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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Need some help

Hello everyone, have been visiting and reading the forum for a while and this is my first time posting.

I have been doing property preservation for the last 14 months, and have recently lost my job. I worked for a small company, i was hired on as a subcontractor and told it would be temporary until they could get all their guys on the books. I was told that their guys are working an average of 50 hours a week and they were trying to set it up that everyone worked 1 saturday a month. Long story short, i have worked many saturdays, holidays, and my usual week was 60+hours with many weeks being 68 hour weeks. I was paid hourly at $12.00 an hour to start. I really needed the job at the time and didnt know a thing about pp work so i took the job figuring the overtime would make up for the low wage. I recieved a .50 cent raise after 6 months, and at my 1 year mark was told i would be getting a dollar raise. It never happened until i recieved my last paycheck this week and it was on it, 8 weeks afterwards.

I recently expressed my concerns to my bosses, they didnt want to pay travel time after we finished our last job, which would alot of days be 1 1/2- 2 hours drive back to the shop. This had me eating 7-10 hours a week for free, on top of the hour i drove to the shop from home and the hour home everyday. All of the guys had an issue with this as we are all labeled as subs and we are driving their equipment on their insurance.
I asked if i could start having more time at home because i wasnt getting home until my kids were in bed alot of days and i didnt get to see them. I told them that if we cant work something out we will have to part ways. My family time is important to me and im a sub i should be able to set my own hours. Well, they didnt technically fire me, but i was told because i couldnt work the hours they wanted work was slow and not to show up anymore because they didnt have work for me, although they are overrun with work.

So here i am, burdened with bills, and no income and no way to take care of my family. We did alot of work for MCS and NFR, i have my own vendor number, aspen id and have since i started. I never filled anything out for a vendor number, never paid any e/o or gl insurance. I found out recently that they had been paying it for all of us. I showed up at 7am, drove their trucks, trailers an equipment, was given a business credit card in my and the business name, that i had to call and activate and that i kept with me at all times, for gas and materials. I was given a clipboard with a route laid out for me every morning with the phone i used for pictures and i was not allowed to deviate from the route. I was not allowed to hire or bring a helper on my own and most days i did the route myself.the route was always a mix of initials,finals, grass cuts, wints, bid approvals, mold, we did it all.

So here is my questions and where i need help.
1, what should i do about my vendor number? Im afraid of being sued down the road for shotty work i was told to do and fudge. When my boss "fired" me, i told him i was going to call mcs and cancel my vendor number or start doing jobs myself for them if he had no work. He told me i signed a non compete and thay i couldnt. And he would sue me if i did and stole work from him. Is that legal? It is MY vendor number right? I technically work for mcs and not them? Im not sure how it works and i never signed anything for mcs except a paper for the background check. From my understanding i am an 01 vendor.
2, how does that work if i was covered for e/o and gl insurance to be a vendor but i never signed any policy or have any clue what is in the policy, or through who. I am afraid they will continue to use my information to complete jobs.
3, how does having a company credit card effect my credit?
4, should i file for unemployment and appeal it when i get turned down? We definitely pass the test as employees vs IC.
5 should i sue him in some shape or another?

Sorry for the longwinded post, im just devastated. I liked doing the work, it was just overbearing hours and i asked for some compromise and instead was fired. They do not hokd a weeks pay back so i am down to my last few hundred dollars, with a wife and 3 kids to support. I dont know what direction to go so please help me out. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 09:06 PM
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as an ex boss in P&P I do see why pay was low. This industry doesn't pay well enough to pay good to subs or employees. I did have subs and I still have subs but they use their own equipment and I do pay 20.00 to some of my guys and paid so during P&P times but mostly because I am general and we did a lot of rehabs. I did cover my subs with insurance, to save them few bucks and none had their own vendor code. As far what to do with it I would call company MCS or whatever and have them switch email behind this vendor code to yours. You can also sue the guys that you worked for, don't need an attorney for this, just file the claim. If you will continue working for P&P you will be working hectic hours so I am not sure what to say there. This is why we left, low pay and hectic schedules, or and other BS
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 10:30 PM
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It sounds like your former employer may be guilty of misclassification of his employees as independent contractors. He probably owes you for overtime hours as well as his share of your social security and medicare taxes. Social security and medicare taxes make up approx 15.3% of your earnings. As an employee, you split these taxes with your employer. That means you pay 7.65% and your employer pays 7.65%. If you're being misclassified, it could be costing you money because you are paying the whole 15.3% on your own.

If he told you not to show up anymore, as an employee you would also be eligible for unemployment benefits.

You can ask the IRS to review your case by submitting a form SS-8. The IRS, your states department of labor board, and workers compensation board all make decisions about whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. Each agency will apply its own rules to decide whether you boss should be paying a portion of your FICA taxes, or you qualify for unemplyment benefits. Your boss does not make the final decision.

If you think you were an employee, contact the IRS and file for unemployment right away. Each agency has time limits to file. It doesn't cost you anything to file. Do you have time sheets or paystubs that show you were being paid by the hour?

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, they started giving us paystubs about 2 months ago. I also have copies of my 1099 from last year. Ive been through this before as a IC with a former employer and i applied for benefits and was turned down, then i appealed it and told them i was misclassified and he didnt fight it and paid the UC benefits for 6 months. I know i fall under the category of employee. So if i file i will win. The problem is, and maybe im wrong because i dont know how it works, but have they been using my vendor number to bid and accept jobs? Is it legal for him to pay for and obtain a e/o and general liability insurance for me without my knowledge or consent? I had no problem working 5, 10 hour days and 2 saturdays a month, but rhat wasnt good enough for them. As far as pay, he was hiring other guys for 1-2$ more an hr, that couldnt pass background checks and 1 didnt have a license to even drive.

Im a nice guy, and i was willing to look past all the illegal bullcrap, until he didnt wanna pay our drive time or compromise so i could see my kids more. They did pay overtime past 40 hours but i ate alot of hours driving for nothing. Also they forced me to do shotty jobs on everything because they overloaded us. Then had the nerve to complain when the job was half assed and they had to go back. Most days was 3 1/2-4+ hours of drive time and 10-20 jobs in a day.

Mostly im curious about the vendor number and the insurance and credit card.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Id also like to add that they made close to 1 million dollars last year. I got a 1099 paying 31,500 or so and i know i earned more money than that. I know i was making them at least a tthousand or more a day. They usually tried to white out the bid approval amlunts but sometimes forgot. They were making money hand over fist and payjng us peanuts.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 06:19 AM
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It is sad to say, but you have been the rule rather than the exception. Good news is you already know contacting the labor board will benefit your family and put your old boss's teet in a clothespin. You need to get on that asap.
No, using your vendor number and working under your insurance is a no no without any consent, and would be fraudulent if they are still doing it.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply everyone. Was/is it legal for him to purchase, maintain, an insurance plan without my knowledge? I have no idea who the policy is through, or what it entails etc. I only know that i had to of had the e/o and gl insurance in order to obtain a vendor number.

I learned that through looking into becoming a vendor for mcs on my own and what the requirements were. I also never went through the application to become a vendor. I just all of a sudden one day had my own vendor number.

So did they fraudulently apply and obtain a vendor number on my behalf and were they using it to bid and accept jobs through mcs and others?

I will be hitting the unemployment office tomorrow and getting the ball rolling. But if there is more to it such as illegally purchasing insurance and the vendor number then i would like to go through an employment attorney to cover my ass for work they/i have done.

I dont want something biting me in the ass a few years down the road when this is all in the past. Thank you so much for all your help everyone.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 08:50 AM
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This has been pretty informative for me as well. I would also like to add that from what I understand, and was told by a lawyer, is that if the state/irs determines that we were employee's and not sub-contractors then the old Employer is then responsible for ALL taxes paid in. Not just his half but the employee's as well, since it was His mistake, not ours. Also, the Employer gets fined, per day, for each day he did so.

What I'm stuck on is how to proceed with getting all the overtime pay owed. In my case I worked 50-60/wk with no overtime payed out. In my state sundays are also time and a half which I also was not paid. Comes to around $6000.

Pay close heed, Contractors. Not everyone sits on their butts when fired after being employed illegally. Some of us fight back, legally.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Yes! It is impossible to work for someone else, while working 60+hour weeks for someone, and then to tell me i cannot bid work or take on work on my own because of a non compete agreement. I have been through this before and won. I didnt personally contact the irs last time, i only went for uc benefits. This time around im pretty sure i will be filling out a ss-8. Im broke with not much money left and no income coming in. It will cost me aroun 100 to have a consult with an attorney, and im thinking it just might be worth it this time around
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cloud View Post
Id also like to add that they made close to 1 million dollars last year. I got a 1099 paying 31,500 or so and i know i earned more money than that. I know i was making them at least a tthousand or more a day. They usually tried to white out the bid approval amlunts but sometimes forgot. They were making money hand over fist and payjng us peanuts.

Let's kick that bucket right out from under you - most business' net less than 10% of gross after all expenses. As a business owner, I assume all the risks, costs etc..., why can't I get rewarded?

Can I buy insurance and have uninsured subs work for me? Yes, absolutely - I pay extra for that insurance and it's reviewed during audits. On very low risk jobs, certain one off deals - it's ok, long term, I wouldn't do it.

Can I pay people as subs when they are really employee's - oh hell no - state unemployment is the least that person needs to worry about, when the feds come knocking, he better hope he buried it all in cans or untitled assets.

A true employee costs an additional 25% over and above the actual wage paid. Between matching Fed taxes, Fed Unemployment, State unemployment then workers comp - a bit less for office staff, a bunch more for roofers.

What would have happened if you got hurt? What if you fell off or thru a roof?
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