file our taxes for the amount he was pay, this year at each job he is on. We comply with the laws. And I am only sorry they didn't, but we are only responsible for ourselves. And in the end the only people they are hurting, is themselves. We neither one have ever been put in this position. And now we know what to look for. I have already talked to the I.R.S and found out what to do on our taxes. I'm sure there will be some action taken. And we have kept a log of everything that has been going on. They also have a restaurant in another town. And a finance company. I can only imagine what is going on there! after seeing the way they run this. Sound like a good idea to audit all three!
            But.... It was a good lesson for us both, and a hard lesson learned!