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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36944
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I own a restaurant where I hired a manager to run it himself.

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I own a restaurant where I hired a manager to run it himself. I haven't put workers comp because he's been constantly firing and hiring new people without my consent. I've been paying him since January and the restaurant was just set up less than a month ago, so I've been paying him under the table because my sales can't afford to pay him. Now he's planning to take us to court and were a DBA company. So I'm worried about what could happen. I tried to fire him and now he's blackmailing me. Is there a way out of this without bad repercussions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your quesion. Please permit me to assist you this morning

I am genuinely sorry to hear that you are in this situation. I am afraid that at least legally regardless of his incompetence or behavior, he is holding a far superior position because he is entiled to benefits from state and you paying his taxes for his wages (since that both makes him a lawful employe but also allows him to grow his social security benefits and potentially seek unemployment if terminated without cause). Truly the only viable option is to offer him a financial deterrent, such as a payment that if he agrees to take, he ends up dropping his claim against you. That would be considered a settlement offer and if in the settlement agreement he agrees in writing to not pursue anything stemming from this past and present situation, it would be binding. Otherwise, and I am sorry to say it, he has a very strong and a legitimate claim. What may happen if he prevails is that the state can compel you to cover all taxes, and then significantly fine you directly for your attempt to commit wage tax fraud. It does not matter if you were a sole proprietorship, LLC, or otherwise, if you hire an individual, you owe a duty to pay tax, and that is why he has a stronger argument here against you.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, my thing is, we don't have any record of him working there. We've been paying him out of our pocket from January to beginning of May. The restaurant opened in mid May and we haven't put him on payroll or workers comp. We haven't paid him since the restaurant opened because he's making us lose way more than we're making every week. To stay open we're paying more out of our pocket and we can't continue to work with him there. There is no record of us paying or working with him. Does your answer still apply?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Jose,

Thank you for your follow-up. The fact you have no record of him working there does not mean he cannot prove he was working there--he can provide evidence of payments, even pictures of him being in the kitchen. He has the burden of showing he was employed, so if he can do so, the fact you have no evidence is not really relevant. Further, as new owners you still take over both all of the assets and benefits and also all debts and liabilities of the business--in other words even if it was the old owners who failed to pay him properly, as new owners you become responsible for their error and you can therefore be held liable as new owners for those fines. You could arguably turn around and sue the past owners for your losses if found responsible, but you remain primarily liable yourselves. My apologies but my answer still applies.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the insight. I have one more question. This manager also has a bad reputation, and I recently heard he was fired from his previous job for molesting a little boy. Coincidently, a lot of the people he hired was under age males. I've been told that after hours he's been letting the under age boys consume alcohol. If I set up cameras, can I accuse him of giving alcohol to minors and also for stealing because I know they're not paying for the beer.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Jose,

My apologies but what does your new question have to do with the initial question that you posed? I am a bit unclear as to the connection, please advise.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is all from the same manager but I apologize. I didn't know that all the questions had to pertain to the same topic. I was just wondering if there was anything I could do about it because I do not want something like this to occur at my establishment or to any of my employees.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Jose,

Thank you for your follow-up. Generally the questions have to have a logical or direct correlation to each other, akin to a clarification. What you are asking is really out of scope of topic. I will respond and provide you with my thoughts as a courtesy, but if you have more questions that are not directly related, I would ask that you post those questions separately and you can still title them over "For Dimitry..." so that I can respond to them directly. No problem and I look forward to assisting you.

Florida is known as a 'two-party' or an 'all-party' consent state pertaining to recording. That means that under Fla. Stat. ch. 934.03 all parties must consent to having their communication recorded, or else it is a crime. You cannot place hidden videos in your business unless you inform all employees directly that they would be filmed and that they consent to the recording. Similarly, if you want to file the inside of the restaurant, you would need to put up a poster stating that the premises are being recorded. Otherwise you would violate state law.

Hope that helps and please positively rate my answers to you if you found my information to be useful. Thank you!

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36944
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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