Sunday, July 01, 2007

Still A Shyster

Butch thinks I should be satisfied with the $625 he has paid me so far, which he says is for five weeks of work. The following is my response, and it is also posted in several places on CraftGossip.

I have NOT received my full pay. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

(1) I worked for 7.5 FULL WEEKS. I started on 4/7/07, the same day on which I interviewed with you, Butch. It was not even until 5/23/07 -- ALREADY 6.5 WEEKS into the job -- that I made my numerous unsuccessful attempts to get a paycheck from you known to anyone else. At that point, instead of paying me which would have resolved the problem quickly and amicably, you refused to contact me privately either by phone or email and resorted to criticizing me for making things "public" -- when what I did was let the designers involved with the NCCSS as vendors and instructors know about the situation through PRIVATE, BY INVITATION ONLY, YahooGroups I'd previously set up to organize the show. Despite my better judgment, I then continued to work another full week, for a total of 7.5 FULL WEEKS, while still unsuccessfully trying to get my paycheck. LOOK AT A CALENDAR, BUTCH, AND PAY ME WHAT YOU OWE ME, THIEF. WITH 30% INTEREST!!!

(2) You agreed to pay me $10 an hour for ALL hours onsite. I was onsite for a 2+ hour meeting with you and Angie on 4/10/07. Standard operating procedures dictated by both the state of Illinois and the federal government state you must also pay me for the 2.25 hour round-trip commute to that meeting and its mileage, since I was a contract employee and my normal work location was out of my home. Total hours onsite are thus estimated to be 4.5 at $10 an hour. For the mileage, you can put my address and Rockome's address into Maps On Us and double that for round-trip mileage of 113 miles.

(3) You also owe me reimbursement for mailing expenses for items I mailed to you for NCCSS business (not my personal NCCSS issues as a show participant or to take classes) during the 7.5 weeks I worked for you. I estimate a total of $8.

(4) You also owe me reimbursement for business use of my cable Internet and phone for two months, which cost me $109 per month, so you owe me $109.

(5) Because you knew the value of the job I was doing, and because doing this form of payment was something you could write off as a business expense (and was also something which you did not have to pay me all at once, which was beneficial for you), you had also agreed IN WRITING to pay ALL my expenses to attend Celebration of Needlework. The hotel costs alone are over $1000. You were also to pay travel costs, food costs while there, and class attendance and registration fees. Class registration fees were to be paid on 5/18/07. I estimate you owe me a bare minimum of $2500 for this part of your legal contract with me.

(6) I worked 16 hour days straight for 7.5 weeks (and I wasn't spending the majority of my time reading a library book like Tonya did for $10 an hour just because she was onsite during the show -- hi, Tonya!). Because the initial $500 per month we agreed to comes nowhere near close to minimum wage for the hours I needed to work in order to get the job you assigned to me done and also, obviously, did not include overtime, I was forced to file two complaints with the Illinois Department of Labor, and they have accepted both as justified. The first is for non-payment of wages. The second is for minimum wage and overtime violations; this complaint totaled closer to $10,000 due me (which certainly justifies my demand for the Celebration of Needlework compensation you promised me).

These are the numbers the Illinois Department of Labor has, so you might as well get your math straight now. It will look much better for you and the owners of Rockome Gardens if you are at least properly trying to take care of this matter in an amicable fashion when they come to investigate. The Illinois Department of Labor can and very well may fine you extensively in addition to requiring you to pay me what I am owed and/or put you entirely out of business. I think that would be a shame and tried everything I could to avoid this route, but you refused to even pick up the phone and call me -- and I'm the easy one to reach.

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