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Filing Harrassment Charges Against a Guy I Fired

Discussion in 'Employment' started by TYTILIDIE, Jul 16, 2012.


    TYTILIDIE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    These guys kill me. Here is the story. I had a guy working for me who was great at what he did but was extremely irresponsible. He broke things constantly to the point where I was questioning if he even cared. He took the truck home and things like that and someone slashed the tires on it while he had it there. I had to buy new tires. So that wasn't even what pissed me off. Two weeks ago I took my family on a one week vacation, I left him "in charge" and told him and my other guy the "deal" for while I was gone.

    Here is "the deal". Since it was fourth July week, I wanted them to work Mon Tues and Wed so that they could grill and party or whatever they do Wed afternoon/night and not even worry about work on Thurs or Fri. We have roughly two days of mowing. We were a little behind on detail work so I thought this would be a great time to get it done. They could have gotten all of this done in three days. They work 10 hour days. So I tell them, you guys complete everything on this list and I pay you for four days even if you work two or three. If the list is not completed, you only get paid for you you punch in for on your time card.

    Sounds like a good deal right? If I were offered that I would make damn sure it was done and done right. So what do they do? Work two days 9 hours each day, mow blow and go and THATS IT! No weed pulling, no rocks back in rock beds, no suckers cut from tree trunks, no limbs/leaves raked up, NOTHING! Further more, while on my trip my main guy would NOT answer the phone. I had ZERO communication with him the entire time I was gone.

    So I get back from trip and realize what a disaster everything was while I was gone. To make it worse, the day after I got back he loses the phone (which I pay for). So after a whole week of debating, I decide to let him go last Friday. He asked me for his check and I told to call me Saturday and I would give to him when he brings me my shirts, sweatshirts and the phone. He was pretty pissed. Well, I never heard from him this weekend so I decided to send him his check (minus $110 for the phone and $100 for the shirts) certified mail. In the envelope I enclosed a letter telling him that as soon as he brings me my shirt and the phone he would be reimbursed immediately for them.

    So today he sends me text messages saying how the labor board and the BBB are teaming up with him to help him sue me! :laugh: He then proceeds to tell me what lame company I own and childish I am. So I replied calmly not getting heated or anything like that just repeating that I will give him his $210 when he gives me my stuff back. He continues to insult the phone, the shirts and my business. Well then he draws the line, tells me he is going to tell my wife (who is pregnant) that I said I was going to push her down the stairs because she is fat.

    That pissed me off. I still remained calm and told him that if he says another word about me or my family that I would press harassment charges against him. He text AGAIN saying what a child I am and that kind of thing. Of course the whole time he is cussing up a storm and making ridiculous comments and accusations. So I decided to call the police and see if this qualifies as harassment. They said it does and I guess they are coming over to investigate.

    It's really sad, the guy cold have at least said hey, I'm sorry I lost the phone, what can I do to make it up to you, instead he tells me I have plenty of money and can buy another one. **** THAT! I am sick and tired of people like this. Who do these people think they are? I'm sure if I have to go to court for this they will tell me to pay him the $210 but to be honest, that's ok because I am standing my ground on this one, why should we as employers get ripped off by employees who have attitudes like this? It's not right and they should not get away with it.

    Here is the kicker, he is threatening to sue me for pain and suffering:laugh:

    At any rate, I'm done ranting, had to tell some people who know where I'm coming from. Maybe I'm wrong but I wasn't raised to take advantage of people I was raised to be held accountable and take responsibility for my actions.
  2. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,376

    Make sure you document as much as possible and remember the 3c's meaning remain calm, cool, and collective. You are to be commended for not lowering yourself to this persons level. You personally have a lot at steak regarding the treatment of this situation. I would have the Police explain your options to you regarding this situation
    and follow thru. Make sure you provide copies of all relative information to the Police and the balance of the orinigals for yourself. Make this a positive learning experience and review your hiring polices so as to not allow history to repeat it's self.
    Best regards
    easy-lift guy
  3. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,754

    Does he really have enough money to sue you? is he smart enough to even know how to start a lawsuit?
  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    In Texas, and every state is different, you can withold from the last check provided... you have a wriiten agreement.

    In my employement agreement, it states that I can charge them for personal items purchased with company money and company property not returned. There are other provisions as well.

    You and everyone else reading the thread should go to the labor / employement board website - employer section and see what they have to say. Our site is very helpful, giving examples even, noting what may not fly at the federal level as well.

    Good luck,
  5. Grassman67

    Grassman67 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    ^^^^^ What Duekster said, if you don't have an employee agreement that every employee signs stating that you can withhold for missing items etc, then you cannot hold his final check. However, the labor board does not "sue" you, but they can audit you. He will not be able to find a lawyer to sue you either, they will laugh in his face. In my opinion, just pay the man and forget it. He is just mad about his money.
  6. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    1. I'm betting no.
    2. No again and BBB and a lawsuit? really.?

    TYTILIDIE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    And I need my phone and my shirts that I PAID for. I told him I would write him another check to reimburse him once he returned my stuff. Like I said, if he takes me to court and they tell me to pay up, no big deal. All this guy has to do is return my things. If I went to his house and borrowed his toaster and let him borrow my drill, do you think he would give me back my drill with out me giving him his toaster?

    Sorry, not taking this crap anymore. I refuse to continue to keep getting ripped off by people who think I have endless funds to keep paying for their screw ups, it's not right.
  8. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,051

    Legal or not this is what I would do. He isn't going to sue you, doesn't even know where to start.

    TYTILIDIE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I think it is sad and shows where our country is headed when people can steal or destroy your property and get away with it. I am fully prepared to take on any consequences that come with this.
  10. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    I feel for you man. Hope everything works out for you. You sound very reasonable about the situation I'm sure everything will work out. He's sounds like a very jealous guy that has anger issues. There's alot of those guys out there like him and it's good you let him go now. You'll be fine in a couple weeks hopefully he'll cool down and he can get his last check and move on.
    I've dealt with guys like that every year or two. They come to work and only been working for a few months and think they should be making $20 an hr. They think that you have all the money in the world and there ignorance does'nt even realize how good they probaly had it. If they even knew how hard you had it running and financing your buisness they might not have that attitude. I just fired a guy like this on my crew. And i feel alot better about things now. Certain guys can seriously drain you the owner financially and mentally from this kind of behaviour. Good luck and keep on truckin things will be better for you now I'm sure.

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