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Legal issues for firing employees

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Red Shed Landscaping, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I called my attorney the other day and basically said that no matter if its valid or not I still have to file the workmans comp claim. Since he threatened it I have to go through with it and have 48 hours to so.
    Went and talked to the insurance company and they started the process so it will be up to him to follow through with it.

    He threatened to sue again last night saying his lawyer said he doesn't have to give any information to me or the insurance company from the doctor. Lol. Its annoying to have to deal with this but it also is amusing how he thinks that this is going to get him any where.

    I called the lawyer again after he called me at 9:45pm leaving a 4 minute message threatening to sue and how I wasn't man enough to fire him in person and can talk to him on the phone when he calls. I just wanted to see what I could do to stop him for harassing me and said there wasn't much unless he actually went through with suing me. He said I could have the cops go over to his house to tell him to stop but that was the last communication. So far so good.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    Whatever you do - DO NOT talk to him. DO NOT text him. DO NOT email him. AT ALL.

    I assure you - he has NOT spoken to a lawyer has you wrote he claims.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,235

    What he said.

    Any communication needs to go through your attorney.
  4. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    We had a very similar situation 2 years ago. We fired an employee for insubordination. While he was being terminated he pulled out the "I'm going to sue you, because MAYBE I'm hurt". I looked right at him and said, "go right ahead, I hope that you will enjoy jail" and reminded him that filing a fraudulent work comp claim was a crime. Sure as $hit, two days later we get a subpoena from some d-bag attorney requesting his entire employee file. We turned it all over to the work comp insurance company and they didn't seem too worried about it. The thing that pisses me off about the insurance companies is that they will pay these guys off rather than fight the claim. This guy was actually the fourth guy that year to pull that crap and I was done with the insurance company so I spent the cash out of my pocket to hire a private investigator to follow him around. We got the goods on this guy, two days worth of video of him working for another landscaper which we promptly turned over to the attorney for insurance company! His claim progressed and by the time it went to deposition he was claiming that he was so injured that he couldn't even walk. The insurance company denied the claim and he then appealed it to the work comp appeals board. I had to go and testify and guess what.... The work comp appeals board sided with us and threw his claim out. The best part was 6 months later I received a call form the county district attorney's office and they are prosecuting him for work comp fraud. Last I heard they issued a warrant for his arrest and were looking for him. If you are in the right and you did nothing wrong then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Guys like this are too stupid to pull off a claim and not get themselves busted. The d-bag attorneys who rep these guys are looking for the easy payoff. This guy had two sets of attorneys. Once his first attorney realized that it wasn't going to be an easy claim they dropped him like a hot rock. Hang in there, don't communicate with the guy in ANY way and just let the insurance company deal with it. That's what you pay the huge premiums for!
  5. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    You know that I respect you Andrew, but you are flat wrong on this one. There are plenty of attorneys who will take fake work comp claim cases with no fees out of pocket for the person that they represent. Hell, there are plenty who advertise that if they don't get you something then they don't charge a dime. I'm not sure how it is back east, but out here in the land of morons (California) work comp fraud and the associated legal "representation" that goes along with it are a big business and for the last 10 or more years business has been good for these dirt bags.
  6. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    The only difference is the guy suing the OP is suing a very small landscape company versus Publix or Home Depot or Wal Mart. Realistically, how much would he able to collect and how long would it take.

    Some of the bigger places like Home depot have policies in place where they may write you a 10K check just to go away if you can prove causation
  7. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    The employee that the O.P. referenced is threatening a work comp suit. The O.P's insurance company would be on the hook for that. In most situations he's not going to get a lot but most likely he'll get $5K to $8K in go away money and the attorney will get half for a couple of hours of work. If the insurance company is on their game and wanted to be aggressive he would get nothing.
  8. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    You just expressed my point.

    33.3 percent plus expenses of 5-8k would not be worth it for a lawyer.
  9. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Ya wanna bet? I had 4 claims in one year where the employees were represented by attorneys and they were all settled for between $5k and $8k. Happens all the time.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    Well I found out he was arrested and called the jail to confirm it. He was pulled over in a vehicle for tint then found out he had a warrant for his arrest from Colorado with no bond. He will be taken back to Colorado and will not be released in Iowa. It was a failure to appear for an assault charge.
    He had been dating ladies here but had a fiancé in Colorado and didn't even have a valid driver license. He said he had a CDL and I let him drive my trucks.

    My lawyer said I should be in the clear now but to still make sure the claim was noted with the insurance company incase he does something with it in the future. Very unlikely he will since he has many more problems to deal with.

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