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Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.

 
SR
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 01:01 PM
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Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
I am dealing with a very stressful and complex situation concerning my work. Firstly i live in Georgia close to atlanta and what i do is i work and live at an apartment complex.But however i do not recieve a paycheck...I do maintenance and grounds keeping work in exchange at the rate of 10.00 per hour concession toward my rent.So i work 65 hours per month and recive my rent completely concessed because my rent is 650 dollars.I do not recieve any benefits nor am i coverd by workmans comp.I do all aspects of maintenance work exept for hvac ( i deal with dangerous electricty). Also me and my wife have recently had our lives threatend and are currently being harrased by a new employee that came from a temp service.But ill get to that later....I have worked every week for the last 10 months strait. The management company is getting a great deal on having me here opposed to hiring somone full time and paying benefits ect.
My first question is....Am i considerd under law to be an employee of this property or not? and do i have the right to a safe work enviroment in this case?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28117669
United States
11/28/2012 01:12 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
What did the contract state?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28641198
United States
11/28/2012 01:14 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
I believe you fall under the description of independent contractor which excludes you from labor laws, but if you are being threatened by a temp and you reported it to the company and something happens to you that company will be held liable.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 01:17 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
What did the contract state?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28117669


There is no contract,it was basicly a verbal agreement or contract with the manager of this property that allowed me to do this. Because i used to work for them at another property as an actual employee, i was a maintenance tech. i have been told by 4 different people here that i would be hired but i never have been.This is my main income right now unfortunetly.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 01:21 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
I believe you fall under the description of independent contractor which excludes you from labor laws, but if you are being threatened by a temp and you reported it to the company and something happens to you that company will be held liable.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28641198


I have studied and researched and by definition i am not an independent contractor because.

The factors designating somone as an employee include.

. a specific wage or salary
. an implied or written contract
. Control of a persons work by an employer

In other words they tell me what to do,how to do it,when to do it,and they suppy all the materials/tools to do it.
goodmockingbird
Home of the EF5 Tornados, Now with Beheading!

User ID: 11364251
United States
11/28/2012 01:30 PM

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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
OP, you need to consult with an attorney. Immediately.
Set up an appointment with an attorney who handles labor law cases. Many will give a free initial consultation.

Between now and the time you go to consult with him or her, write down notes on everything pertinent you can remember in a time line format.

Who said what to whom, when and in what circumstances.

Write down as best you can remember the initial agreement for work in exchange for rent. Who did you make this agreement with, when, and what were the details?

Write down the things you have done, work details, repair jobs, actual hours you have worked each week or month.

Importantly:

Do you use your own tools?

Do you set your own hours, like 'when' you do a repair?


Have you filed income taxes, either state or federal? Have a copy of those in hand for the attorney to review.

Make sure you have the full correct name of the business that the apartment complex is owned by, and the full name of the apartment manager(s) -- both the one you made the agreement with, and the one in charge now if they are different people.

Make full notes of who made the threats, what he said, when and where he said it.

I suspect that you may find that you ar not in near as bad a situation as you think you are. The management probably has been getting a great deal out of this arrangement, and they may have been remiss in a lot of technicalities.

Just be glad that you are getting legal advise NOW on your employment situation, rather than later when you might get injured on the job and find them refusing to pay.

If you do not feel confident just looking up an attorney, you can call your local bar association.
THE CDC LIES
goodmockingbird
Home of the EF5 Tornados, Now with Beheading!

User ID: 11364251
United States
11/28/2012 01:33 PM

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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
I have studied and researched and by definition i am not an independent contractor because.

The factors designating somone as an employee include.

. a specific wage or salary
. an implied or written contract
. Control of a persons work by an employer

In other words they tell me what to do,how to do it,when to do it,and they suppy all the materials/tools to do it.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2868985


I repeat, you need to talk to and retain an attorney immediately.

By most common definitions, you are not a contractor, but an employee.

Your employer may be in deep doo-doo.

ALSO -- another thought: Your lawyer will probably advise you to have witnesses ready to testify on your behalf that you do indeed work "for" the apartments.
THE CDC LIES
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 01:36 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
Basically i have been working my ass off at this property and i actually usually end up working more than 65 hours a week and the maintenance supervisor and the other guy under him....Have been taking materials off of the property and taking precious metals off of the property and selling them to scrap yards for their on personal financial gain and they do this ON THE CLOCK and they are not even on the property. They brought a flat screen TV from home and put it in a vacant unit so they could watch the fuckin Football game ALSO On THE CLOCK. They DRINk on the job, they sleep on the job and then they decided to start giving me problems and harrassing me Trying to make me lose my work and my apartment....so i told them they need to back the fuck up and get off my back and one of them threatend to kill me and my family.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28117669
United States
11/28/2012 01:37 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
If the verbal contract was to trade labor
In relation to the pay offered to hedge
a depreciating asset, then
I would think that the contract should
be re-negotiated.

But it might be simpler than you think.

I would attach a bond to the contract,
and every time that you're paid,
not only is your rent concessed for the month
at a premium, your pay is also
increased for next year. But they don't
have to pay you, it's just an option.
So as long as you continue to work less than
65 hours a month, your pay increase option
will decrease. This is their bond.

The will want you to work more.
But you won't work more. You will refuse to.

Therefor they must increase your pay.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 01:38 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
I have studied and researched and by definition i am not an independent contractor because.

The factors designating somone as an employee include.

. a specific wage or salary
. an implied or written contract
. Control of a persons work by an employer

In other words they tell me what to do,how to do it,when to do it,and they suppy all the materials/tools to do it.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2868985


I repeat, you need to talk to and retain an attorney immediately.

By most common definitions, you are not a contractor, but an employee.

Your employer may be in deep doo-doo.

ALSO -- another thought: Your lawyer will probably advise you to have witnesses ready to testify on your behalf that you do indeed work "for" the apartments.
 Quoting: goodmockingbird


Thank you i knew i might have to....BUT i simply do not have the money for an attorney, do you have any advise on how to handle that?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28623204
United States
11/28/2012 01:41 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
why didnt you get a contract?

that is just stupid, no one wants to make someone put an agreement in writing.

you do it because youre smart.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 01:41 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
If the verbal contract was to trade labor
In relation to the pay offered to hedge
a depreciating asset, then
I would think that the contract should
be re-negotiated.

But it might be simpler than you think.

I would attach a bond to the contract,
and every time that you're paid,
not only is your rent concessed for the month
at a premium, your pay is also
increased for next year. But they don't
have to pay you, it's just an option.
So as long as you continue to work less than
65 hours a month, your pay increase option
will decrease. This is their bond.

The will want you to work more.
But you won't work more. You will refuse to.

Therefor they must increase your pay.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28117669


I have already stopped working here actually about three weeks ago because as i said in one of the above post ...that one of the guys theatend to kill me...so naturally i have only a few choices, which is to arm myself everyday before i go into work and constinly look over my shoulder or to simpy not work. I just decided its not worth it and so iv stopped working and now am in the process of losing my apartment.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 24960444
United States
11/28/2012 01:42 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
Im a licensed company owner and I can tell you that a judge will need to see a contract anything verbal is hearsay so if you dont have a written contract you have no case unless you have a witness of the apartment complex and employee to state your verbal agreement that will appear before the judge then you have no claim
goodmockingbird
Home of the EF5 Tornados, Now with Beheading!

User ID: 11364251
United States
11/28/2012 01:42 PM

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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
...BUT i simply do not have the money for an attorney, do you have any advise on how to handle that?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2868985


Many attorneys would be glad to give you a free consultation.

And after that, a lot of them would probably be willing to take your case on a percentage basis.

Nothing out of your pocket.
THE CDC LIES
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28117669
United States
11/28/2012 01:43 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
I really do hope the best for you OP.
goodmockingbird
Home of the EF5 Tornados, Now with Beheading!

User ID: 11364251
United States
11/28/2012 01:45 PM

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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
Here is a link to the Atlanta GA Bar Association:

[link to www.atlantabar.org]

They can help you find a labor law attorney.

Or you can just google search for "Atlanta attorney", and several referal services come up.
THE CDC LIES
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 01:45 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
why didnt you get a contract?

that is just stupid, no one wants to make someone put an agreement in writing.

you do it because youre smart.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28623204


There is a contract it just a verbal one.....anyone can look at the files and see that my rent has been concessed for the last 10 months in full and iv taken lots of pictures of my work over the time for documentation of what all iv done for the property.
Ralph--a house dog

User ID: 25802009
United States
11/28/2012 01:49 PM

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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
I have studied and researched and by definition i am not an independent contractor because.

The factors designating somone as an employee include.

. a specific wage or salary
. an implied or written contract
. Control of a persons work by an employer

In other words they tell me what to do,how to do it,when to do it,and they suppy all the materials/tools to do it.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2868985


I repeat, you need to talk to and retain an attorney immediately.

By most common definitions, you are not a contractor, but an employee.

Your employer may be in deep doo-doo.

ALSO -- another thought: Your lawyer will probably advise you to have witnesses ready to testify on your behalf that you do indeed work "for" the apartments.
 Quoting: goodmockingbird


Thank you i knew i might have to....BUT i simply do not have the money for an attorney, do you have any advise on how to handle that?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2868985


The yellow pages will have ads of attorneys offering FREE CONSULTATIONS. (usually by phone) Pick one that lists labor law as one of their specialties. At first you may only talk with a legal assistant but you will learn where you stand. If they think you have a good case they may offer to help you and get paid out of what they might collect on your behalf.
"Who decides?"
---Robert A. Heinlein

[link to www.westcoasttruth.com]

"Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.....Rage, rage against the dying of the light"
----Dylan Thomas
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 24526215
United States
11/28/2012 01:50 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
If you didn't file a w-2 you aren't considered an employee under the law.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 01:57 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
Im a licensed company owner and I can tell you that a judge will need to see a contract anything verbal is hearsay so if you dont have a written contract you have no case unless you have a witness of the apartment complex and employee to state your verbal agreement that will appear before the judge then you have no claim
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 24960444


well there are many witnesses that iv been working here ,including my supervisor when i first started working here, who was conspired against and fired,im sure he will help me stand up.thers a ton of evidence that iv worked here so hopfully that will overcome any notion that its just heresay.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 02:03 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
If you didn't file a w-2 you aren't considered an employee under the law.
 Quoting: LunaticFringe


I dont know about that....i didnt file a w2 because i hanvt recieved any cash earnings.But i have recieved credit or monies toward my rent in exchange for services renderd.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28071438
United States
11/28/2012 02:07 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
OP

advice

I think this time you were "screwed" over to say the least.

NEXT time if you enter into anything like this ; you need an attorney to draw up a contract and have the building management sign it

you might include things needed like; vacation days off and so forth...
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 02:19 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
OP, you need to consult with an attorney. Immediately.
Set up an appointment with an attorney who handles labor law cases. Many will give a free initial consultation.

Between now and the time you go to consult with him or her, write down notes on everything pertinent you can remember in a time line format.

Who said what to whom, when and in what circumstances.

Write down as best you can remember the initial agreement for work in exchange for rent. Who did you make this agreement with, when, and what were the details?

Write down the things you have done, work details, repair jobs, actual hours you have worked each week or month.

Importantly:

Do you use your own tools?

Do you set your own hours, like 'when' you do a repair?


Have you filed income taxes, either state or federal? Have a copy of those in hand for the attorney to review.

Make sure you have the full correct name of the business that the apartment complex is owned by, and the full name of the apartment manager(s) -- both the one you made the agreement with, and the one in charge now if they are different people.

Make full notes of who made the threats, what he said, when and where he said it.

I suspect that you may find that you ar not in near as bad a situation as you think you are. The management probably has been getting a great deal out of this arrangement, and they may have been remiss in a lot of technicalities.

Just be glad that you are getting legal advise NOW on your employment situation, rather than later when you might get injured on the job and find them refusing to pay.

If you do not feel confident just looking up an attorney, you can call your local bar association.
 Quoting: goodmockingbird


Thank you for this advise i think i will do this...to answer these questions.

i do not use my own tools i use the tools provided in the maintenance shop for most jobs.

I do set my own hours for some things but some things must be done in the time frame set by the management.In the past i have even been ask to do a few emergency maintenance calls ( which means drop what your doing and go work)

i have not filed any tax information regarding this i started in jan 2012 its just now nov.

the people i had the arrangment with are still the same management.


The company even order special suits and (breather mask)s for me and another guy that has the same arragment to go into and clean units that were considerd Hazardous.

You are right I know company makes out great on this deal,They get 2 workers for less than they would pay to hire one full time individual i think you are right there should be laws in place to prevent a company from doing things like this, because its kinda like taking advantage of people in a bad economy in my opinion.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 2868985
United States
11/28/2012 02:26 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
OP

advice

I think this time you were "screwed" over to say the least.

NEXT time if you enter into anything like this ; you need an attorney to draw up a contract and have the building management sign it

you might include things needed like; vacation days off and so forth...
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28071438


I dont think they wouldve signed anything like that my friend,If i thats the whole point of them doing it this way.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 27157757
United Kingdom
11/28/2012 02:48 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
A verbal agreement is no good i am sorry to say. The person can always deny they agreed anything with you. However, if you have been doing this for a long time then you should get the verbal agreement again but this time secretly film the agreement.

If the person then denies any agreement you can show the footage and prove the person a liar. Then no one will believe anything the ither person says.

You really need to get a written and signed contract. You should phone the police if your life has been threatened as that is a serious crime. Also, if you advise someone your life is threatened Nd something happens then people will know where to look.

Good luck dude.
Pamelaantoinette

User ID: 16296108
United States
11/28/2012 02:50 PM

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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
OP

Go to the DOL sites (depatment of labor - federal and state)
It defines an "employee" and listes 20 items that define an independent contractor. I doubt you fall into the indepentent contract catagory. You do not need an attorney (yet). GA follows federal guidelines in most cases.

If you fall under the definition of an employee, then the employer is required to provide coverage for w/c and is responsible to pay matching FICA, futa and suta taxes on all wages. Rent can be used towards wages with limitations in meeting minimum wage requirements. But it is still a taxable event.

You should receive a w2 regardless.

Keep in mind you can go to the DOL and file a claim and the complex will be requiered to pay back wages if found in violation after an audit.

Federal law states: if the employer has failed to keep a record of hours worked, the court will soley rely on the word/records of the employee of hours worked. Honesty is the best policy.

I work for a payroll company and I've seen hundreds of these types of employers get audited and have to pay big money in back wages. in addition to fines and penaties to the employees.

Worst case they evict you. Then you can file a retaliation suit with the DOL also.

Its in you interest to investigate and research.
MarkinAZ

User ID: 20006444
United States
11/28/2012 03:03 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
Good heavens! I thought serf's that belonged to the land went out with the middle ages! You're getting fucked my friend! And not even kissed in the process!

The apartment has value. You work X hours for a "forgiveness or payoff" of the monthly rent. Your employer is saving about 25% in employee taxes, social security, workman's comp,, unemployment, and disability taxes by doing what he's doing. It's also illegal as hell! The employer can be jailed for tax avoidance, fraud and a few other things.

Allowing you to be threatened while at your workplace is a huge NO NO, even in back-woodsy Georgia.

You also are protected by landlord tenant laws and the bastard may not be able to evict you until and unless the taxes are paid and what he owes you in back pay is also paid (with taxes duly withheld).

Call your state employment department and get some general info. This bastard is screwing you and himself in the process. He may save a few hundred per month in taxes but the truth is he's committing a felony to do so!

Good luck! Do not let this bastard treat you or your family this way!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28651175
United States
11/28/2012 03:09 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
OP

Go to the DOL sites (depatment of labor - federal and state)
It defines an "employee" and listes 20 items that define an independent contractor. I doubt you fall into the indepentent contract catagory. You do not need an attorney (yet). GA follows federal guidelines in most cases.

If you fall under the definition of an employee, then the employer is required to provide coverage for w/c and is responsible to pay matching FICA, futa and suta taxes on all wages. Rent can be used towards wages with limitations in meeting minimum wage requirements. But it is still a taxable event.

You should receive a w2 regardless.

Keep in mind you can go to the DOL and file a claim and the complex will be requiered to pay back wages if found in violation after an audit.

Federal law states: if the employer has failed to keep a record of hours worked, the court will soley rely on the word/records of the employee of hours worked. Honesty is the best policy.

I work for a payroll company and I've seen hundreds of these types of employers get audited and have to pay big money in back wages. in addition to fines and penaties to the employees.

Worst case they evict you. Then you can file a retaliation suit with the DOL also.

Its in you interest to investigate and research.
 Quoting: Pamelaantoinette


I have kept all my hours written down....But the complex has not kept any record of my hours but they just concess my rent in ful based on my word...because the first week i worked there i tryed to turn in my hand written hour sheet and the manager told me not to worry about it.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28071438
United States
11/28/2012 03:09 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
I hope it all gets resolved well for you.

I hate seeing people treated like this.

If I was a lawyer I would take your case for free.

I don't know any lawyers who are nice. If I did, I would refer you.

Good luck

I will pray for you
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 25761338
Canada
11/28/2012 03:13 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
OP, you are working under the table. You have no rights and that is why you are being abused.

I'd get out quick before you get caught for tax evasion.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1310760
United States
11/28/2012 03:13 PM
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Re: Smart people i need HELP about employment laws and my job.
Smart people? You have come to the wrong place.

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