Forums: Skydiving: Instructors:
DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice??

 

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

criolli

Oct 21, 2011, 3:28 AM
Post #1 of 42 (3026 views)
Shortcut
DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? Can't Post

So what would you do??

I'm owed a couple of weeks work, and still have not been paid nearly a year later... its been promised on many occasions, cheques been posted all that bullshit, but now he's being a cock!!

How have other Instructors dealt with this in the past??

I don't want to out them publicly as then i look like "that Guy".. and I don't think it'll do my future employment any favors..

is it worth getting onto the USPA, or just getting a lawyer, give me some help here?? I have no idea, no ones ever shafted me before... i'm nowhere near the DZ anymore so all correspondence has been done by email and phone calls.

but i will do what i have to, to get paid..

and this is a turbine DZ, that makes good money!!

Thanks


theonlyski  (D License)

Oct 21, 2011, 3:45 AM
Post #2 of 42 (2971 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
is it worth getting onto the USPA, or just getting a lawyer, give me some help here?? I have no idea, no ones ever shafted me before... i'm nowhere near the DZ anymore so all correspondence has been done by email and phone calls.

Lawyers are going to be expensive, so keep in mind that it's possible you will end up blowing the whole check (and then some) if you 'lawyer up'.

Also, USPA wouldn't give a rats ass, it's not their job to worry about pay issues.


Good luck getting your money back though.Unsure


Scrumpot  (D License)

Oct 21, 2011, 5:31 AM
Post #3 of 42 (2935 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

You must still have friends/contacts who are themselves still local / locals to/at the DZ. Here is what I would do:

To avoid any and all confusion, the next phone call / arrangement you make for your pay check (I'm assuming as you've indicated that there is at least no actual dispute over it being owed, as they've indicated it would be posted, etc.) - have a local willing to pick it up for you, and state VERY CLEARLY that on XX-day, Joe will pick it up.

If anything BUT you actually then getting it occurs, THEN you can start exploring your legal remedies (advising the DZ you are going to do this, and still - give them an opportunity to make good/avoid it). I also presume you have some record(s) / basis for proof that you are owed/unpaid?

Many states have a "wage & hour commission" or some similar. File a complaint with the state if ALL ELSE FAILS. Let the state investigate/resolve this, as this is their jobs in fact, to do. Also, most likely the amount you are owed falls under the maximums for small claims action (or - you could still just file for the limit @ $5k in most states) & no need for expense of attorneys to proceed that way, as absolutely last-ditch measures in either case.

If you are owed, and the DZ has actually fully stipulated that you are owed, and there is no disagreement (as it seems you are portraying) - there simply must be a communication disconnect taking place here, that I would expend every effort, and be absolutely CLEAR & take accountability for being so myself first, before employing either of the the above 2 other suggestions I've now given you as an ABSOLUTE LAST RESORT only.

Good luck.


stratostar  (Student)

Oct 21, 2011, 6:03 AM
Post #4 of 42 (2918 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

I would fly or drive back there and file a MX lien on their property or aircraft at the court house. If it's a turbine AC and they own it, they can't sell it till the lien is paid.

Might even be able to file via mail or internet.


(This post was edited by stratostar on Oct 21, 2011, 6:04 AM)


Krip  (Student)

Oct 21, 2011, 8:31 AM
Post #5 of 42 (2849 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stratostar] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

+1


Or take the dude to small claims court, as long as you got documentation or witness 's to back you up.

Where our resident lawyer Andy when you need him.

R.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Oct 21, 2011, 9:11 AM
Post #6 of 42 (2829 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stratostar] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...file a MX lien on their property or aircraft at the court house.

And perjure himself to do so?

Unless he is an actual "mechanic" with a verifiable W/O (he actually did some MX work on the item being filed on), this is NOT good advice! Not only could the DZ vacate the filing quite easily (it usually requires at least EVIDENCE upon filing, to be accepted - but let's just say he "got away" without that) - but the OP could also then be exposing himself for CRIMINAL prosecution for filing a false (such) lien.

Otherwise, he needs a judgement (either via attorney proceeding on his behalf, or small-claims/pro-se) before he can file a lien APPROPRIATELY.


(This post was edited by Scrumpot on Oct 21, 2011, 9:12 AM)


stratostar  (Student)

Oct 21, 2011, 10:41 AM
Post #7 of 42 (2782 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Scrumpot] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In my state all liens were called that, not sure if that is still the case today.... the word mechanic, was general not meaning you fixed anything. In the case I was thinking of in my statement, was of a realtor I knew who was not paid by a big corp. he filed his lien on the property for the bill, it was blown off many years till they tried to sell the property. It was then the lawyers started calling to remove the lien, he got paid in the end.

2nd. Any post I make on this or any website should not be construed as legal advice in matter of law or legal action, should anyone act on any posts made by me would be foolish IMHO.....Tongue


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Oct 21, 2011, 12:30 PM
Post #8 of 42 (2725 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you sleep with the DZO's daughter?

Maybe you should Tongue


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 21, 2011, 8:36 PM
Post #9 of 42 (2584 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
If this is in the US, and you're legal to work in the US, then you can file a claim against them in small claims court.

You'll need to have some documentation of your work, some sort of proof that you did the jumps you're claiming, and then the DZ would be on the hook to prove that they paid you (like a cashed check, or reciept for paying you cash).

Another thing to do before going to court would be to send a certified letter to the DZ/DZO requesting payment for the work you did. It might seem like a formality at this point, but if you have the signed delivery slip that they recieved the letter, at least they can't show up in court and claim they didn't know what it was about.

If you don't want to (or can't) go to court, I would show up at the DZ and ask face-to-face to be paid, and try to do it in front of as many current staff members as possible. If the DZO gives you a hard time, start looking around and asking everyone if they expect to be paid for their last couple of weeks as well, and see what happens.

It's a shame that the guy would screw you over on your last few weeks of work, and for this long. I guess I could udnerstand if he was strapped for cash the week you quit, and it was either pay you or pay the guys who still worked there, but after a year he should have made that right. But for a busy DZ to not be able to pay you after this long would be really hard to explain.


jshiloh

Oct 23, 2011, 4:55 PM
Post #10 of 42 (2408 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Most lawyers will offer a free consultation. Honestly, I suggest talking to one. Many states have specific laws regarding penalties for late paychecks. In mine, an employer can be made to pay not only the back pay plus interest, but also a penalty of up to $100 per day that the check is late. If they're jerking you around on the paycheck, you may be entitled to those penalties.

Of course, taking such action may get you labelled as a troublemaker & make it harder (if not impossible) to find work at another DZ. i doubt highly the USPA would get involved, as it's not within their realm of control/policy...it's a general labor issue, not a skydiving one.

Edit for quick clarification: the penalties almost always require a willful, deliberate failure to pay. Situations where a company is a couple days late in issuing a paycheck due to system failure or cash-flow problems won't qualify. But your situation--going on a year of them jerking you around, not responding to your requests, etc--likely would.


(This post was edited by jshiloh on Oct 23, 2011, 5:01 PM)


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Oct 24, 2011, 12:45 AM
Post #11 of 42 (2365 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

legal recourse. every state has the ability to collect on unpaid debts. Go to the courthouse and ask about it.


PiLFy  (A License)

Oct 24, 2011, 2:33 PM
Post #12 of 42 (2269 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Some of your vocabulary makes me think you aren't in the US. We have labor laws to protect against this type of thing. I've had to use it myself in the past. If an investigator goes into a company to research a complaint? They don't just examine your pay records. They go through EVERYBODY'S records. It involves heavy fines when caught being guilty. That's how it used to work, anyway. So many companies are screwing people over now. They may have streamlined the process out of necessity. The last time I complained to a labor board about being owed monies. I had a check (& BS apologies, yadda_yadda) within two days.

If you're overseas, I hope you have something similar to turn to. Worse comes to worse, give him some payback. Just don't post it here.


jtval  (D 26340)

Oct 24, 2011, 10:22 PM
Post #13 of 42 (2164 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Since you mentioned USPA I assume you're in the US?

Were you working legally for the dz? were you working as a sub-contractor? paying taxes etc?

Going to court may not bring a taxman your way but if its enough money to worry about I would make sure all of your avenues are covered. be prepared to pay back taxes and fines if you've been working off-the-books.

Sorry to hear about this it sucks when an employer does this. You're not the first I've heard this happening to.


criolli

Oct 24, 2011, 11:23 PM
Post #14 of 42 (2154 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jtval] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got a lot of advice and PM's from a lot of people about this, and I can't thank you enough...

It's good to get a bit of surport on this...

I should have given a bit more information, but understandably i Did not want to give away who i was, as a lot of people knew where i was working last year.

I put a advertisment out on DZ.com that i was looking for a job anywhere in the world, but did not have a visa for america, so if i was offered a job I would need that to happen...

I got contacted by a few dz's who offered me work state side, and who were prepared to go though the legal route and sponsor me to come in... providing i would give them 1 year upwards of my time.

I chose this dz, because it happened to be near where i was currently travelling, and it sounded super busy..

The dz had sent me an email, telling me it would be sorted and sent to the lawyers pffoce to deal with, but it turned out he never bothered, although in my naivety I should have checked and pushed harder to find out what was going on... but i was a new tandem master, and excited just to be working... so i kept my head low...

Every 3 months i left the country, to get a new visa, and legalize myself again, but on the 2nd time, i got stopped, and told that as no visa application had been submitted from an employer i would be refused entry.. yeah it kind of blew..

Anyhow, i got another email telling me he would do everything to help me out, and sort out the situation, unfortunately he did not bother...

then the pay cheque thing came, and you know the rest of the story.... postal strikes, in the post, its being sorted, etc etc...

So this is my fault as much as anyone's, i was a little bit dumb to think that Texans were men of there word, and even stupider to work without making sure my visa was real and in place...

I'm going to get some advice from a lawyer, and see if that helps any... but i have a feeling its money i have just worked hard for that has vanished...

thanks all again...


BobMoore  (D 13136)

Oct 24, 2011, 11:53 PM
Post #15 of 42 (2149 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So this is my fault as much as anyone's, i was a little bit dumb to think that Texans were men of their word, and even stupider to work without making sure my visa was real and in place...

I'm going to get some advice from a lawyer, and see if that helps any... but i have a feeling its money i have just worked hard for that has vanished...

thanks all again...

We are, most of us.


DougH  (D License)

Oct 25, 2011, 5:00 AM
Post #16 of 42 (2114 views)
Shortcut
Re: [BobMoore] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Out them to the local news and on here.

Hiring and then defrauding illegal workers. Sounds like a crooked rat!

That being said there are two sides to every story.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 25, 2011, 5:11 AM
Post #17 of 42 (2107 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The dz had sent me an email, telling me it would be sorted and sent to the lawyers pffoce to deal with, but it turned out he never bothered

In this case, you're both at fault becasue it takes two to tango. However, if the matter came to light, you would have far less to lose than the DZO.

You'll be on the hook for back taxes on the money you made, and might have some troubles getting back into the US to work.

The DZO on the other hand, who is still trying to run a business in the US, is going to have several state and federal agencies up his ass, and nobody wants that.

Contact the DZO, and mention that you're left with no choice but to call the Texas Workforce Commission in order to try and get paid. If he wants to avoid that, give him 24 hours to provide you with a tracking number for a Fed Ex or UPS package containing your last paycheck. (Be fair, and call him Mon-Thurs, so he has at a least one business day left in the week to ship the check)


stratostar  (Student)

Oct 25, 2011, 5:12 AM
Post #18 of 42 (2104 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DougH] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Then he would never work in the U.S. industry again and may even find that finding work in other countries limited.


Divalent  (C 40494)

Oct 25, 2011, 5:52 AM
Post #19 of 42 (2085 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stratostar] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Then he would never work in the U.S. industry again and may even find that finding work in other countries limited.
Really? Admittedly we only have one side of the story. But if his essential claim is true (that he did, in fact, honestly work and was not paid, and the DZO has no reasonable counterclaim that would justify withholding his pay), you mean to tell me that he would be black balled by other DZOs when he finally outted this DZ after exhausting all reasonable legal avenues to collect his pay?

It seems to me this person is going about it the right way, posting anonymously, not IDing the DZ at the start, just asking for reasonable legal means to get what he is (apparently) rightfully owed.

Are DZOs that loyal to each other (in an "owners vs labor" sort of way) that they would consider a person a "troublemake" who didn't willingly and quietly accept gettting the shaft by a another DZO? Really?


Lana26  (D License)

Oct 25, 2011, 7:16 AM
Post #20 of 42 (2063 views)
Shortcut
Re: [criolli] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

So you were working illegally?
Did you even start the visa process whilst at the DZ ? As it would be yourself that would apply and you would have been only sponsored by the employer. Its not his responsibility to do the paperwork its yours. And i highly doubt you would have been granted a visa for doing tandems when there are plenty of US citizens that can do the same job.
What visa were you applying for? H12B ? P1 ?

Did you not have an immigration lawyer filing visa papers for you?

I hate to say it but you do not have any rights or rights to that last paycheck as you were in the country on a visitor visa which does not allow you to work at all.

It also sounds like you were refused entry when you last tried to come into the USA! So you were deported?
Usually this comes with a 5 year no entry ban after being refused. Do you have a 5 year ban?

Basically you were working when not allowed so you have 3 options as far as i can see.

1. Forget about the money (Sounds like the dzo has)
2. Admit to working illegally still not receive your paycheck but as the dzo employed you he will be subject to up to $20,000 fine for employing illegal workers if you report him.
3. Out him on DZ.com .. if you have a 5 yr ban i doubt your coming to America anytime soon anyway


Scrumpot  (D License)

Oct 25, 2011, 7:37 AM
Post #21 of 42 (2050 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Lana26] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Where's that animated "popcorn" emoticon, like what other bbs seem to have available to them, when you need it? Wink


davelepka  (D 21448)

Oct 25, 2011, 7:59 AM
Post #22 of 42 (2041 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Lana26] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Basically you were working when not allowed so you have 3 options as far as i can see.

1. Forget about the money (Sounds like the dzo has)
2. Admit to working illegally still not receive your paycheck but as the dzo employed you he will be subject to up to $20,000 fine for employing illegal workers if you report him.
3. Out him on DZ.com .. if you have a 5 yr ban i doubt your coming to America anytime soon anyway

That's all you can see as far as options goes? What about option #4, where you refer to the shitstorm the DZO would face for employing an illegal worker, and hold it over his head as leverage to get paid.

Take your pic, send this guy his money, which he earned by servicing paying customers, or deal with the TWC and the IRS for employing illegal workers and the tax related headaches that will go along with it. If you were the DZO, which would you choose?

Especially considering it sounds as if the OP has nothing to lose by involving the appropriate state and federal agencies, it's a no-brainer the DZO would pay up and avoid all the trouble.


DougH  (D License)

Oct 25, 2011, 8:03 AM
Post #23 of 42 (2034 views)
Shortcut
Re: [stratostar] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Then he would never work in the U.S. industry again and may even find that finding work in other countries limited.

Assuming his story is true to actual events, and that is allways a streatch, do you really think he should be black listed for getting ripped off by this DZO? I think higher than that of our industry, but maybe I am being idealistic!

Come on this is shady contractor stuff. Like Hiring a bunch of illegal mexicans, get them to do a job, then don't pay them. Illegal or not this is down right wrong! If you put in a hard day work you are owed your pay legal or illegal.

IF the story is TRUE we should be black listing the DZO not this guy that got taken for a ride!


(This post was edited by DougH on Oct 25, 2011, 8:07 AM)


BrianM  (D 661)

Oct 25, 2011, 10:32 AM
Post #24 of 42 (2016 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Scrumpot] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Where's that animated "popcorn" emoticon, like what other bbs seem to have available to them, when you need it? Wink



Edit: Odd - the inline image works when I preview the message, but not when I post it. Oh well - you'll just have to click on the attachment!


(This post was edited by BrianM on Oct 25, 2011, 10:34 AM)
Attachments: popcorn.gif (7.63 KB)


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Oct 25, 2011, 11:02 AM
Post #25 of 42 (1998 views)
Shortcut
Re: [DougH] DZ's screwing you over on pay cheques.. advice?? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Assuming his story is true to actual events, and that is allways a streatch, do you really think he should be black listed for getting ripped off by this DZO?

No - he should be blacklisted for illegally working in the United States without the appropriate visa.


First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Skydiving : Instructors

 


Search for (options)