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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20243
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I fired my manager who left things a mess. I can not find

Customer Question

I fired my manager who left things a mess. I can not find any paperwork or verify any employee hours. Now this manager is threatening me with going to the labor board, and has already contacted the DOJ executive division concerning this matter. He is demanding
pay for days he did not work and the rest of the staff he hired is demanding pay but I can not verify who works for me how many hours they have worked for the pay period bartender tips nothing. What do I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for the information and your question,however, your question is a bit broad, can you be more specific about what your question is? Are you asking about paying the manager or what specifically. Also, I will need more information from you in order to assist you properly. Please see my questions below.

What would be the reason for the manager to go to the labor board? Pay?

If pay, what do you mean he wants to be paid for days he did not work? Wasn't he an exempt salaried employee? Is this for days after he was terminated?

Do you not have work schedules for your staff for the pay period? Do you have previous pay records? Have you asked them to tell you what hours they worked during the pay period?

What do you mean by bartender tips? Are you saying the cash is gone or that you don't know how to take the receipts to figure their charged tips?

Please keep in mind I can only give you legal information and not advice. This may be a case where you have to have an accountant or bookkeeper with payroll experience help you sort out the pay issue above and beyond the legal issues.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. My former manager has threatened me several times with going to the labor board about his pay that of his girlfriend, and some other employees he hired.2. He was a salaried employee but did not abide by the terms of his agreement. He was suppose to work a minimum of 50 hours per week I chose to reduce him down to a paid hourly employee and then I had to terminate him.3. Yes it is also for days he did not work.4. My former manager was in charge of the work schedules and making sure employees clock in and out of our time card system. There is no record in my system of employee hours and he did not provide me with any information.5. Yes I do have previous pay records but they vary and are all over the place.6. No, I have not asked them to tell me their hours. My understanding was that I need to verify their hours.7. Bartender tips were not recorded they usually take their cash at the end of the night and it is recorded by my Point of Sale system, but they have to input their tips upon clock out. There are no recorded tips.My legal question: I have already been contacted by the DOJ executive division regarding this matter my former manager contacted them and now I am being continuously threatened by the manager on going to the labor board.Do I have a harassment claim against him for threats?
Legally how long do I have to verify the employees hours until I must pay them?
Legally how do I protect myself if they feel I did not compensate them correctly?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again and thank you for your response. This issue really must be dealt with by a local forensic accountant who has payroll expertise and also a local employment law attorney. It sounds like it is beyond you handling this on your own at this time and since DOJ is involved, you really need a local attorney to assist you with that issue.

What I can say is that as far as the current employees' wages go you must pay them in the same pay period that they are normally paid in for the hours that you and they can agree that they worked. As long as you make a good faith effort to pay them properly, the DOL will not fine you for underpaying them and you would not normally be liable for any penalty for paying them less than they were due. But, it is important that you sit down with them if you don't have their schedules and can't figure out the time clock (or it wasn't used) and ask them what their hours were for the pay period. It is much better to overpay, than to underpay them and if your records are not currently clear in the hours they worked, you have to get them paid some way. Then, as mentioned, you need a professional payroll person to help you get back on track and figure out what records you can find for down the road.

I can't really address the bartender tip issue other than the same way, if they were paid their tips in cash, then if you need that information and don't have it, you have to ask them. It is better than nothing, which is apparently what you have now. If their money has not been paid to them, and it has disappeared, then that might necessitate a criminal complaint against the manager if you think they took the money.

As for the manager, if you can prove that you had already changed him to an hourly employee and that you had paid him his wages (including overtime) for hours he actually worked, then you have complied with the law. But again, if you have the DOJ contacting you then you need a local employment law attorney involved along with the forensic accountant. You wouldn't have any sort of action against him for harassment since it is within his rights to pursue his wages, etc. You could though, if you hire an attorney, have your attorney send him a letter that lets him know that he is to contact your attorney now and not you.

But again, you have to keep paying your employers for all of the hours that you and they can agree that they worked. If you don't pay them when their payday is due, you will face some serious issues with the DOL and could be facing penalties.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed.