What action can I take against my employer for wrongful actions?

I was working for my company for 10 years or so, then they couldn’t pay me for almost 6 weeks. This wasn’t the first time. I’ve had many bounced checks as well. They made me promises they couldn’t keep and lied to me many times (I think they did to keep me around). I bought many items for work that I was not reimbursed for, like computers, modular furniture, bridge toll receipts, gas, etc. I stuck it out believing they would come through eventually but they never did. I never had any kind of insurance whatsoever. They were going to purchase my minivan for $5000. I have paperwork stating so. They were supposed to give me a deposit of $1,000. Then it changed to $800, then $500. I’ve never seen a nickel. However they took the van and drove after I cancelled the insurance, so they drove it illegally. A few months went by, I got the van back and quit my job. I also took out a loan of $5000 to buy off the remaining payments toward the van, however because of no paycheck, I was forced to use that money on rent and food. So I still need to pay for the van and the loan and have no job. I’m not sure what to do in this matter.

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your employer. You may sue for the following:

1) Any wages which you earned and were never paid;

2) Any costs you incurred due to bounced or late checks (e.g. overdraft fees)

3) To enforce any contracts or agreements, like an agreement to buy your van--you can possibly force them to honor the agreement and buy the van, or else receive compensation for their breach of the terms of the agreement.

4) For reimbursement, IF there had been an agreement in place with them that they would reimburse you for those costs (without some agreement to reimburse you, they may not liable--though in that case, you may be entitled to some tax deductions [maybe] for business expenses)

From what you write, it would be worthwhile for you to meet with an attorney to discuss your options in detail. Good luck.


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