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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Work advice?  Reply with quote  

Gigiya
Antica Addict


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Westville, IN

I've been with the company I'm at for four months as of today. I've run into a dilemma and I'm not sure how I should proceed.

Interviewed back in January, accepted an offer to start in February at $38k, with health insurance and other benefits in August, after six months.

In mid-February where my first paycheck comes around, I'm told I'll be paid via 1099. For those of you who aren't familiar with that, being paid as an independent contractor/via 1099 means you're responsible for paying all of your own taxes (including the extra 7.65% of social security/medicare that employers usually pay), have no benefits, and won't get unemployment if you're let go. It saves the employer money and provides you with no job security. I didn't know anything about 1099/W2 differences as I should have, otherwise I would have taken the other job offer I had on the table at the time.

I telecommute almost exclusively, so I don't see my coworkers often. March rolls around and the owners of my company (they're married, have two sons that work for the company) want to meet to discuss my first month's progress. They explain that after 90 days, I'll become an employee of the company they own 50% of, which is based in Tampa, and that I'll have the option of moving down there. Additionally, I'm told I'll become a W2 employee once I transfer to them.

In early April, I'm informed that I no longer need to worry about a probationary period as everyone's completely satisfied with my work, and that I'll get a raise to 51k and benefits in May.

May rolls around and I inquire about my transition to the other company as well as getting direct deposit information to get payment set up. I'm informed the details have changed, I'll only get a raise to 45k, and will be 1099 until August, so no benefits and three more months of self-employment tax. I'm extremely pissed off by this, but figure I'll continue with them even though they aren't professional enough to consult the other company before speaking to me about anything. I'm given a contract and other papers to sign; it's missing significant details that I insist get filled out, the CEO tells me he'll look into it and will get back to me.

About two weeks ago, I'm told different information yet again - I will be W2 with benefits once my contract is signed. I'm given a check out of the CEO's own bank account in the amount of the difference between what he had originally told me my raise would be, and what it is, for the remainder of the year. I'm also told the paperwork will be sorted out the coming Monday (the 24th) when he is in Tampa at the other company. And I'm told they'd like me to move to Tampa within the next few months.

On the 24th, I'm informed he'll call tomorrow. I didn't hear from him then. I called yesterday, he said he had the paperwork. He emailed me the contract today, and it's still a contract for being an independent contractor for the other company. I asked what the deal was since I was told I'd be W2 with benefits. He soon thereafter forwards me an email saying I won't be W2 and get benefits until I move to Florida.

I feel like they've been dicking me around for the past four months - at best, they're entirely unprofessional by not having this sorted out after four months. At worst, they're liars that have just been stringing me along (which I really wouldn't get - I do good work and everyone I actually correspond with FOR work, i.e. not the CEO, is very professional and has pointed out how satisfied they are with my work.)

I definitely don't trust them enough to move to Florida before becoming a W2 employee - I have zero job security as a contractor, and while I don't have much of a reason to think they would explicitly screw me over, I'm not keen on placing myself in a situation where I can be stuck with no job, no unemployment benefits and stuck with however long of a lease I'd end up with on an apartment across the country where I know no one.

Right now I still have the extreme luxury of being able to make decisions without too much concern for a steady paycheck (I live with my parents and have no student debt.) I'm currently still owed all of my pay for May. I did go ahead and sign the contract, but that's hardly binding in any sense as it doesn't specify an end date, and I needed to do so in order to get paid what I'm owed.

Throw into the mix the fact that I just purchased a car a week ago. Once I get paid for May, I'd have enough to pay off the financing in full, I'm just maintaining it for 90 days to keep the extra rebates it afforded me. Only potential problem with that is my check stubs from April may not be sufficient as proof of income for Hyundai financing - great of them to let me drive the damn thing home without sorting that out first, isn't it? But I don't know how that will work out with when I get paid for May, with just more check stubs instead of pay stubs with YTD income, etc. You'd think putting a down payment of 2/3 of the price of the car would eliminate any concern for proof of income.

Anyways - I'm thinking once I get paid for May which will probably be in a week or two, I'll inform them that after careful consideration I'm unwilling to move to Florida without already being a regular employee, and that if that can't be arranged I'll be resigning. I can't say I'm keen on moving there in the first place, maintaining my decent job is only the really factor in favor of it. So...either they'll make good on what I ask and redeem themselves a little bit and I'll be moving to Tampa soon...or more likely, I'll end up resigning in the next month, and be where I was at graduation six months ago - living with my parents, looking for a job, except I'll have a new car completely paid off.

This was WAY longer than I intended. Anyone have any input? Am I an idiot for not already having walked away after not being paid for a month? Am I expecting too much for wanting my employer to not give me false details about my employment?

Sorry for the wall of text. Here is a better picture of my new car than I posted previously to make amends:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:03 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Nimdae
Dog Food


Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 2238
Location: Texas

Unless you get something in writing about what's going to happen, you can't know what will happen and you can't hold anyone to a promise or proposal.

What I would recommend is get your payment for May so you don't have to worry about the car, then give them an ultimatum. Ultimatums are bad for business on both ends and usually ends badly for the person giving it, so keep this in mind. Anyway, tell them to provide employment information in writing (they don't have to hire you, just what the plans are, etc) or you leave.

In the meantime, start entertaining other offers.

What they are doing is borderline illegal. The only thing that keeps it on the legal side is the lack of the information and promises being put in writing. At worst, they're douchebags...and yes, very unprofessional.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Koiji
Paragon of Pirate Excellence


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 881
Location: Seattle, WA

^

I'd recommend this too. Ask them for an offer in writing (not just an email) which specifies salary, W2 status, and full benefits. Give them a week to respond, or say you'll walk away.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:58 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Gigiya
Antica Addict


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Westville, IN

Thanks for the suggestions. An ultimatum is what I'm leaning towards, although, yes, I know it's not entirely professional and probably won't end well.

I think after I get paid, I'll tell them "I've been grossly misinformed about this transition for the past four months. If I'm not given W2 with full benefits by July 1 with a tentative move date of August 1, as well as a week of paid time off to find an apartment in Tampa, consider this my resignation effective June 30."

That said assuming I get paid in a reasonable time frame after they get the independent contracting contract I mailed yesterday. Which is probably an entirely unreasonable expectation. Especially if I'm expected to take a drug test and get a background check - neither are problems for me, but if they've dragged their feet this much I can hardly expect them to be quick about this.

I'm ready to wash my hands of this company(ies), so I won't be heartbroken if they don't meet my demands. I'm just hoping I can get paid quickly and be able to make them. I've already updated my resume with the handy job description they provided on my contract, I'll start hunting today.

And, yes, they're douchebags. Based on the criteria for classifying someone as 1099, they aren't in the right for considering me a contractor - I work set hours (have to be available 9-5, generally), they trained me, it's ongoing employment with no end date, and I meet most of the "employee" criteria outlined here:

http://www.securetalent.com/Resources/Legal-Guidelines.aspx

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Nimdae
Dog Food


Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 2238
Location: Texas

You should check your local laws concerning this (meaning: talk to a lawyer) but here in Texas that would be legal as long as that is what you agreed upon in writing.

1099 contracting lightens the burden of HR for a company. There's no need to manage the contractor like an employ such as dealing with payroll taxes, insurance, etc. However, 1099 contractors are not governed quite as easily as employed workers and can be a greater liability. I'm guessing they're hoping to just jack you around and reap the benefits while not caring about the detriments.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:31 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Gigiya
Antica Addict


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Westville, IN

They never even had me sign a contract, the most I signed was an NDA. The only writing was the offer they emailed me of "38k salary, benefits in August."

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:33 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Nimdae
Dog Food


Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 2238
Location: Texas

Okay, at this point I would focus on getting things in writing before doing any additional potentially free work for them. At the moment, you don't have a legal leg to stand on and are not guaranteed pay.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Gigiya
Antica Addict


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Westville, IN

The contract I did sign for the other company states I'll be paid $45,000 a year with a retroactive start date of February 1st (I was told this was so I could get benefits without having to have more of a probationary period at the other company.) The more I write this out, the less sense any of it makes. I'm still not convinced they're being intentionally evasive and malicious, and that they're simply inept idiots that can't get their shit straight, so I don't think I won't get paid for what I've worked.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:23 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

threndal
Bat Nemesis


Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 351
Location: Dallas, TX

i seriously think they are giving you the run around... i worked for a company like that... that was 5 years ago... still havent gotten paid
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Gigiya
Antica Addict


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Westville, IN

I was just wired my pay for May from the account of the first company, not the second one...I don't know what the fuck is going on, but I was paid.

Waiting on word from Hyundai that my financing is good to go, and I'll go from there.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Alananir
DocWilco


Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 3656

You don't have to be confrontational about it and make it an ultimatum.

You can tell them you need things in writing for a home loan, for instance. Which, if you're planning to move, is very feasible. That way you can go "I know it's a hassle, but they won't give me a loan unless I back up my income with a contract in writing." That way you deflect their dislike onto the banks, and away from yourself.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Gigiya
Antica Addict


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Westville, IN

Person from other company called, got the contract and other forms that I mailed. She said she needed me to sign it with the date of February 1 so my 90-day probationary period would be done with and I could get benefits.

I did some googling and it looks like signing a prior date is ill-advised if not illegal, and mention should just be made of the effective date and then the date it was signed. The agreement already lists its effective date as February 1, so I don't see what the problem is. Waiting on a call back from the always-misinformed CEO before I proceed.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

threndal
Bat Nemesis


Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 351
Location: Dallas, TX

EH O.o they are trying to get to to pre-date something.... are they really that dumb?
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Nimdae
Dog Food


Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 2238
Location: Texas

It's not illegal to predate a contract agreement, but it can lead to legal trouble down the road. Including retroactivity in a contract is enough to get around probationary periods mandated by company policy. Outside of that, there's no laws requiring probationary periods, or even involving them, so there's no reason they can't just figure this out properly.

They are, quite simply, being lazy and unprofessional. I would NOT predate a contract signature for any reason. If they have a problem with that then they need to make sure the contract has the appropriate verbiage for retroactively executing the probation and attaching benefits or whatever they need to do. They may not be interested in covering their asses, but you should do whatever is necessary to prevent being screwed by them.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote  

Gigiya
Antica Addict


Joined: 28 Feb 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Westville, IN

This contract agreement is still for contracting - as I will be requesting entirely separately the terms of my actual employment and benefits, I don't think this really affects anything besides fulfills whatever arbitrary requirements to give me benefits before 90 days.

Here is the explanation I received:

Quote:
Since I am the principle owner of Both [first company] and [second company] the signature and date is at my request for my records. If this was a material change in the contract or pay period then you would be rightly concerned as it might negatively affect your position. However in this case it has no material effect so the date is purely proforma and is made to not confuse a future examination of the paperwork.


Since my pay is up to date, I want to get the ball rolling on actual employment, and as the terms of said employment would overrule anything I signed, I went ahead and signed and mailed them with the earlier date. If they can't meet my expectations and I end up resigning, it will hardly matter, and if I stick with them, my contracting agreement won't be relevant much longer.

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