Q: I was an independent contractor working for a shipping company, we had a pending damage claim from a customer for $2400. The owner of the company told me that he would take care of it, then arrange a payment plan. But without notification he took $50 a week for a month from my check. Then on Dec 29 after telling the owner of the company that I was looking for other employment, he deposited a check into my account then withdrew all of it out, again without any communication or notification. How would I seek restitution for this issue?
A: You might have some luck by filing with the PA Department of Labor and Industry Wage Collection Bureau in Pittsburgh. If they have jurisdiction over your case, they will go after the employer at no cost to you. They went after my client, a subcontractor, for not paying a dry wall person.
Q: I contacted my past employer for unpaid wages. It’s been a month and I’ve sent a letter demanding pay. The manager stated it has been mailed multiple times in the past but I still have not received the check. This has not only led to me not getting paid for the holiday season. I was also delinquent and fined for not paying contractually obligated payments due to not having the funds in the bank. Is there any legal recourse I can take to not only get my original check but compensation for delinquency? (Greentree, PA)
A: An attorney would need more facts to determine if the employer’s actions rise to the level needed for them to be civilly liable for late payments. If you are still not paid, contact the PA Department of Labor and Industry, Wage and Hour division. They can do everything from giving you advice to filing a claim against the employer for you.
Q: Can my boss tell me I’m not eligible for a paid holiday when everyone else who worked that week got paid for it? I don’t get holiday pay even though I always had holiday pay. He said I am still getting sick time and vacation pay. Can he do this? I am the only employee that isn’t getting holiday pay.
A: If you have no organized labor protection, you have very few rights as an employee in PA unless there is a violation of federal law such as racial, sexual or age discrimination. The Commonwealth of PA Department of Labor and Industry, Wage and Hour division can provide help to an employee who is not paid by their employer for work done. Look in the phone book or on line for a phone number. Perhaps they can at least give you advice.