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Remember When I Won that Lawsuit?

by J. Money on Wednesday, October 12, 2011

R.I.P. Money
Yeah, as suspected we won’t be seeing any of that money I’m afraid. Turns out the company went bust and all the money in their accounts magically disappeared around the same time we won the suit (imagine that?). Not that there was much in there anyways from what my sources say, but when the court order takes 6 WEEKS to push through, it’s not like you’re doing anyone favors by giving the accused PLENTY OF TIME to move it all out and away from you. Freakin’ crazy man…

So it just goes to show that even when you WIN sometimes, you’re still never guaranteed your payouts. Which luckily we all kinda knew in our heads anyways throughout this whole process, so it’s not like it’s too much of a surprise for any of us.

But you know what? I still felt DAMN GOOD to stick it to them!! The $100 I put into fighting the case (and the joy of standing my ground on the court stand – something I’ve always wanted to try one day! Haha…) was well worth the time and effort put into it all. I may not have come away w/ my $6,000 owed to me ($3k from my last paycheck, and $3k for all the fines for illegally not paying me) but at least it’s down there in the record books and I can now move forward knowing it’s all over.

And honestly, I got away with a LOT less hurt than some of my older colleagues that stuck around after I got laid off. I was fortunate enough to only lose ONE paycheck, but some of the rest that continued on were out 2-4 MONTHS worth! Can you imagine that $hit?? We’re talking thousands and thousands of dollars there – One exec is out over $75k herself (when commissions and fines were all calculated in). That’s just insane balls. But even crazier that you would stick AROUND that long after all the nonsense that had been going down. I put up with a lot at that place, but I’ve never gone 3 weeks w/out getting paid — I think that was my limit. But then again when you’re dealing with sociopaths (and I don’t use that term lightly), it’s pretty easy to be convinced everything’s going to be fine after a while. I was tricked for a while too! ;)

So anyways, that’s the update on that guy. Almost 10 months on the dot when this nonsense first started, and here we are with a win under our belt but a loss in our pockets. I don’t think there’s anything else we could have done to affect the outcome though, so at least that’s comforting. Just goes to show life’s not fair sometimes. And even the simplest things, like getting your paycheck, are never guaranteed. Not to scare you or anything :) Just remember to always keep your eyes open as you never know what those loony companies are up to… even the good ones can turn on their people.

—————-
FYI: The company I worked for was a startup – which is always way more unstable than “normal” jobs. Not to say the larger guys are way more better or anything, but just that there are a lot more risks (and rewards!) with smaller off the ground companies. At least the big ones usually follow the law ;)

***UPDATE*** Just found out my ex-CEO launched a new company! From first glance, it looks as if they’re about to do the same thing all over again!!! *Shakes head*… what an idiot. I can’t believe how easy it is legally to get away with things.

(Photo by vxla – design by J$)


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Peliroo October 12, 2011 at 7:45 am

Wow. That sucks. But you have a realistic attitude, and you’re right about having a day in court and being justified. You’re the winner. :)

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2 Jeremy Orr October 12, 2011 at 9:41 am

I’ve been following your story and it really is crazy that a company can get away with these kinds of actions. But at least it is over and you can share the lessons learned with the rest of us. I work in education and though it is an institution, there is never any guarantee when your fate is in the hands of politicians. It’s scary but better not to have your head in the sand.

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3 Gerri Detweiler October 12, 2011 at 9:56 am

The same thing happened to me many years ago, in one of my first jobs. I paid the attorney more than the $100 you paid, though, and there were multiple plaintiffs so in the end he was the only one that came out ahead. (Not complaining – he deserved to get paid just as we should have been.)

I think this is a good warning to workers if paychecks stop coming or bounce – you may want to just get out! and also a caution that sometimes it doesn’t pay to throw good money after bad. You can win a judgement, but then you have to collect on it and that can be the hard part.

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4 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager October 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Sorry you won’t be seeing that money. But happy that you won your lawsuit. Can’t they go after the guy’s personal accounts for the money?

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5 Jerret October 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Do they have any property you can put a lien on? That’s what I’m having to do with a former landlord.

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6 Kevin October 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Its funny how so many laws end up backing the companies and not the employees that keep it alive. I’m sure there is some way for you to go after them but I’m sure you’d end up spending lots more then its worth. That really sux though,

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7 Nicole October 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Aloha! I am back from Hawai’i! I must admit that though the trip was fantastic, I missed reading and commenting on BAS. Though, maybe it’s best I couldnt check in. I spent ALOT of money in 2 weeks!

Anyway…I had a malpractice lawsuit that finally settled last December after about 2 years. It was such a slamdunk…the surgeon left a piece of hardware in my body….the Xrays very easily show the item. My attorney said that it was easily a $75,000 case. I was thrilled. Well, the surgeon, close to retirement and with a great record of no malpractice cases, refused to settle for a very long time. Finally, after I obtained several professional opinions, and several doctors who said there was a major error made, he offered $5000, and the hospital offered $6000. So, total of $11,000. After paying my attorneys, and the doctors who gave opinions, I ended up with about $4,800. Sometimes I’m not sure it was even worth the hassle and time of me running around to doc appointments and depositions.
But, I was finally advised to just take the offer instead of proceeding to court, as a jury may not pay out since I was not in physical pain (the claim was based on the risks of the future, infections, etc., and the extra care I need to take now knowing there is something in me that should not be.)
But, I got the money, and it allowed me to lay new tile floor in my kitchen and get new carpet throughout my home.
Too bad you can’t have a lien put on the personal residence of the owner of the company, so if they ever sell their home, you need to be paid off.

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8 Bryan at Pinch that Penny! October 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Well, as the commentators keep saying about the Carolina Panthers this season, there is such a thing as a moral victory. :) It’s lousy that you don’t get paid, but I’m glad that you’re in the financial place to get by okay without the money.

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9 retirebyforty October 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

24 months of pay? That’s nuts. There is no way I would stick around for two years and not getting paid. Sorry to hear about the set back.

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10 J. Money October 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm

UPDATE: Just found out my ex-CEO launched a new company the other day. From first glance, it looks as if they’re about to do the same thing all over again!!! *Shakes head*… what an idiot. I can’t believe how easy it is legally to get away with things.

@Peliroo – We did what we could, right? :)
@Jeremy Orr – Oh man, yeah. Esp in the DC area – teachers are ALWAYS getting cut left and right, it’s scary. Big fan of yours btw :) If I can ever help w/ anything let me know!
@Gerri Detweiler – Yup, exactly! Even if you “win” you don’t necessarily win. It’s definitely smart to ask yourself *what* it is you want to get out of the whole thing, and how far (esp when it comes to money) you’re willing to go until you’re done. A few hundred dollars was all I was willing to put up to fight this since I didn’t have *that* much money involved in the grand scheme of things, and I just got lucky it only cost me $100. Hopefully this doesn’t happen to many of you though! It’s no fun. (Sorry you didn’t get yours back either Gerri, at least we put up a good fight! :))
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Nah, these guys were SUPER smart in protecting themselves all over the place. The insane fact here is that most of them are millionaires! They def. *have* the money, but to them it’s a business loss, and not worth owning up to their side of things. Factually speaking, they’re doing the right thng when it comes to actual business – just not human decency. It’ll all come back around, I’m not worried ;)
@Jerret – Sorry to hear man, it’s frustrating huh? No – no property here. Most of the money was in computers and servers/etc. Of which most is sold/moved by now I’m sure.
@Kevin – Yeah. 1/2 of the ex-employees aren’t even gonna try and battle it at all because it took us like 4 months just to be HEARD in the court. Then once you factor in the judgements, etc etc, you’re now over 6 months. Crazy, but I guess these are set up for a reason. There’s hundreds of people before me that get a turn first ;)
@Nicole – Oh man, what a mess indeed! I’m glad it’s finally all over though and you got *something* out of it – isn’t it crazy that no matter how in the RIGHT you are, it still doesn’t mean you’ll be compensated the best way? Oh well, we do the best we can, right? :) Welcome back from Hawaii – we missed you here! (and all you really missed was me rambling every day, haha… you can just choose from the archives what looks interesting ;))
@Bryan at Pinch that Penny! – Haha, amen brotha. Amen.
@retirebyforty – Two (to) four months, not 24, haha…. THAT would be crazy talk! ;) Though a few months is still just as bad.

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11 Jen @ Master the Art of Saving October 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm

That really sucks, sorry. :-( At least you did what you could.

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12 jesse.anne.o October 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm

It blows my mind how things like this are possible. I understand there would be an issue with holding business owner’s personally responsible for the debts of a company but I feel like there has to be something more they can do here.

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13 StackingCash October 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Since this business is dead, can you disclose the name of the company and what it did? I was always curious about those start up companies. BTW even though I was jealous about the 100% matching 401k, I do believe you raped them pretty hard with that :P

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14 Elle@Odd Cents October 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm

That sucks! Who protects the workers? In a short while (if they fail), another set of people will be in the same position as you and your work colleagues. And why does everything take so long when you’re going up against the “big” people?

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15 Ashley @ Money Talks October 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Well at least you did what you could. I can’t believe they can live with themselves but that’s on them I guess.

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16 Money October 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Why don’t you exposure that scumbag ex-ceo? I bet if you even made a post about his new company, that shit would show up #1 on the search rankings, especially if he registered a new domain. Anyways, sorry to hear that you could not get your money. :(

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17 iwantmyhdbflat October 13, 2011 at 1:35 am

Big companies can be as unstable as start-ups.

I’m working in the Asian headquarters of a Swiss MNC, and they have owed our entire sales team – including me – commissions for the past 10 months. That’s TEN FREAKING MONTHS!!! We still get our basic salaries and claims though.
Our company is known for being a bad paymaster to suppliers, but this time it has really hit the pits. Accounts has a new excuse everyday and giving us impossibly complicated forms to fill up, just so that they can delay paying out commissions. We suspect that cashflow is the problem.
I’m going to report the case to the Hong Kong labour department if I still don’t get my commissions by the end of this month. The catch is that I’m a foreigner and their laws might not protect me.
I so want to kick their a**!!!

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18 J. Money October 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm

@Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – Yeah, I’m okay with everything at this point :)
@jesse.anne.o – You would think, right? Just the way it works sometimes I guess. Who knows, maybe hiring a different attourney would have gotten faster results? (Though might have cost us way more in the long run too?)
@StackingCash – Haha, indeed I did ;) I was the ONLY one who fully funded it too – can you believe that?? Some people filled it up half way, or even a quarter, but it’s like come on! That’s FREE fullyvested money you don’t have to do a THING for! And you save like mad! But you know how poeple are, they always *need* that money right here and now… still can’t disclose info though, sorry. Would give me and all my bosses/etc away which is no good for any of our privacy and/or legal battles. Can’t be defaming anyone/thing or I’ll find myself back in the hot seat. No matter how right or not they are :(
@Elle@Odd Cents – Yeah that’s the problem I’m really having right now — how to make sure no one ELSE gets their ass handed to them again. I don’t know if they have any workers underneath them yet, but would love to warn them if I legally can w/out any repurcussions. The problem with all of this is that they have much more (and better) lawyers than any of us do, so if they want to put up a fight they can easily do so. So the other half of me is trying to stay away from everything just to be on the safe side. $hitty situation all around though.
@Ashley @ Money Talks – Yeah, “it’s just business” they’ve said. We won’t be the ones judging them though once they’re gone, so they can do as they feel is necessary.
@Money – Oh, I know 100% sure I could dick them over REAL easily but I’d have to be willing to deal with the consequences of what would come out of that. A) Getting sued for defamation and Lord knows what else, and b) Fighting just as dirty as they were. At the end of the day it’s just not worth it to me. I’d rather blog about it anonymously and then move on w/ my life ;)
@iwantmyhdbflat – Oh, wow! Yeah not good news at all – I’m sorry to hear that :( But VERY glad you’re at least getting your base salaries – I think the $hit would hit the fan so much faster if you all weren’t getting anything. I’ll agree it is probably a problem with cash flow, at least in all my experience of this. Hopefully they’ll get some more funding or whatever and can pay you all at once so you can be caught up 100% again. Then I’d start looking for other jobs if you haven’t been doing so already ;) All a mater of what you can handle though. I was good for a while at my place, but some people dipped out after a certain cut off point. You gotta know your limits and when to take action, that’s for sure. Keep us update

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19 Money October 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Yeah, I understand where you are coming from. I would have such an urge to blow their cover. But at the end of the day, it probably is not really worth it. I would however post something on RipOffReport under a fake name :P

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20 J. Money October 14, 2011 at 11:18 am

Haha, you’re always thinking ;)

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21 Donna Freedman October 16, 2011 at 12:03 am

Well, I hope he gets bleeding piles.

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22 J. Money October 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Eewwwwwwww, haha…

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23 Investor Junkie October 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Can you supply the old and new company name so I can avoid?

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24 J. Money October 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Can’t say I’m afraid, but don’t worry – the odds are very VERY very tiny you’d ever even come remotely close ;)

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25 Investor Junkie October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm

You be surprised how small the tech sector is :-)

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26 J. Money October 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

how do you know it’s a tech startup? ;)

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