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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33763
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am a landscape contractor and hired a couple of guys to do

Customer Question

I am a landscape contractor and hired a couple of guys to do labor for a job we just started. I soon discovered that they were both ex cons with one on parole so I terminated their employment soon after they started working (3 days). They were loud, disorderly and did not show up for work when expected. I paid the first one when I let him go, but he demanded more than what was due to him. I gave him the extra money because he threatened to disturb all the neighbors unless I gave him more. When I went to let the second one go, he demanded a lot more money "or else". I got scared and requested the deputy sheriff to accompany me to hand the employee his wages the following day. He refused to take the amount I had written a check for and said unless I give him what he was requesting, he would go to the labor board and file a complaint. I am wondering if this is possible. He is asking for more money that what was due... Can he even file a complaint? The amount he was owed was $240.00 minus $10 in gas money. He demanded $300.00. He worked 20 hours and insisted he worked 22 I was present the whole time he was there. I was paying him 12 per hour for 20 hours. The deputy can attest that I tried to give him the check but he refused the check. Does he have a case against me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.He can file a complaint, anyone can file a complaint.The only issue I see is you deducting the $10 from his check for gas money. You can only deduct money from an employee's check (other than taxes, FICA, etc) if you have a written agreement allowing you to do so. Other than that it is just a matter of who the labor board believes and how you prove he only worked 20 hours and how he tries to prove he worked 22. It is always better to have a time clock or sign in sheets, etc. so that you can produce evidence of the time actually worked.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Well, i tried to give him his check and he refused it. I had a deputy sheriff with me as a witness. He said "pay me 300 or else" so I brought someone to protect me in the event of a confrontation over the amount. He did not open the envelope. Just started yelling that he will take this to the labor board. I would of given him the extra two hours just so he would go away but he was asking for a random amount. He also stole some tools from the job site, vomited on the job site due to hangover I suspect and disturbed the homeowner with demands for money. Should I just mail him the check with the gas money added back in? If he cashes the check, he would no longer have a case to file?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
It would make sense to mail him the check with the gas money added in, $10 isn't worth arguing over since the law is clear on that issue. Make a copy and send the check certified mail, return receipt requested, and write "final check paid in full" in the memo section and on the back above where he will endorse. It won't stop him from filing a complaint but it makes your case stronger.