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emeritus
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Or is it that many have had some experiences with wage claims and turd bosses? One of the strengths of having the internet is that you can ask for help or guidance and there are some in the community who have had to deal with similar situations.

And for the record, ADA is federal law and the penalties for running afoul of their rules are not anything to sneeze at. The OP’s son sounds like he would have no problems as qualifying as a protected person under ADA.


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It was a joke, man. Relax.
 

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Beg to differ on that point. Perhaps not enough to go to court over, but often times a letter from an attorney to the company that cites state law, and ADA in this case, plus also outlines the potential costs for them to go to court and lists potential penalties that may be applied towards the settlement (triple damages?) will quite often result in an immediate payoff of back wages hoping that the problem will just go away.

It is worth at least considering.


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Maybe, but you are going to pay for the letter. Aside from doing a favor for friends or family, at my normal hourly rate (when I billed hourly) that letter would eat most if not all the money owed, about $450.

So far, nobody has even refused to pay as I read the OP. It’s just the loudmouth making a recommendation to the area manager. Before paying a lawyer, it’s probably worth contacting the area manager or whoever is actually in charge, explain what happened, and demand payment.

Shouldn’t have a bill attached since that would be considered an initial consultation. If some attorney was that desperate to bill even the initial contact, then you know that he/she is a bonafide ambulance chaser.


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There is no “initial consultations are free” rule. I’ve done 30 hours of free work to pitch a case, and I’ve charged standard hourly rates for a first meeting. Free initial consultations are not uncommon, but a lot of attorneys don’t do them. They don’t need to, and it gets rid of the tire kickers.

ETA: On second read, it’s not so clear to me that they are or aren’t refusing to pay. The OP says they won’t pay, but it’s not clear if that’s coming from the company or assumed based on the loudmouth’s comments.
 

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"Look, you owe me for work well done. You owe me. Give me my check or Saul and I are going file a discrimination suit that will absolutely put you on the permanent side of pitiful poor!" Just pay me, that's how you win this one!"
 

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l'Italia s'è desta
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The only advice I saw on here that made any sense to to contact the Department of Labor in that state and make a report.

Most of the rest of the stuff I saw on here made me smile quietly to myself. And I have spent most of my career as a government attorney, much of it in Labor, Employment, and Civil rights.

Jesse didn't win the lottery, and you're not going to be able to shut down a project because of a paycheck. (Liens are another matter, and I won't go into that here.) Contact the state first. If that doesn't work, seek the advice of a private attorney that does labor law. Your local or state bar association can hook you up with one.
 

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If so, please read this and let me know how it should be handled.


This is an issue with my 3rd son, and I want to start by saying that most times I don't "come to their rescue" if they get jammed up in some way, but this one really pisses me off.

My son Jesse is deaf from birth and is 23 years old. He is a carpenter, and a very good one. He was working as a sub contractor on a job for a very large home builder in Johnson City Tn, and had had the job for about 6 months and was doing great. He even oversaw the jobsite while the boss was on leave dealing with a death in the family, and did great. Then a new guy from another area came to town to oversee the job.

A few days after the guy shows up, Jesse face times me, and asks me for some advice. He said the new guy on the job, Nathan, is just a couple years older than him, and for some reason, took an immediate dislike to Jesse. He said he doesn't talk, he yells, and cusses. I had taught him a long time ago to advocate for himself where his deafness is concerned. I told him he needs to let people know how to communicate with him, that most people have never been around a deaf person, and just don't know. Jesse said after this overly forceful yelling and cussing had happened a couple times, he pulled the guy aside and told him that because of his deafness, expression, body language, and tone of voice (he can hear enough to tell when someone is pissed off) mean a lot, so if there was something that he wasn't doing, just explain to him in a calm manner, and he would do his best to accomodate. That was three weeks ago, and nothing has changed.

Mid week last week, the yelling boss shows up, and starts yelling at Jesse about something that wasn't his job, kinda got in his face, and started picking up Jesse's tools to load in his truck because he was going to send him to another house. Jesse said "no, I'm not going to another house, and I am not staying at this house, I quit." He loaded up and went home.

He is owed 21 hours of pay at $22.00 an hour, and they won't pay him. The yelling guy, Nathan, told the area supervisor that Jesse messed a bunch of **** up, and it should be taken out of his pay. Ironic that Jesse has been the one on this job from the start to go in and fix everyone else's **** ups, especilly where trim and doors are concerned.

So what recourse does my son have?

Does the ADA apply to sub contractors?

From what I read, according to TN labor laws, they can't legally do what they did, even if he did **** something up, is that typically true?

Like I said, I would usually let him deal with his issues, but this one really pisses me off. I have three deaf sons, and my best friend was deaf from the time I was about 10 until he was killed in a car wreck when I was 37, 20 years ago. It is hard to exist in a hearing world, and much harder when you got someone ****ing with you and messing with your life and livelihood.

Thanks for any input.
Thats just up the road from me. I hope your son gets what is owed to him. I’m a welder myself, poor management can suck the life out of a work environment.
 

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Was he working as an employee (W4) or a subcontractor (1099)?
This is the most important information missing.

If he is a W2 employee then file a complaint with the labor board.

If he’s a 1099 it comes with the territory and it's now a civil matter. He could potentially file a lien on the house which will likely get him paid.

The fact he had a boss if he was a 1099 he may have been misclassified and could make life hell for them.
 

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Maybe, but you are going to pay for the letter. Aside from doing a favor for friends or family, at my normal hourly rate (when I billed hourly) that letter would eat most if not all the money owed, about $450.

So far, nobody has even refused to pay as I read the OP. It’s just the loudmouth making a recommendation to the area manager. Before paying a lawyer, it’s probably worth contacting the area manager or whoever is actually in charge, explain what happened, and demand payment.



There is no “initial consultations are free” rule. I’ve done 30 hours of free work to pitch a case, and I’ve charged standard hourly rates for a first meeting. Free initial consultations are not uncommon, but a lot of attorneys don’t do them. They don’t need to, and it gets rid of the tire kickers.

ETA: On second read, it’s not so clear to me that they are or aren’t refusing to pay. The OP says they won’t pay, but it’s not clear if that’s coming from the company or assumed based on the loudmouth’s comments.
My attorney who I have retained for several different things over the years will write a letter for me if I ask for no or very nominal charge, maybe dinner somewhere. He says that he would rather help his clients avoid court if he can.

I agree that not all of the details were crystal clear, but I think that may have been the OP not wanting to go to great detail or blow by blow accounting.


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The fact he had a boss if he was a 1099 he may have been misclassified and could make life hell for them.
This thought is was prompted my question, as it is a very important detail that seems to have been overlooked by many.
 

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Lots of violent protesting in that area.. hope the contractor does not lose too many windows from gunfire.
 

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So I sent this guy a message this morning that reads as follows:

Hi Rob, my name is Eric, and I am Jesse's father.

I typically leave them to fight their own battles, but this one is near and dear to my heart since Jesse is not my only deaf child, and honestly, your efforts to screw him out of what he is owed really pisses me off.

Jesse shared with me your unfortunate stance on not wanting to pay him. He also shared with me your emotional, vulgar tirade which included your claims of why you're not going to pay him. Fortunately for us, we have numerous pictures of his work, before and after, where he had gone back to fix other people's shoddy work. So your claim of him messing up a bunch of work is not going to fly.

Let me bottom line this for you. You have 72 hours to pay him what you owe him. If you choose not to, this is what we are going to do.

Our first course of action will be to file a complaint with the Tennessee Department of labor. Not only for non payment, but also for discrimination as according to a couple of other people on the crew, Jesse was the only one singled out to be treated as he was by your guy Nathan.

Next, we are going to file a complaint with the federal government under the Americans With Disabilities act for the reasons stated above.

Next, we are going to file liens on every house in that development that Jesse did any work on whatsoever. If he doesn't get paid those houses cannot be sold.

Finally, I am going to contact D.R. Horton and explain to them that your company is participating in discriminatory practices because of the way Jesse was treated because of his hearing disability.

This could end up being extremely costly for you, over a paltry few hundred dollars. It doesn't mean much to you, but that is 2/3 of his monthly rent payment, so it means a lot to him. Are you truly willing to risk being investigated, having to hire attorneys, and possibly losing your contract with the biggest home builder in the country over four hundred and some dollars? I will leave that for you to decide.

Like I said, pay him within 72 hours, or pay hell. Have a nice day.
 

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So I sent this guy a message this morning that reads as follows:
That was an unfortunate decision. Though morally right, legally you just threatened tortious interference in probably their biggest contract and coupled it with a demand for payment. You then further coupled it with threats of federal and state reporting of wrongdoing. One could make a very good argument that you are attempting to commit extortion.

Don't ever threaten to exercise your rights in exchange for payment. What you've done is not all that different from what Michael Avenatti was convicted of recently. If you have legal recourse, don't threaten to use it, just use it. That will bring them to the negotiating table without putting yourself in undue legal exposure.
 
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That was an unfortunate decision. Though morally right, legally you just threatened tortious interference between them and DR Horton with a demand of payment. And then you coupled that with threats of federal and state reporting of wrongdoing. One could make a very good argument that you are attempting to commit extortion.

Don't ever threaten to exercise your rights in exchange for payment. What you've done is not all that different from what Michael Avenatti was convicted of recently. If you have legal recourse, don't threaten to use it, just use it. That will bring them to the negotiating table without putting yourself in undue legal exposure.
I think extortion is a stretch, if he is not asking for more than is legally owed. I would ask for a jury trial on that.
 

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I think extortion is a stretch, if he is not asking for more than is legally owed. I would ask for a jury trial on that.
I think he would win in the end. Or rather, lose less. Nobody ultimately wins if you go to court. But, he did give them something that they can now use to cloud the issue (if they are so inclined). At a minimum, this should have been in the form of a demand letter from an attorney so it would at least be covered under the rules of "settlement negotiations". Plus, extortion is a crime and a tort (as is tortious interference). They could skip filing charges and just pursue the civil route.

And for the record, I am not an attorney, I don't play one on TV, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. This is not legal advice, just a private opinion.
 

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$22 an hour. That's all they pay carpenters there. Ouch....
Is he an apprentice?
 

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I think he would win in the end. Or rather, lose less. Nobody ultimately wins if you go to court. But, he did give them something that they can now use to cloud the issue (if they are so inclined). At a minimum, this should have been in the form of a demand letter from an attorney so it would at least be covered under the rules of "settlement negotiations". Plus, extortion is a crime and a tort. They could skip filing charges and just pursue the civil suit route.

And for the record, I am not an attorney, I don't play one on TV, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. This is not legal advice, just a private opinion.
Personally, I would prefer the old fashion way of punching him in the face until he came up with the money. However, apparently that is not legal, but it would likely reduce the chances of him doing something like that again, but would land you in jail. Also not a legal opinion.
 

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Yeah......I wouldn’t have sent that......
 

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I would take a deep breath and catch up on Tenn. law concerning employment including ADA employment.
Their are agencies that can help your son, they are also free. Most of the info can be gathered with a phone.
As others have expressed you will gather more flies with honey than vinegar
Good luck to you and your son.
 
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