Not wanting to work for a crooked employer which is crooked in every kind of way possible.

by Sally
(Chicago, Il )

I have worked for a small family owned company for over 3 years now. They recently have ran into a lot of money problems due to their own greediness. First off they have people on payroll that do not even work there. I processed the payroll and it has always made me uncomfortable, one of these people is the president of the company but he does not work there and never has... This very well maybe legal but I have no idea. Another person is a babbies mama of the owners son and she gets a salary plus medical this I know is not right cause she does not work there either. Second he is being sued for over 225K for breaking a union contract with the teamsters, The lawyers bill is 90K as of 03/01 they have not reached a settlement as of yet so what he is going to actually pay is unknown as of now. When I came back to work for him in 2007 he had his son doing payroll manually and taking Federal, State, and Social Security taxes out but they never actually paid the Federal taxes or the social security, Illinois state caught up with him real fast though, and at the time he had sold part of the business so he paid Illinois Rev. back right away, cause they came in and demanded payment. But the business still owes close to 300k for three qtrs of federal taxes. The social security office has not caught up with him yet. After he sold part of the business he opened a few money market accounts and the owner and his wife only have access to those accounts but they are in the companies name, and he uses them for his own personal stuff. Out of almost 1 million he only has like 300k left and he is sitting on it, he wont pay! He laid off all employees but 1 and him and his whole family are still on payroll. I had to deal with the certified letters and all the collection calls on a daily basis. My entire day was filled with putting out fires that he could have easily put out but he sat on the money and evaded his taxes and I know when everything goes down he is going to blame me anyway, I ran everything he literally had no Idea how to run a business he always employed someone to run the show. He does not even know how to turn on a computer. He also drops racist comments on a daily basis not directed at me but about other races in general. He has sexually harrassed me and another employee on a daily basis, even in fun he took it to a physical level. I told his son and his son told me well tell him to stop! There is no one to report him to cause it is a small business. I do not want to sue him. He has hired people to literally strong arm other people. The other employee that was harassed, was laid off. But she said she will be there for my determination interview for unemployment. But as you say we don't want to rock the boat because we ae scared.... Literally! He also currently has 3 sales

reps. that are on unemployment from their previous jobs, And he is paying them cash under the table, But he told me to make the checks out to cash, But when they go to the bank they make them sign the checks so I mean they could get caught right? I don't want to throw those people under the bus either but my husband has been laid off for 8 months and I need the unemployment desperatley! Turning those people in will not benefit me anyway. I don't want to ruin anyones life,, But it was a horrible place to work for seriously. I mean he got sued in 2004 for calling an employee the N word, and they paid close to 300k in damages, The ex-employee won. This guy just cannot learn his lesson... He really is crazy, he would always say stuff like if anyone tries to sue me I will F____in knocked their heads off and kill em. There really is so much more to list. He called 15 times since I left there in 2 days finally I called him back and he was screaming at me telling me I was a F--- Bitch and that I ruined his life and I was not a woman, I have been trying to quit for the past month and finally I just left because I am mentally to sick to even deal anymore. Is there anything out of all of this that i can use to get unemployment, with out Getting anyone in trouble? I have had to change my cell phone # and everything. I have a phone interview on 3/22 but I can do it in person, so I am going there, and a witness, the other girl, but we where just planning on saying the company had money issues. I am scared... I just want to get unemplyment and never look back. PLEASE HELP!




Sally,

Of course there is something you can use to get unemployment.

1. He sexually harassed you and you have a witness who also experienced the same .. have her write a statement.

2. He has intimidated you and threatened physical harm if you sue him. Considering the phone conversation after you quit .. it should be clear even to the state this guy is someone to be afraid of.

3. He was having you participate in questionable accounting practices and you were worried about being complicit or being blamed when his house of cards come tumbling down.

4. He makes racist statements which you find personally offensive regardless if directed toward you or not .. and he has lost a race discrimination suit already.

You were working under intolerable working conditions, but you're not any longer. When the state ask why you haven't made any "official complaints" bring up the fact that you have known him to hire people to strong arm those in his way. Lay it out Sally and get your friend to write a statement for you.

I tell you that you need to talk to a lawyer, clearly, you sound afraid to even do that, but given that when it all comes falling down, he'll probably still blame you .. I think it is a wise idea to talk to a lawyer not to sue, but to protect yourself.

Comments for Not wanting to work for a crooked employer which is crooked in every kind of way possible.

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Mar 12, 2010
Talked to Lawyer
by: Sally

Well we talked to a lawyer all he wanted to was sue for sexual harassment, He really did not tell me if I would get in trouble. The other woman found a job, so she will not be there for interview. I went to doctor and have been put back on axiety medication. If I get a statement how would I articulate it I mean without her there I just do not see it happening. I keep being told over and over again I will not get unemployment I am about to give up. Oh and they never paid me for last day of work Typical....


Sally,

I guess giving up is an option .. just not one I would take.

Read the decisions in this publication located on the IL website.

At least make the attempt to understand for your self if you have a chance instead of just believing what other who don't make the final decision say.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook

Mar 22, 2010
Interview today...
by: Sally

Well today was the interview, I told him all the above, and brought my witness. The outlook does not look good after every statement I made he, continued to ask "Well you got paid did'nt you?" "You recieved a check everyweek right." This man absolutely did not care that they did not pay for my last day, or that I was afraid for my life, and or that I was sexually, verbally, and pysically harassed on a daily basis. He did care though that they were paying people cash that are on unemployment.... Go figure, being a rat is the worst feeling in the world! And I will probably still not recieve un-enjoyment. I am still currently looking for work so hopefully that will pan out! Thank you for your help and I will let you know the outcome....

Mar 22, 2010
P.S.
by: Anonymous

The man at the unemployment office would not even speak to the witness. He stated "Oh she is just going to tell the same thing you did right".


The man? Are we talking about the claims interviewer?

There is a difference between unemployment claims adjudicators and unemployment appeal hearing officers.

Witnesses are for hearings .. Statements work better for claim interviews.

Mar 24, 2010
addition...
by: Sally

I went into the unemployment office rather than doing the phone interview. I guess it was a claims person??? I had a written statment from the witness that with me, and the phone records from when he was calling my home and cell numbers, The claims person did not want any of the paper work, nor did he look at it.


Well, you did the best you could for now. You'll just have to wait for the determination .. let me know what happens.

Mar 28, 2010
Denied
by: Sally

"Claimant left work because of HARASSMENT AND POOR WORK ENVIRONMENT:

Since the employer was aware of these conditions and had the ability to control such conditions or acts, the claimant's reason for leaving is attributable to the employer. However because the claimant accepted and continued to work under these conditions in other than a temporary or probationary capacity, the claimant left work voluntarily without good cause attributable to the employer. Therefore , the claimant is ineligble for unemployment benefits."

I thank you so much for help thus far CHRIS! You are a Great person to give this advice and I do Appreciate it!



No, I appreciate the kind words and I am so sorry that they found that way.

If nothing else Sally, it points out the fact that if you remain quiet because of fear of an employer .. even when the harassment is illegal .. they may deny unemployment because you can't prove you tried to alter the intolerable working conditions.

In your case it's like they denied benefits because you allowed yourself to be a victim .. because you had to make a living .. it's enough to make me throw up .. and now you know why this website is for unemployed people.

The decision sucks and probably has some merit for appeal, but like I keep saying .. if you can't win the lower level appeal .. it gets even tougher to have a board of review reverse or remand the matter back .. it's what I think of as a lawyerly appeal.

The state herds you in and then they leave you stranded with no expectation of uniform fairness.

And honestly, can the average person who has been out of work for while afford an attorney for the appeal?

Just an opinion .. mind you:)

Mar 31, 2010
I want to appeal.
by: Sally

Sally, use the email link in the left hand column and give me your contact info .. I deleted the comment you made and put this in it's place so don't worry about it being posted.

Chris

May 27, 2010
I win!
by: Anonymous

Appealed and won thanks to this site, and Chris!



Sally, I'd just like to thank you for offering feedback on your consultation.

I would like to add so that others know, your initial denial of unemployment stands as an example of the wrongness of what is going on out there right now.

The determination which basically stated that sexual harassment was not good cause to quit because you put up with it for a length of time .. regardless of the fact that the state was made aware of your attempts to resolve the issue before quitting and the fact that they refused to look at corroboration from another woman was in blatant contradiction to Illinois precedent.

On a personal note .. YIP-EEE!!!

Chris

Oct 07, 2014
So is mine.....
by: Anonymous

The owner of our company, another small sole-proprietorship bought out from original owners/creators, is also a huge crooked jerk.

Today, he receives those sample Christmas cards in the mail. He gives them to me to scan so he can send them out via email with a company header, as our Christmas greeting.

I am his engineering design drafter, btw. Obviously, my title has nothing to do with 90% of what I do. nor does my pay.

Employees need some kind of legal support for these kind of douchebags.

Oct 07, 2014
How about a written job description?
by: Chris

Your boss telling you to do something for Christmas isn't exactly what I'd call a legal matter, unless you're the one who gets popped for some sort of copyright infringement.

But that you are required to do work that is 90 percent unrelated to your specialized skill is a matter to me that sounds like simple reasoning might come in handy.

So, my question is .. do you have a written job description that might help you justify an attempt to train you new boss/owner to confine his directives to you at work, to what you were hired to do?

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