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Retaliation from Former Employer


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  • Retaliation from Former Employer

    I feel as though I'm in a nightmare.

    Last Thursday I quit my position as an accountant. The company is a small business, owned by a husband and wife. The wife is the main supervisor over the office staff. She's mentally ill or something, just completely out of her senses. I finally got fed up with the manipulation and lack of professionalism, told her Thursday afternoon that I wouldn't be back, and that was it.

    Friday when I went in to pick up my paycheck, she called the police and made allegations that I'd deleted and removed critical files, etc. The only thing she doesn't have is my e-mail, which I kept on my personal laptop with her knowledge, not the office PC. Upon quitting I removed everything to do with them from my laptop.

    The officer suggested that I contact her to work it out. When I called, she refused to speak with me. I called the officer back, asked him to suggest that she work it out with me. He called her and then called me back to let me know that she's refusing to speak with me.

    Yesterday my wife received a phone call on her cellular from someone we don't know who identified himself as David, claimed to know people at the company, and proceeded to tell her that if I didn't fix this within 2 days, he was going to come after me, then her, and then our 3-1/2 year old daughter. The only way for someone to get my wife's cellular number would be off the emergency contact sheet in my employee file.

    After that call, I called the company to see if the VP would be more willing to work things out this time. After a tirade or profanity and accusations, she hung up on me.

    So at this point, no paycheck, no resolution in sight to this retaliation and related legal issues, and now threats against my family from a third party.

    The office manager was fired a couple months ago, and the same type of accusations were made against her, although no police involvement or threats that I know of.

    My wife and I are willing to write off the paycheck, we just want to be done with these people. The problem is, she's so hell bent on retaliation and screwing with our lives, there doesn't seem to be any way to back her off.

    While she's doing all this, she's a local business owner of a disability-services provider, has adopted children, attends her church regularly, from all outward appearances is a solid citizen.

    I'm just feeling stuck and not quite sure which way to go with everything. I've cooperated with the police, contacted our attorney who advised that we seek a restraining order. Department of Labor won't seek the paycheck due to some limit they have (I made too much I guess). Apparently we can seek the pay through small claims, but I'd rather just let it go to be rid of this harassment.

    So there it is, in a nutshell. Any advice you might give for this situation?

  • #2
    1) Make the police aware of the call from "David", maybe your cell phone company can help out
    2) If you don't have one, get a gun by legal means.


    • #3
      DOCUMENT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING! Document all phone calls (I'd even consider recording the calls but check your state laws), save any letters and write down the date and time, and document any other important details. You can file a police report about the threats. Probably no legal action will be taken but if anything should happen in the future you know where they will look first.

      The only advice I can really give you is to document any kind of interaction with this company or third parties associated with the company. It can come in very handy in the future.
      It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses....Hit it!


      • #4
        A police report for the threatening phones calls.

        A restraining order that covers any kind of contact other then thru a lawyer.

        Small claims court for the paycheck.

        If any of her business income derives from public contracts, then she is violating those contracts by with holding your paycheck.

        Do you have a consumer rights reporter for your local t.v. station? It's pretty amazing what they can accomplish with a few phone calls.

        Personally - if anyone hinted at harming my child - I would be loaded for bear!
        Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.



        • #5
          The problem with your paycheck can be handled by the state Board of Labor Relations. They will get your paycheck for you and probably find a host of other problems with the company. I had this problem once when a company wouldn't send my final check. The Board of Labor Relations found a bunch of accounting violations with the company and it ended up costing them a couple of million dollars. All they had to do was send my final check but no and I don't feel sorry one bit for what it cost them.


          • #6
            Like everyone else said, notify the police about the threatening phone calls immediately. Also notify them of any subsequent threats in a timely manner. In doing so, ask for the case numbers of each report and keep them handy should further legal action (civil or criminal) become necessary.

            I don't know the law in HI but in California, an employer is reqired to give you your full closing paycheck within 72 hours of a voluntary resigtation. If they fail to do so, they are required to continue paying you your hourly wage until you receive the check (I don't know if this is based on a 24 hour day or an eight hour day). The money is recoverable through small claims court.

            If you have similar laws, I would definately opt for small claims court.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


            • #7
              Check with the police before you do this, but some cell phones have the ability to record both sides of a conversation. That could be very helpful if they're able to find out who this person is.


              • #8
                Originally posted by WillT
                Check with the police before you do this, but some cell phones have the ability to record both sides of a conversation. That could be very helpful if they're able to find out who this person is.
                In addition, if your state law permits it, go to radio shack and buy a small tape recorder and suction cup piece to record your phone conversation in case "David" calls back. Record the conversation and bring it to the police (maybe they know who David is, or they can ask employees and former employees, friends of your suspect, etc. if they recognize the voice). Also take them to small claims court.

                The police probably are not too interested in your loss of paycheck, but if someone is threatening your family, they most likely would be. Like the above links mentioned, check with your cell phone company to see if you can pinpoint the source of David's call, and any caller I.D. With proper evidence, and if the police are interested, they can approach the employer with their investigation, or may subpoena key employees from the company into the Grand Jury and let them say under oath if they know anything about the threats, or who leaked out your personal information. Average, sound minded people might be willing to keep quiet about their knowledge of their employer's wrongdoing, but lying for them under oath is another thing. Sure enough one of them won't be willing to lie and will break.


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