Legality of 1099 Employee's and going after money owed

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Yankeedownsouth, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Yankeedownsouth

    Yankeedownsouth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Hi folks,

    I have a couple of questions maybe some of you might be able to help me with.

    Recently I was laid off by a company I've been working for in the county since March. He required me to sign a 1099 and also sign a form stating if I was hurt on the job that it's not his problem. What's the legality of this situation?

    Secondly, this same employer also owes me about $900 of wages that I was never paid. I'm not really sure how to go about getting that money back except small claims? How do I prove that he does indeed owe me money? Is it up to him to prove to the courts that he doesn't owe me money, or is it up to me to prove with facts he does?

    The guy is a real dirbag so I'd like to stick it to him for treating his workers like crap and not making right on money owed.

    Two years ago I was employed by a company that worked in The Villages who tried to use a loophole as "farm time" (they owned a nursery) to not pay any overtime. Long story short I had the Labor and Wages Dept open up a huge investigation requiring them to pay fines and all back wages to every employee who worked there in the last two years. Maybe they can help me this time too?

  2. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    Call them again.
  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,486

    Burden of proof will fall on you. Best to consult with someone like Morgan and Morgan who specialize in those types of cases. They can tell you if you have a case and they only collect if you win.
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  4. Judo

    Judo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    If you have worked for the guy a significant amount of time per year, then you are an employee and not a subcontractor. Also, his insurance company should audit his Company every year to make sure all employees have the proper workman comp coverages. I would contact the department of labor for your state.
  5. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Morgan and Morgan or KEL has free walk in Wed. consultations. Either way I would say a simple meeting with them would prove if they think you have a valid case and or if it is worth pursuing. Simple fact is that if they do not think you have enough to prove a case they will not want to be your lawyer or will ask you to pay up front and not only collect if they win!

    The big concern for the former boss /owner would actually be with the state and federal Gov't as well as his insurance provider assuming he is large enough to be required to have workers comp. IF you really are just wanting to ensure he get him to treat other properly in the future...these would be were I start.
  6. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Simply go down and file for unemployment compensation, that will get things started.
  7. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,729

    I don't want to sound harsh but if you were jacked around by another firm prior to this occurrance, why did you let it go so long that the guy owes you back pay? What's the issue with the form you signed about workmans comp? Were you hurt on the job? Zturn is right, file for unemployment if you really want to persue this. I'd take it as another learning experience and move on.
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,288

    Start with DOL then move onto a private attorney.

    And they guy is a dirtbag attempting to deny injuries on the job are not his responsibility.

    Length of time worked has nothing to do with whether one is an employee or sub. Subs can work for years and years and years and not be employees.
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    The following is only Hear say.

    A 1099 subcontractor must supply his own transportation and tools. If he drives/rides in the company truck and uses company tools, he is an employee not a sub contractor. Employees must have workers comp and pay taxes & SS.

    1099 subcontractors must also pay SS & Taxes.

    Under Fla Chapter 482, Commercial Pest Control company can not 1099 any employee. If I so much as hire a spray hose puller for a day, I must put him on the books and take taxes out of his pay. This is one of the way the State is finding Rent A Licenses.

  10. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,486

    A 1099 contractor can't collect unemployment. The person using a 1099 subcontractor is not considered an employer. Therefore they don't pay UE or WC on the 1099 subcontractor. They also don't withhold FICA, FIT or SSI. That responsibilty falls on the individual and can get himself in a buttload of trouble if he fails to file it on his taxes.
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