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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38901
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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A casual laborer (undocumented) working under the

Customer Question

A casual laborer (undocumented) working for me under the supervision of a licensed contractor on hourly basis has filed for unpaid wages against me in the labor court, San Jose , CA in the amount of $495.00. The claim he filed $495 + over time +liquidated damages + waiting time wages e t c Total $3150.00. I filed a case in small claims court against the contractor and him For the ruined job $8750.00 +nominal charges. I got a judgement today against the contractor $$2500.00 + $335.00. The laborer was let off by the judge. Labor court hearing is on 29th July'15. The contractor has not filed in the labor court but texted me that he will pay me as soon as he can What is my situation in the labor court and what should I do? Thanks very much, Jay XXX XXX XXXX email : XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Hello, Customer service asked me to review your question, because no one else apparently has an answer. It seems pretty straightforward to me. 1. Bring a copy of your judgment to the hearing.2. Testify that you hired a licensed contractor, who failed to perform, that you sued him in small claims and obtained a judgment against him. Show the judgment to the labor commission administrative law judge (ALJ).3. Testify that the labor was hired by the contractor, and you never had any interaction with the laborer, at any time.4. Show the ALJ the contract between you and the contractor. If you have any other evidence that the contractor has his own business (business cards, advertisements, etc.), show that to the judge. You have a legal obligation to prove that the contractor was independent, and not also your employee. Because if the contractor was your employee, then so was the laborer -- otherwise not. That's basically the entire argument. If you had no interaction with the laborer, and you only hired the contractor, and the contractor was licensed, and holding himself out to the public to do construction work -- and you prove all of these facts with reasonably credible evidence, then the laborer is not your employee, and therefore, you are not the laborer's employer. Which means you win. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your reply. It is helpful but does not solve the real problem. I gave a breif description of what really was going on.
Before I give you more details my question is:
The licensed contractor was acting independently for just supervising the job being done according to the City code and was being paid by me , there was an unlicensed sub contractor under him other two workers were working. Though these other two workers were brought in by the first two contractors, I was paying them for their wages settled by the contractors.
I had filed my claim of failed job against all four. The court ruled in my favor $3835.00 against the two contractors. But let off the two workers 4 days back. The licensed contractor replied immediately to my text message asking when is he going to fulfill his obligation saying as soon as possible. The sub contractor gave me a luke warm response to my text though the judgement was against him also. I even made him an offer 2 days back that I will not come after him for my money if three of them withdraw their claims in the labor court. Their claims are for 35 hrs each @$20.00 average, $900.00, $750.00, $495.00. Plus ridiculous extras like overtime premium wages, liquidated damages, waiting time penalties of app. $3000.00 each. I have all the paper work against the sub contractor that is why the court found him responsible, but it will not be easy to
prove that the other two workers were hired by him . The Labor Court hearing is on 29th July 2015.
What can I expect in the Labor Court, the best scenario and the worst also? I have not been to this court in San Jose CA.
Thanks very much, Jay Singh .. ***@******.*** Cell(###) ###-####
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Was this construction work done to your home, or on some other property? Note: I see you have provided contact info. If you want to take this offline, I will send you an additional services request. You can accept or decline at your convenience.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi , I want to continue like this and want you to advice me further on my second information. Of course I will give you the correct rating so that you get paid for your efforts. Txs jay
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
I understand your desire to obtain extremely cost-effective legal advice. However, based on your new information, I believe that the miniscule amount that the website is offering me to answer your question will not permit me to spend the necessary time to provide you with a competent answer. Frankly I will end up working for less than minimum wage. So, if you don't want to accept the additional services request, I understand entirely. But, I will have to open the question up to others to assist you further, Please let me know if you still choose to continue in this forum, and I will immediately reopen the question so that you are not inconvenienced.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I do not know how much I have been charged so far , I opted to pay $29.00.
How much you think you should get in my case ?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
The website prohibits me from negotiating price or terms in this forum. However, based upon your reply, I don't believe that we would be able to reach an agreement as to my fees. So, I will reopen the question for others to try to assist. Please do not reply to this memo. If you do, it will delay getting someone else engaged in your question. Best wishes and thanks for using Justanswer.

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