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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I was taken to conciliation court by a former employee and

Customer Question

I was taken to conciliation court by a former employee and found out today I lost and have to pay her over $1200. When she was hired i would pay between $13-$14 per hour depending on her experience. She tricked me by asking me to sign a housing income form the first 10 Minutes of her employee. it said $14 per hour. but 4 days later when i let her go- I paid her $13 per hour. Under the MN statue 181.13 I am not sure if I am to pay a penalty of average wage for up to $15 days. But she was paid $13 per hour within 24 business hours. My question is would the penalty be for the entire wage or just the portion unpaid. I would like to know if i have grounds to appeal. I think that i owe her the difference of $1 per hour X 15 days.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 8 months ago.

So you were paying her more than minimum wage - but based on the housing income form where you said it was $14 an hour she sued you saying you owed her $1 more for each hour worked - is that a correct understanding?

And you were not able to present the evidence that you paid her $13 an hour in wages and that the document you signed saying it was $14 an hour was fraudulent?

Expert:  Sam replied 8 months ago.

Please let me know, if you have other questions.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am sorry, i missed your answers- i had a meeting and forgot about it by closing the window. To answer your questions above:
So you were paying her more than minimum wage - but based on the housing income form where you said it was $14 an hour she sued you saying you owed her $1 more for each hour worked - is that a correct understanding? - That is Correct. She filled out the housing income form before she arrived at work- i glanced it and signed. I did not think or know it would be used as a wage verification later.2nd Question: And you were not able to present the evidence that you paid her $13 an hour in wages and that the document you signed saying it was $14 an hour was fraudulent? That is also correct. The judge in the conciliation court-was very curt and only asked me if i agreed that i owe her $1 per hour she worked. I said because of this document she presented and i felt tricked in to signing- i did owe her $1 more per hour. ($26.50). I am attaching the timeline of email's. I did pay her with in 24 business hours- and the judge did not seam to pay any attention to - as he did not ask to see the emails and did not ask any questions about the time line. He only asked the employee if I had Hired her, and to explain her case. She did ask for Judgement because i was there without power of attorney. My understanding of the law is that since i am employee and manager of the business i did not need power of attorney. The judge did ask me that also.
I want to figure out if i have a case to appeal or should i just pay it and be done. It irkes me to pay the bill however because i feel that i dont owe her anything - or at worst i would owe her $26.50.
Expert:  Sam replied 8 months ago.

Ok. Thank you. You can appeal since none of your evidence was admitted at this level. However, I suggest that when you present your evidence that you were only paying her $13 and hour and not $14 and thus you do not owe her anything at all - the question is then going to be did you commit Fraud by attesting to paying her $14 an hour ? That could bring criminal charges against you. So yes, while you can appeal, you need to be careful of the can of worms that could be opened.