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Signed timesheet dispute *Minnesota*

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  • Signed timesheet dispute *Minnesota*

    Hi! I had a question. My husband has been working for five months on contract (via a "headhunter") for a very small start-up company. We recently moved across the country from their office, but the manager permitted my husband to work from home -- not for an hourly wage as before, but on a per-project basis.

    We've been moved for a week. My husband sent our new address to the headhunter last week so he may forward checks for the last three weeks of work (for which the manager had signed my husband's timesheets). Yesterday, the headhunter replied that he won't be sending out the check. The manager, instead of paying the timesheets he signed, wants to compile a list of work my husband did, and then "negotiate" payment for it as he deems appropriate. He does not believe my husband worked as many hours as he said he did.

    This has been a source of conflict since my husband began working with the company. The manager has different ideas about how long tasks will take. Projects that will take my husband 15 minutes, the manager expects will take two days. Projects that will take my husband several days, the manager says they could have been done in an hour. The issue did come up in regards to one of the timesheets my husband recently submitted, and my husband knocked off a few hours to avoid conflict and further annoyance.

    With this recent development, though, my husband is scathing and has told them he will no longer work for them on a per-project basis. The company and the headhunter (who is a close personal friend of the manager) have been bizarre at best. There were problems with pay checks. The headhunter kept promising to give him a check, but it turned into a game of delay: "The company hasn't paid me so I can't pay you. They are going to pay me Friday." "They are paying me Monday." "I have the check, I will send it today." Two weeks later: "I just got the payment yesterday, I'll give you the check tomorrow." "I promise I'll give you the check Monday." My husband got tired of being misled, went directly to the manager, who told him that the headhunter had been paid weeks before, so he apparently was sitting on the money for a while. (This headhunter is not affiliated with any company. He is a freelancer, if that's possible. But my husband's "pay checks" are personal checks written by the headhunter guy.)

    Anyway, my husband is kicking himself for not leaving sooner and wondering if this is another gimmick.

    Is it legal to withhold pay checks after timesheets have been discussed, approved, and signed? What should we do? They owe him about $6,000.

    Last edited by qwerty1; 12-07-2005, 07:33 AM. Reason: clarified title, again. durrrrrr.

  • #2
    This whole thing sounds fishy to me.

    First of all, is your husband being treated as an employee (W-2 and taxes being withheld) or an independent contract (1099-MISC and no taxes being withheld)?

    If an employee, there are certain wage and hour requirements about when employees must be paid, irrespective of whether or not the client has paid the employer's invoices.

    If an independent contractor (which I infer, since you said he was being paid on a project basis), payment terms are going to be a matter of the contract/agreement. If an IC, your husband is going to have to have to contract reviewed by an attorney, give the attorney ALL the details, and the attorney can then advise whether the agreement was breached and what remedies your husband might have.
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