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BizIPEsq.
BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience:  I am a business attorney. I represent individuals and companies with all business related matters.
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Good morning: Im a private chef and an independent contractor

Customer Question

Good morning: I'm a private chef and an independent contractor working inside the same household for 7 years.Just lately, one of my clients has begun lying about me professionally,telling people that may want my services that I don't work weekends and I don't work parties.This is akin to saying a house painter doesn't paint trim and doesn't paint with white paint. Both of the lies are easily dis- proved. by reviewing my schedule over the last 7 years.
As you may imagine, this has soured me considerably on staying in this position.

Her husband, who has always managed people by bullying, threats and intimidation has lately begun turning those tactics on me as well.
I'd like to send them a letter outlining the issues , ask for the rest of my season's pay, and depart.Without legal help, I'm sure the lying will continue AND they will never pay me.I'd also comment that in 2008 I was told not to bill them over 6 hours per day(except for parties), even if I worked more than 6 hours or...you guessed it, i would be fired.Any way to collect what amounts to about $100.00/per week since then?
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  BizIPEsq. replied 1 year ago.

TheLegalistEsq :

Hello, I will be assisting you. Let me review the question. I will need to log off so please bear with me.

TheLegalistEsq :

What is the total amount that you estimate is owed to you?

Customer:

Good morning: To pay the rest of this year, about $50,000.The money for the last 5 years, about 3-$5,000.00/per year.

Customer:

Hi! I hope you are still thinking about my question, it's been a couple of hours.Thanks

TheLegalistEsq :

You have two distinct legal issues here. One is for defamation / slander and the other one is potentially for an employment law claim. Let me explain:

TheLegalistEsq :

actually let me add a third claim - business intererence

TheLegalistEsq :

Under the first claim you will need to prove that what was said about you is incorrect (you can bring your calendar to prove that) and that the person said it to at least another person. If you can prove these two elements then generally you will have a cause of action for defamation

Customer:

Hi, do you mean business interference?

TheLegalistEsq :

sorry yes typo

Customer:

thanks,go on please.

TheLegalistEsq :

Under the business interference theory, causes of action such as this fall under the category of Tortious Interference. These are torts such as as tortious interference with a contract or tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage where one party does something to harm the a potential business relationship of another party. In your case your "employer" essentially interfering with potential business dealings between you and other clients.

TheLegalistEsq :

lastly, under the employment law you may claim that you are owed money for additional time you worked but I'm not sure how strong your position is. Do you get paid as an independent contractor or via W2? Do you have an employment agreement with the family?

TheLegalistEsq :

Not sure if you saw my questions at the end: Do you get paid as an independent contractor or via W2? Do you have an employment agreement with the family?

Customer:

As I stated in my original question, I'm an independent contractor, I'm not issued a W2 and I have no written employment agreement.

TheLegalistEsq :

the claim for back pay over a 7 year period would be difficult to make. A judge might say that after a week or two if being asked to work more than being paid for you should have left. By staying you in effect agreed to that schedule

Customer:

ok. So, you like the first two claims and think they're worth persuing?

Customer:

slander and business interference?

TheLegalistEsq :

they are in that you need to have your ducks lined up in a row as far as proving what was said and to whom is was said. In addition, you would need to bring exact instances where your employed interfered with potential new clients of yours

TheLegalistEsq :

the more documentation you can bring the more believable your position would be (dates, names, waht was said, who it was said to, any follow ups you did etc.)

Customer:

Got it.Several staff members were told and one of the family's friends, a potential client, told me the same story.

TheLegalistEsq :

to prep your case I would ask the witnesses (via email if possible) as a by the by about the time that they were told not to hire you

TheLegalistEsq :

that way you have written proof in the even they change their story later on

Customer:

Thanks so much.One last question; I'd like to spell out my thinking, outline the problem(s) and propose a solution, all in one letter from a local attorney in an effort to avoid initially taking the next step,(file a lawsuit).

Customer:

Thoughts?

TheLegalistEsq :

not a bad idea especially if it comes from a local lawyer. That way your employer will see that you are serious and will be more inclined to settle

Customer:

Thanks again,I appreciate your time. First Rate Service!

BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience: I am a business attorney. I represent individuals and companies with all business related matters.
BizIPEsq. and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

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