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No or Low Paycheck

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  • No or Low Paycheck

    Help.

    I’ve been working for a small corporation in California for over 8 years now. We are a small company of 4. Currently I am the highest “paid” @ $52,000 per year salary. For the last two and a half years, we have all been taking home portions of paychecks per month, because the money just has not been there to pay everyone’s full wage. Last year I took home roughly $24,000. The other 2 employees (4th is the owner) take home considerably less, and it’s worth noting that 1 is the owners son, whom lives at home with little to no rent due, and the other is a local family friend, who lives with his grandmother with little rent. One of them is being underpaid, for the service he provides, but slightly makes up for it with a bonus schedule per part shipped.

    Last month, while on vacation (I still have ~ 3 months vacation accrued), underpaid employee has a fit. He’s jealous of me, because I get paid more, and does not understand why I don’t have to “suffer” like he does. (After my real bills are paid, we’re not that far off in the amount of money we have for food and the like), but they consider me High Maintenance, because I pay a real rent and real bills. I also work once or twice a week with another company (not related) when available, for extra money to play with, so I don’t have to walk on pins and needles.

    To make this long story shorter, They (the rest of the company) decide to move farther away from me, causing my drive (already 40 mins each way) to double. Further, the owner of the company has made a deal to keep Mr. Underpaid that he’ll pay all employees out of his pocket, on time, each month… except for me. I asked for some money last month ($800 to 1000), between paychecks (he owes me back wages) and I was told that others are suffering more than me, and that he can’t pay me just because I need some money.

    Here we are, it’s the 11th of October, and I have not received my paycheck yet, which is normal. My rent is considered late after the 15th, and I cannot get word from my employer that he is going to pay me. He has already paid the other two employees.

    I don’t want to raise legal hell, I don’t want to hurt the company, because I firmly believe in the product we design, build, and try to sell!

    I guess what I’m asking… what do I do now? If I have to I could file for non payed wages, but I am afraid that that’ll be the end of my position in the company.

    I asked for money again yesterday, and have yet to hear from him. Meanwhile I’m sick inside my stomach, and could not sleep worrying about if he’s going to pay me or not, and if I’m going to be kicked out of my home for not paying rent.

    I’ve been told by the owner, if there is ever a lawsuit against the company, that the company would just pack up and disappear, and start again under a different name.

    Help!!!

  • #2
    Ok. Heard from owner about moneys I asked for (part of September 2005 paycheck).

    Answer is: Well, sorry, gee, we have not a penny in the bank. Maybe next week when we get some money from our overseas distributor, we might be able to give you something.

    Is it discrimination to have paid the other employees their September Paycheck, and not Me? ...It sure feels like it.

    Any suggestions on what to do or say to this guy? I'm very shaken and hurt inside, not to mention... I'm going to have to start selling my personal belongings if I'm going to be coming into work next week.

    Thanks

    Comment


    • #3
      Discrimination, no. Violation of wage and hour law? Yes. If the company can't pay its employees, then it shouldn't have employees. Contact the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to get a claim started for unpaid wages.

      And excuse me for saying so, but why do you and your colleagues continue when you are not getting paid? Especially for a company who would "pack up and disappear" when you asserted your legal rights? These people sound like they don't have a clue and dont' want to have one. My recommendation is to get out of there fast. There must be other products you believe in that made by companies whcih comply with legal requirements.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for your advice. There are other directions to go, but our team of three are known for producing the best in the world at what we do. It's hard to walk away from owning that pride. Trouble is that it is a small market, and money is just not flowing all that well.

        I still have not received back pay from the last few years, nor any of my September 2005 paycheck. Your words shed a light of reality at me from a different direction than I've been looking.

        I am afraid that if I do file for unpaid wages, that I'll really be blacklisted by the rest of the company, and will loose my job as a result, in some way that I'd never be able to prove was related.

        I know of several instances where the company corporate vail has been abused, and am wondering what the possibilities are of attempting to take over the business. I'd probably have to BK it and start up again, but at least I'd have the customer list, the technology, and the assets of the company.... It's a scary thought. Am I correct that the corporate shield can be broken, so that the owner is held personally responsible, and not be able to just pack up and move away? I don't know where to start with that. How do I find out what name the corporation is under?

        It's all very scary to me. I've never been through this before. Am I crazy?

        Thanks,

        (As another recently said...)

        Broke and Hungry... and still working for some reason.

        Comment


        • #5
          For ownership information, I recommend starting with the Secretary of State of California.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

          Comment

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