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Moral Quandary

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posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 01:34 PM
I work for a small contracting firm as their Finance Director. I just started the position when I moved here in April. In NY we do many state contracts that require us to pay prevailing wages and prevailing wage beneifts. These beneifts are currently $14+/hour. We are a non-union company so we are supposed to put these extra benifts into a 401k for the employees by the 15th of the following month.

I noticed a few weeks after I started that they were way behind on these payments. They hadn't made payments from October 2004 on. I brought this to there attention and they made the payments for October and November 2004 in May 2005. But they have not made any payments after that.

So currently they are 9 months (some $65,000) behind. The company has been in the RED nearly every month and can not afford to make these payments. Jobs are hard to come by around here and reporting it would surely doom the company.

I know that I MUST report this to the Department of Labor. That the only moral thing to do. The company owes most of these employees several thousand dollars each. But I am concerned with them all loosing their livelihood in the process.

Believe me I an NOT concerned with my own livelihood, I have had the good fortune of always finding a job within two weeks. Thanks the "Big Guy"

Should I doom these 15 or so employees to current failing economy and do what is morally right?

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 01:36 PM
I put this here because I wasn't sure where to post it. It is a conspiracy of sorts but nothing world threatening.

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 08:37 PM
I honestly think you might want to contact a reliable business lawyer on the best way to go about this delimma. I am not sure about laws in new york, but in WI you are allways allowed 1 hour of free consultation.

The comapny is in breech of contract, but it can easily dodge the bullet by declaring bankrupcy and then everyone loses

posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 11:36 PM

Originally posted by CowboyKnight
I know that I MUST report this to the Department of Labor.

In what manner is this deemed a "MUST"? You write that as if you are obligated by law to report this?


posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 06:54 AM
I FEEL as though I MUST report this. Moraly Obligated. I know that sounds like a foreign concept in todays society. However I am often compelled by my sence of morality and was wondering if I was letting it control me too much, hence this thread. :bnghd:

Yes I was a boyscout and I am now Cub Master of my sons Cub Scout Pack.
Which only adds to my need to do the "right thing". But is it right to leave 15+ people unemployed in a bad economy in order to punish a greedy employer.

Yes the company is incorporated but the owner's equity (right now) is more then sufficent to cover the 401k liability. So if he filed for bankrupcy auctioning off the assests would more then cover these benifits. But as the company looses money each month this owner's equity is being slowly depleted.

The building is owned by the owner personally. A majority of the equipment and all of the vehicles are owned by another company (same owner) and leased to our company. So most of the assets are in the form receivables and inventory. The owner could (and should) forgo the lease payments on the equipment and vehicles and forgo the rent payments. Simply adding these unpaid payments (about $2,000 a month) to his owner's equity would free up these funds each month to help offset some of the expenses.

If he truely thought the company was "just going through a rough time" (as he claims) then he should be morally obilgated to take one for the team and try to ensure that his employees are taken care of.

Now I do not know if this is legal but he has started having the company pay for all repairs on the leased vehicles and equipment. I may be wrong but I thought one of the purposes of leasing things is to avoid the expense of repairs. I know this depends on the lease and I have been unable to obtain a copy of this lease.

On top of the before mentioned "offenses" the company is also "Banking" overtime. This is a situation where an employer give its employees credit in the form of extra personal days rather then paying them overtime and paying the additional taxes the come with the overtime.

On prevailing wage jobs only a limited amout of the overtime is time and a half. The 9th and 10th hours worked on week days and the first 8 hours worked on Saturday. Hours after 10 on weekday, after 8 on Saturdays and ANY hours on Sunday have to be paid at Double time. Again the employees are being taken advantage of.

I have been told by others to find another job and forget all about this. But I feel as though I can not simply do this. If it were my 401k I would want to know I was being screwed.

Also in my understanding of bankrupcy the employers take presidence over all other company liabilities. (I am not sure if this is true). But if this is the case the courts would ensure that the employees got their share of the equity before closing the company.

Needless to say I have already updated my resume and applied for local government employment exams.

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 08:46 PM
only other option is to orginize the employees to file a class action lawsuit agaisnt the company.

Think of it this way... the Employer is STEALING from the employees

Honestly, contact a business lawyer to see what the state and federal labor laws obligate the employer to do. Unions are what got a lot of those laws in there in the first place to stop these types of unfair practices and protect employees from being taken advatage of while seeking a honest job.

posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 09:16 PM
Thank you, I will surely look into it.


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