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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116787
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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We bought a bread route from Flowers bakery and an

Customer Question

We bought a bread route from Flowers bakery and an independent distributor. We are very unhappy with the route and feel that we are more employees without any benefits than an independent distributor. We would like nothing more than to get the money back that we invested $52 000. We work 7 days a week and sometimes we make nothing or have to pay to stay in business.
The bakery wanted us to sign a document where we could not sew them in compensation we would get $1000. We never signed.
What are our options to get out and get the money back that we invested?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If you can prove that through the amount of control that Flowers exerts on you even though you are an independent contractor that you should be an employee, then you need to first file a complaint with the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and present all of the evidence of the direct control exerted over you by Flowers that would tend to fit you into the employee definition instead of independent contractor.
If the DOL finds that you are truly an independent contractor, then I am afraid that you would be bound to the contract you signed when you bought into this business and would have to seek to find someone to buy you out OR if Flowers is breaching their contract with you, then you could sue them for breach of contract and seek damages including the money you invested, that resulted from their breach of their contract with them.
If DOL finds you really are an employee, then they will pursue Flowers for their violations and to properly adjust pay for you as an employee and seek back pay and any overtime due plus an amount equal to that as your damages for them improperly misclassifying you.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Is there a Lawer who would take my case for free ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Everyone seems to have that question, and unfortunately there are few attorneys who take these cases for free. The only real free attorneys are those who have to handle criminal cases because the constitution grants that right to defendants. You can check with your state bar and ask for the pro bono attorneys in your are or check with business law attorneys in your area to see if you can negotiate some type of agreement with them you can afford, but otherwise, in business cases I am afraid free attorneys are so few and far between.

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