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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4863
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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my employer either has or will have complaints (very soon)

Resolved Question:

my employer either has or will have complaints (very soon) filed against them and fines due for violations from the following agencies:.
IRS
CA State Franchise Board
EDD
CLRB
CLB
The president of the company flew from L.A. to N. CA to tell me in person that that I would be held accountable for all of the reporting required to those agencies. I am an admin., I am not the accountant or bookkeeper, I do not have access to the bank accounts, I have no part in preparing taxes, books, nor untill 2/27/13 had any responsibility for the licensing of the 1099 sales people. None of the 25 current salespeople are properly licensed and none of them received 1099s. I had no part in making the decision to "not" report. Not my first rodeo, I am being set-up for the fall. Is this a hostive environment under federal law, if not were do I go to file a claim.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

The president is definitely trying to make you the 'fall guy' in order to avoid personal responsibility for the way that he ran the company, including not licensing any of the sales people or filing out taxes on them.

Also, the complaints with EDD make me think that the salespeople possibility should have been classified as employees.

Unfortunately, your situaiton wouldn't qualify as a hostile work enviornment.

That classification, in employment law, is specifically reserved for situations in which the workplaces is hostile due to discrimination based on a portected characteristic.

Unfortunately, there's no place to file a claim for the treatment you're receiving from your president.

However, you can file suit against him if he lies about your role in the situation and causes harm to your reputation as a result.

Also, you would definitely be able to collect unemployment benefits if you quit, since you would have sufficient good cause, since a reasonable person in the same circumstances who wanted to stay employed would also leave his or her employment in the same circumstances.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest anwer to your question.

(Also, you may want to contact these agencies yourself to be a 'whistleblower' which would avoid you getting possibly blamed for the issues, which could potentially result in criminal penalties. That said, unless you're an executive employee, it's unlikely that a case could be made against you since youwouldn't have profitied from the tax fraud / non-reporting that happpened).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I appreciate your honest response. I don't think I need to whistle blow, I know at least 3 of those 25 salespeople will report the company (and at least 1 has already informed me that he knows he could be considered an employee) if they don't receive their 1099s in time to file 4/15/13. Unemployment is not an option, I don't have enough quarters in the bank. I am interested in trying to "save" my branch manager's financial interest (some kind of partnership interest which I am not privy to) in the branch and the 2 branches he just opened. He has treated me well and he was helpless to prevent the President from taking the action he did. Is it fair to say that I deserve added compensation for the added responsibility/and my certain and eminent demise--my base wage is only $16/hour.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
I would like a legal option that does not have me playing defense, i.e. what till my reputation is besmirched and then sue for libel/slander that is textbook 1st year law school.
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
There really is no legal offense in this situation, other than you requesting a raise and/or severance package. However, due to the statements that your President made to you that seems very unlikely in your situation, as he is trying to hold you accountable as the one who failed to make the reports. (Although if your branch manager can approve the raise, it may be worth it).

Really, you want to try to protect yourself as well as possible in the situation, which would involve being a whistleblower to avoid personal liability for your president's shady classification and tax situation. I am, however, surprised that the President would try to shift the blame onto you, since only receiving $16 an hour would probably mean that the reporting requirements are literally 'below your pay grade.'



Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4863
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
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