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Central Florida Electrical Boss Doesnt Pay Wages

by Steve
(Central Florida)

I've worked for an Electrical Contractor for a year now who routinely shows up on Friday with excuses instead of paychecks. Then he promises by Tuesday and still no pay. Yes, he already holds a week pay and I've seen no less than 25 electricians come and go because of this and bounced checks. He continues to hire new to replace the disgruntled but for the better part of the year there were just two or three of us. I had to stop showing up when he owed me $1000.00 and returned to work once paid. He continues to string us along basically forcing us to starve while bankrolling his construction jobs and I've heard "Cant you borrow from so and so" countless times. He left me can goods at the shop when I explained the dire straits I was in. My water has been shut off 3 seperate times and he only offers, "Have your landlord call me." when I cant pay my rent on time as a direct result of his non payments.

Recently after 2 weeks of no pay he called asking how much cash I would take off the books, no taxes or child support? He paid myself and at least one other employee with reduced cash amounts the next day. The very next Friday he could not pay again and promised Tuesday. He promised me a raise on Monday 2/16/09 and had personally worked with me at the job site in a big rush to pass another inspection for the previous three days but of course on Tuesday there was no sign of him. I told the leed Electrician and Supervisor how I had no clean clothes or even bar soap anymore and would not be in tommorrow if we were not paid. This was not the first time in recent history I was forced to scrounge for resources while waiting to be paid and took a day off. The last incident only a couple weeks earlier I took a day as we hadnt been paid and my boss simply stated, "Yeah we cant have you showing up at the job dirty and stinking like Jay," another employee who is forced to endure the same unnecessary hardships.

I have gone above and beyond the call of duty being his $11 an hour Superman while being fed a constant diet of empty promises. On 2/16/09 my boss promised me a raise but took away my one way road time for driving a Company van and managing materials and supply houses before and after working 8 hours on the job site. Yes, it was
obvious he was swindeling as much free time out me as he possibly could. Instead of leaving the shop at normal 7:00a.m. I would now need to be there at 6:15 to meet and drive a new hire $8 an hour cash young kid. On 2/17 I was there at 6:00 and we were on the road by 6:05. Aside from the Leed Electrician I told and explained to the kid that I wouldnt be in tommorrow and exactly why.

2/18 I did not report for work and called my boss that evening where we argued for 10 minutes until I suggested we calm down and I would call him back. He agreed but instead showed up at my home demanding all keys, handed me two checks saying he would get me the rest next week while insisting that I had quit. Obviously I'm dealing with a guy who is well rehearsed at disposing of employees while avoiding unemployment. I repeatedly stated I am ready to work tommorrow and in fact showed up at the shop the following morning. He wouldnt answer his cell phone so I left a message stating I was here and what did he want me to do?

I have since filed for unemployment which I'm certain he will attempt to deny and it has been my past experience that The Unemployment Agency will assist him in finding any excuse to deny my claim. Although I was a no call or show on 2/18 I absolutely did not want to be out of a job in this economy. I have never even been verbally warned only continually promised of future compensation for my dedication. I feel as though there is no way he can succesfully deny my claim but have zero confidence in The Unemployment Agency at the same time. Who wins?

In a side note I told Claude that this new $8 cash employee was young and inexperience and not what we needed right now after working with him one day. My God I only have 2 years experience in the electrical trade. In talking with Dale the Supervising Electrican yesterday I learned that after firing me Claude drove this kid to the job site where the kid was then seriously injured and had to be taken to the hospital. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! This guy is suppose to have 25 years experience but obviously safety and paying employees has taken a back seat to his greed.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


I think you asked this under a different category. Here is the link to my response.

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