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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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A dish who worked for me 12 hours( split in4 days) filed a

Customer Question

A dish who worked for me 12 hours( split in4 days) filed a lawsuit against me . She said I paid only part of the hours and no tips.
I paid all the hours cash and no tips cause she was not entittle to.she choose to leave therestaurant. I have the schedule of the week as a proof and my cook was witness and can testify when I laid her.
The tax return of my restaurant is $347 000. Iam french, I dont anderstant that acourtcould give value to this case because there isno element.
The atorney I spoke to gave me the advice to find an agrement and that it s going to cost me around $3 000. I don t own anything to her it s extortion.
Do you think I should collow this advice or I can defend mycaseby my self with the testimny of mycook?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.

My name is Samuel and I look forward to discussing this and providing you information in this regard.

Labor law and claims of not being paid are pretty serious. And since you paid her cash, it is going to be your word against hers and her witnesses and you and your witness.

I suggest the local attorney you consulted is correct. It may be best to come to a settlement with her. Otherwise, you may have to spend time in a courtroom and as they say "time is money" So in itself, the time spent in the courtroom arguing over a little pay could cost you more than the actual settlement.

I hope that this information is helpful. If you need further information, please just send me a reply asking for clarification. After that, I hope you will enter a positive rating so that I will be credited for assisting you. Thanks again for using this service. Your business is appreciated.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She can not have any witness cause there was only my cook , me and her.
I am french and that kind of logic is hard for me.
Why my words cannot have any weight?
Why the judge will beleive her better than me.
The writtin on the planning is hers, she did only 12 hours as a dish and cannot have the tips. She said that I paid part of the hours and I paid everything.
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.

Ok. Well, your word and your witness is going to have more weight than simply her word alone.

And if she is not entitled to any tips because she was not a server then you have half the battle won.

If she brings you to court, be prepared to bring in your witness.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She is ok to come
She is very loyal to me and works for me since 3 years. She doesn t anderstand the situation either.
What is the legal form she has to file if I want my respond legal
Can you give me the number or the name of the form?
Will she have to come with me to the court?
Is there a oral confrontation or everything is by mail?
I am trying to reach a waitter who worked for me at that time and will be ready to testify also that she was only a dish.
And what about the fact that my business is under $500 000?
Why do you saythat it s a long time in the courtroom?
You mean that it can take months?
In France, even if we loose the first time , we can have appeal and the judgment is done with another judge
Is it the same here?
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.

Once you tell the employee Dishwasher that you are not giving her anymore money and if she files a lawsuit, then you will be served with it

You will need to do a written Answer or Response and address the allegations she has made. For instance when she says you did not pay her you will Deny that allegation.

You cannot do anything, however, until you are served with those documents.

Once you file your Reponse with the same court that she filed in, then you can have your witness agree to appear in court with you. You will not need to have a subpoena issued, because the witness is agreeing to be there for you.

No. It will not take months. Just a few hours. But where i come from Time is Money even if a few hours.

Also keep in mind that should you lose, you will not only owe her the wages, but interest on those wages and may have to pay any legal costs of hers associated with the lawsuit.

Likewise, if you win, you can have the court order her to pay your legal costs.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Because I am french I don t anderstand the exact meaning of : you will be served with it or " served by those documents"
My cook can appear in thecourtroom with me without the permission of anybody to be legal (either the judge or the lawyer of the plaintiff)?
Can I ask the lawyer of the plaintiff if they have any document ? They have nothing because they can t.
But my question is : in my country when you do a lawsuit you have to produce proof. Is it the same here? And the court can not accept to file a lawsuit is the case is empty. Here , it seems to be possible
By the way, the attorney I talked to told me that her lawyer is the worth of Miami for that and he got sanctions because he files lawsuits for nothing
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.


I apologize

I mean that someone will hand you the documents that have been filed, once they have been filed. The person will come to your place of work or your home and hand you the documents and say Youve been served. That means you now have notice the lawsuit has been filed.

Yes, your witnesses come to the court room with you and no permission is needed.

You can ask the Plaintiff or attorney anything you want to ask them as they can do the same and ask you anything.

There is no proof that you did or did not pay her. That means that it will come down to your word against hers and the court will decide who is telling the truth.

You may file a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit, once you are served, Respond in writing to the allegations and then request a Dismissal for lack of merit based on no evidence.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok I anderstand
I have been served already
I have to respond before the 20th of october
Is the Motion of Dismiss the same thing that a Dismissal? Is ther a legal form that I have to file?
Where can I find it?
Or can I do it with my words?
Can I join to it a letter with the testify of my cook? The copy of the schedule with her number of hours?
What about the fact my business is under $500 000?
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.


Ok. So you can Respond to the allegations - Denying all that is not accurate and then at the end of that you can request that the matter be Dismissed because of lack of merit and no evidence.

The value of your business does not play into this at all and that is why I have not addressed that previously when you asked.

You do not have to file any testimony from your cook at this time.

If the matter is not dismissed then you will get a court date and you can bring your cook and any other witness with you at that time.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So you mean that in my respond it is not necessary to show up my element of defence ? Just the facts?
I just have to deny ?
In your experience, do you think I can have the case dismissed?
Can you respond me in pourcentage?
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.

Correct. You can simply state Deny or Deny Allegations. You do not have to state why.

And at the end when you are asking the court for relief you may then state you request a Dismssal.

I would say you have a 30 percent chance of Dismissal on the first request.

Once you are at a hearing and you request the Dismissal in person, your chances go up about 10 percent.

It is hard because it is going to be your word against hers.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
And if I take a lawyer?
The fact is that because I am frenche I am more in a logic of proove that I am innocent than forget the case as soon as possible and pay.
If I tell the lawyer to defend my case not to make an agreement
What will be the pourcentages?
I prefer to pay my lawyer than that girl, if my chance to win is higher.

If I choose to find an agreement
Then , she can wait outside my restaurant for the other emplyees and tell them how it is easy to make money.
There is no justice here
I just want to sell the restaurant
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.


Yes, your percentages would go up to about 85 percent for dimissal with a skiled attorney.

I understand what your concerns are. But with an agreement for a settlement you can also include a Non Disclosure clause and that means she can never reveal anything about the settlement.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
And for the last time
Why a judge will be more incline to beleive her than me and my witness for only 12 hours. Why only 40% at the earing? Even if I have a second witness?
The boss always loose ?
Is the monitary sanction a flat fee ? $5000 to $15000?
Is all your system made to serve lawyer business instead of justice?
If I pay her I will not be able to increase the salory of my loyal employees.
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.

Because you are not skilled enough or can present the matter clear enough for the court to make that correct determination, it seems

And if she has an attorney, those skills and expertise will far out weigh yours.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Why do u estimate only to 85% my chance to win with a spcialist and a witness and not %100?
Why these 15%? is it related to the personnal inclinations of the judge?
Expert:  Sam replied 3 years ago.

Becauae I can only estimate. I do not have a crystal ball in which I can obtain a 100 percent

I can only estimate based on my experience with these matters and as such without you having proof that you paid her, then the chances are reduced. Even though you have a witness or even two it will be up to the judge to even determine their credibility.

I wish I could tell you that you will win without a doubt. But that is impossible. No one can make those guarantees