Terminated, was not paid for last day

I had been unemployed for over a year, but working part time in a job I loved. However, making ends meet was extremely hard. My 'profession' is real estate management/maintenance construction. I finally was hired in a company that specializes in HVAC and Plumbing, but was also breaking into management/remodeling/construction. Wow, perfect right?! They assured me they were swamped, soooo busy, needed a good person, etc to answer phones, dispatch techs and do accounts payable. Someone that was organized and on top of things...great I was hired. The company was very busy..for the first two weeks. After that, I spent my time catching up on a month or more of filing, data entry, etc. I was given loads of praise that I so quickly learned their computer system, good on the phone (with NO training of HVAC and plumbing) organized, etc. The next several weeks were spent from 8 to 5, making busy work, the phones were not ringing, no business coming in, techs either not working or being sent home my 11 a.m. - then was basically told I was a sales person and had to do whatever I needed to to get the tech through the door. Cold calling past customers, etc. If I 'lost' a potential customer, was basically told each time, you just lost us $1000. Also I found out that I was being tape recorded, any internet use was being followed, my phone skills are horrible, etc etc. This was a very small office consisting of 4 people plus myself. If I talked to other co-workers, just to say hi, how was your weekend, I was told to 'do something'. My stomach was in knots every day. So on Feb 15th, just about 6 weeks at the end of the day the manager came to me and said we are very slow, I said yes we are, he said your sales are bad and just go, and we are tracking you on the internet and you were on it for 20 minutes today. I did not even have the chance to say, sorry, I can come in part time, etc. He was all over me just saying go, leave, go. Firstly, I was not hired for sales specifically and we discussed that the week before, I was not trained in handling questions about HVAC and plumbing, I was told to sell on a dont ask dont tell policy, if they asked for pricing or service call fees. So, the bottom line is, I did not receive my last days pay. Even though I worked from 8 to 5. I reopened my previous unemployment claim, am a single mother and I was assured they were stable, because we did discuss my situation (single mom, I need this job, unemployment, etc etc.) Based on this, am I or am I not entitled to that last day no matter what the reason of termination?

2 answers  |  asked Feb 25, 2011 05:23 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, if you work, you are entitled to your wages. The employer may claim a setoff if you owe the employer money (i.e. advances on future salary, reimbursement for money you stole, etc.), but cannot claim a setoff because you 'lost customers' are were a 'bad employee.'

Scott Leah is correct about your two options; however, I would advise filing a claim with the District Justice whose region covers your employer's address. You should name your employer and the individual who chose to not pay you - the owner, president, or whoever made that decision (as they are personally liable for nonpayment of your wages). Applications to the Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Wage Payment are a VERY long process; you may wait years. The small claims case before a DJ will take months at most, if not weeks. For this small amount, you can certainly do the claim by yourself; any records that showed you worked the day in question should be attached (i.e. the employer's response to your unemployment application agreeing that it was your last day, plus your final check or stub showing a lack of payment for that day).

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585
Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com
www.ezoldlaw.com

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Feb 25, 2011 09:33 AM [EST]
Scott Leah
If you worked until the end of the day, you are owed wages for that day. If your day ended early, and you were an hourly employee (and it sounds like you were), you are owed wages for the hours worked that day.

You have two choices regarding your last day's pay. First, you can contact the Pennsyvlania Department of Labor and Industry and file a wage claim. They will investigate and try to get the employer to pay you if you are owed for that day. Second, you can file a claim in magistrate court under the Wage Payment and Collection Law. Under it, you can collect your days wage, plus attorney fees (if you incur any) and liquidated damages of 25% of the wage due or $500, whichever is greater if the wages were due for more than 30 days.

posted by Scott Leah  |  Feb 25, 2011 06:11 AM [EST]

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