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Back pay and overtime after termination. California

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  • Back pay and overtime after termination. California

    I have a unique problem which is primarily about how to collect a lot of back pay with overtime from the estate of an employer who died recently.
    I was asked to be the in home primary caretaker for a 95 year old woman with Dementia. She was quite ambulatory, and, until a few weeks prior to her death, patrolled her home like a security guard.

    The deal presented to me was to be there at night and help her up when she fell. Also, since all of her family was in Germany, someone needed to care for her and when she died, to make the appropriate phone calls to her family. I was told that only a few months, at best, would be required since her health was rapidly failing.

    What began as a few hours at night became a 24/7 live in caretaker job in a matter of weeks. The responsibility for this woman in every aspect of her day and night fell to me. She would live to be 99, falling just short of her 100 birthday.

    The compensation was $500.00 per month. Initially, that was ok because the duties expected of me were minimal. However, I quickly became her only caregiver. After a few months of no sleep, no time off, no outside life, it became clear that that her life expectancy would exceed what I was told it would be.. 4 years later, still receiving $500.00
    Last edited by R. Bell; 12-13-2015, 11:01 PM.

  • #2
    And when you called the DLSE, what did they say?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      re: reply to post.

      This is my first action. The only reason I even posted is because my neighbor has an in home caregiver and she insisted that I am entitled to at least minimum wage for all the hours I had spent with K. H. (not real name) She was aware of the fact that I was there, alone with K. H. for the last few years. She thought I was getting massive overtime seven days a week. She was genuinely shocked to learn that my monthly income is $500.00

      I had no further contact with her family until the grandson flew in to handle her affairs. He immediately told me that there is no consideration for me. He also directed me to vacate the premises as he has turned all of the utilities off. I really felt that the family was about to express their gratitude by handing me a nice severance. Instead, I get a pink slip. All this happened quickly. Then he leaves to visit friends in Oakland. He expects me to be out by later today and he returns to Germany Tuesday.

      So, to answer your question, I have not contacted any agency.


      • #4
        File a claim with the DLSE immediately, as in right this minute.


        • #5
          You also may have acquired some rights as a tenant along the way, meaning that he can't just turn off all the utilities like that.
          I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


          • #6
            The law changed a year or so ago in your state, so if this situation has been going on for 4 years, what you read now may not be applicable to the entire period. This site has some hood information, though I can not speak to the firm itself Here too is a very simplified explanation

            If the family hired you and they are in a different country, they may not be aware of the laws here nor how your role changed. Did you ever bring any of this to their attention? While being left something in her will might have been nice, there is no obligation to do so. Nor is there an obligation for the family to pay you after your services were no longer needed. If you were living there and meals were provided, the cost of both counts toward wages. It still sounds like you haven't been properly paid for at least the past year, but figuring out how much you should have been paid and collecting from the estate are going to be a challenge.
            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.


            • #7
              reply to thread.

              Thank you for the information.

              I never spoke with her family until she lay in her death bed and Hospice had assumed care for her. The legal stuff for handling her estate was accomplished around the same time. Most of the paperwork and the funeral arrangements were handled by a long term friend of the family. (same person who contacted me initially ) Hospice also helped with final arrangements.

              Remember, this was a temporary gig which went right on me. I was doing this as a favor to a friend. No paperwork was ever accomplished.


              • #8
                What do you mean by, "no paperwork was ever accomplished"? By favor for a friend do you mean you were not an employee but a friend of this woman who resided with her on the basis of friendship? Were you filing taxes each year as an employee?
                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.


                • #9

                  Thanks for responding.

                  Here is what happened. I know this woman who has been helping her long time friend who for the last twenty years has suffered from Dementia, Alzheimer's and other age related problems. She is a very petite woman as opposed to the K.H. and can no longer physically help up after a fall. She would ask me to assist her on multiple occasions. I did so, as a favor to her as she is in her seventies. When the frequency of falling became problematic, this woman asked me if I would stay with her at night since the falls happened late at night. The patient would lay on the floor until some one would find her. Sometimes, days would pass before help arrived.

                  I was asked to move in and help her when she fell. I was told that I could keep my job, which was part time. They would pay me $500.00 per month for my services.

                  I had her primary physician draw up a letter indicating her conditions and the need for assistance. In that letter He names me as the one for the job

                  So, when I said "favor" I meant that my elderly friend needed me to accept this responsability of the physical aspect for careng for the 95 year old.

                  Then, as I previously stated, the job quickly went to a 24/7 365 commitment. Meals on wheels immediately quit bringing her food and other entities which helped the elderly quit as well. I had to assume those duties.


                  • #10
                    I have no idea who hired you. The doctor could not. The friend could not either unless she had power of attorney or was the guardian. This woman with dementia certainly couldn't. Who was paying you and under whose authority did you live in the house and change your hours? If you became friends with this woman and as friends you moved in to help her in the event she fell or what have you, that isn't a true employment arrangement. Such arrangements are common among friends and family. The grandkid moves in to help around the house and in exchange receives "free" room and board and maybe spending money. Or the Golden Girls scenario where friends share living expenses and look out for one another. When the hours changed, or the duties increased, who authorized you to be the one to handle those responsibilities? I'm not sure how you came to be the full time caregiver for the friend of a friend unless that is the business you are in. Even then, someone would have to hire you to do that. Certainly you would not receive pay for time spent at your other job. Nor while sleeping. Being woken by the occasional fall does not make every night compensable time.
                    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.


                    • #11
                      respond to response

                      Thank you for your continued response.

                      I'm not sure either. As far as i know, the family of the deceased authorized her to offer me the job. Also, I never worked at my other job again. I was paid by the same lady who offered me the job. She did have power of Attorney over the bank account to pay the monthly bills. I have always understood that the decisions were made by the family in Germany.

                      Please continue to respond as this information is very helpful.

                      R. Bell


                      • #12
                        Again, who paid you? Who signed the cheques, or if you were paid in cash, who handed you the cash?


                        • #13

                          I'm sorry i did not answer your question. The woman, who is a friend of the family, is the person who arranged for me to care for the lady with dementia. The same woman also paid me once a month. She also coordinated with the family any details regarding the decisions made on behalf of K. H. She obtained A limited POT for the purpose of paying the monthly bills and expenses. She never intended for me to be 24/7. However, as the social agencies started shutting down her services, The burden fell to me. For example: K. H. received daily deliveries from meals on wheels because she was 95 and unable to cook a meal. When the powers that be realized an adult was residing in the home, the service was discontinued. A letter came to me explaining their reasons. So, I became responsible for all meals. Other agencies followed suit. No more visits from advocates for the elderly either. A representative came to the house to check me out once. I never saw her again. The lady who hired me used to do her soiled laundry, but, after I moved in, I became the laundry person. My point is that alone she had services to help her on a daily basis. However, when I started residing at K.H.'s home, those services stopped and I ended up being responsible. It quickly began to fill my days and nights.

                          Hopefully , I answered your question .



                          • #14
                            Two more questions:

                            1. Did you ever report the earnings from this job to the IRS?

                            2. When you told the woman who was paying you that you were doing a lot more work than what you'd been hired to do and therefore required more pay, what was her response?


                            • #15

                              No, I did not. A friend told me that less than $600.00 is not required. Since I started researching this matter, I now know I should have reported the income. I regret my stupidity.

                              Yes, she was made aware of the extra responsability. She told me to take it up with the family, in Germany. I'm beginning to have doubts about her actions. I have known this woman a long time. She has never given me any reason to question her honesty. However, I am less confident now that I have revisited aspects of our arrangement through these questions.

                              I guess I'm going take the hit on this whole thing. You must think I am an idiot.

                              I appreciate your direction.