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Tons of issues with employer! Florida

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  • Tons of issues with employer! Florida

    Ok, where shall I begin? I have worked for a small business mailing company for about 3 years, and suddenly they have ran into money issues. I have been extremely patient with them, hoping they would get it sorted out, but it is now obvious to all that its time to close the doors, however, they refuse to do so. They continue to operate, and will not lay off its employees, myself included, and instead are making me feel I am forced to leave. Here is a starter list of things they have done:

    1. Have written, and continue to write bad payroll checks weekly, knowing they do not have the money in their account to cover them.
    2. Suddenly stopping our health insurance coverage due to losing our contract with our Payroll/Benefits company, without warning or being completely upfront about it. I am also now not suddenly covered under the FMLA since without being an employee of the Payroll company, we do not have enough employees to be covered (I believe 50 is required, we only have 10-15). I was 7 months pregnant when this all happened, so it has affected me very much. I am on COBRA, and will remain so for the forseeable future. They have made promises to start a new policy, but then back down at the last minute, as in the day they told us we would be signing the paperwork to enroll, the rep never shows up and my employer acts avoidant and hopes we all forgot about it.
    3. Puts the employees in situations that make us feel we are required to be dishonest to our clients about the status of their mailings. Does nothing to give us direction on what to say to clients about their mail or how to handle it.
    4. May very well be comitting seroius mail fraud by leading our clients to believe that we are pick up and sending out their mail same-day, when in fact my employers havent been able to afford to send out any mail for, at this point, a week and 2 days. These clients include hospitals, doctors offices, colleges and school, county governments, etc. These feels completely immoral for me to be a part of at this point.

    So not only can they not supply a good, reliable paycheck on the scheduled payday, they are also leaving us unsure about our healthcare coverage, moral obligation to clients versus the company, and in general putting everyone ill at ease about their job security.

    I am ready to leave, but I do not want to resign, because to do so would possibly waive my rights for unemployment, etc. I do not think they will lay me off, because they will insist that it is my choice to leave, since other employees still show up daily as usual. So how do I sever employment, and do I have enough of a case to sue these people? I would love to get some kind of reimbursement for all the stress and suffering they have caused me during this last portion of my pregnancy, as well as the money I have had to pay in NSF fees, COBRA fees, etc. Should I go to the DOL, and would it also be worth it for me to see a lawyer?

  • #2
    1. Writing checks for which there are insufficient funds is a violation of banking law.

    2. You're an employee of the payroll company? Are you a leased employee? cbg will have more information on this.

    3. Poor management and poor business practice, which apparently has cost the company clients. However, not illegal on its face.

    4. I doubt it's mail fraud, but it definitely appears to be a violation of the contract between the client and your company. You personally don't have any legal standing in this matter. Again, it's no wonder the company is losing clients.

    Unfortunately, you are in Florida, which basically did away with its Dept. of Labor several years ago. At this point, I would recommend an attorney, at least to get a judgment against the company for your outstanding pay and I'd include NSF charges in your claim.

    The "stress" claim is much more problematic, legally, although I certainly understand your position. You're fortunate you can even afford the COBRA rates; many people could not.

    In many states, quitting a job because the company cannot pay your wages is an action that would not disqualify you from unemployment benefits. I do not, however, have any experience with Florida cases to know if that's the case there. And once you become medically unable to work, you're not eligible for UI benefits, although you would be until then, and would be again, once you become available for work again.

    You'd be well out of there. I agree that the stress is not good for you physically at this point.
    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
      In 48 out of 50 states, including Florida, an employer has no legal obligation to provide health insurance benefits.
      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.

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      • #4
        yes, I am aware that employers are not obligated to supply employees with health insurance. That is why I am not demanding that they reinstate the benefits. I mentioned the health benefits issue because they repeated told us that they would be getting us coverage, which caused a few of us to opt to not enroll in the COBRA coverage, since it is so expensive, and the time frame would have only left us uninsured for a short time. Then when the time came that we told we would be getting coverage, nothing happened. I dont expect them to supply coverage, but it was extremely misleading and unnecessary for them to promise renewed coverage and the bail.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rainybuckel View Post
          yes, I am aware that employers are not obligated to supply employees with health insurance. That is why I am not demanding that they reinstate the benefits. I mentioned the health benefits issue because they repeated told us that they would be getting us coverage, which caused a few of us to opt to not enroll in the COBRA coverage, since it is so expensive, and the time frame would have only left us uninsured for a short time. Then when the time came that we told we would be getting coverage, nothing happened. I dont expect them to supply coverage, but it was extremely misleading and unnecessary for them to promise renewed coverage and the bail.
          Maybe they thought they could. However, with a business that small, each person is individually underwritten, which makes the premiums expensive - likely more expensive than COBRA, since they can't afford to pay part of the premiums for you.
          Please no private messages about your situation.

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          • #6
            I think your best bet is to talk to an attorney as suggested previously.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment

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