Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How my job with ESI ended

Friday, October 31, 2008 Payday – my direct deposited paycheck did not go in: I didn’t receive the 2 weeks of pay that were due for the pay period from 10/13 -10/24.

Friday, October 31, 2008 10:23 am (IL time) – I received a phone call from the owner of the company, Tim Foley, stating that my direct deposited pay did not go in that morning because he wasn’t sure that there would have been enough money in the account to cover it. I told him that he should have warned me and not called me after the fact to tell me that I didn’t get paid. He told me to write a check to myself and deposit only 1 week of pay (10/13-10/18 i.e. 40 hours) and to wait until next week to write myself another check and deposit the 2nd week of pay (10/20-10/24 i.e. 41 hours). He told me to call him next week before I deposited the 2nd check to make sure there was enough money to cover it.

I was unable to deposit the first check until Saturday, November 1, because I was out of town in New Mexico when I received the phone call.

Monday, November 3, 2008 1:34pm (IL time) – I received a phone call from Tim in which he told me that I was no longer allowed to use the company credit card for my expenses. He told me that I needed to put all my expenses on my own credit card (at least several hundred dollars a week), and that the company would reimburse me on a weekly basis. I refused to do so, especially in light of the fact that I hadn’t even received my wages! Why would I lay out my own money hoping to be reimbursed when I hadn’t even been paid?!

Tim would not budge, and I was not willing to finance his company any further, so I told him that if I was being forced to lay out my own money, I would look for another job. He said, “Well, that’s up to you. Let me know when you’ve made your final decision. I said, “I just did.”

Note: According to Tim, the company’s cash flow problems were due to mismanagement of 2 major projects in Illinois (“Elgin” and “Naperville”). I offered shortly before this all happened to slow down and take some unpaid time off in order to let the company catch up financially, but I was told by Tim, “No, no, no…full speed ahead! The next paycheck was the one that he didn’t put in because the money wasn’t there.

Monday, November 3, 2008 later in the day – I already had written the check for the 41 hours I worked between 10/20 and 10/24, but I wrote myself another check for the 55 hours I had worked between 10/25 and 11/3. This way I was paid up for the hours I had already worked before any of this happened.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 7:15 am – I kept an appointment I had already made to do an elevator inspection because it was too late for me to cancel it, and I believed it was the right thing to do to keep the appointment and not leave the other parties involved in the inspection hanging. I have not been paid for the hours I worked on that morning, and I probably never will be paid for those hours.

I officially resigned at the end of the day Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

Thursday and Friday, November 6&7, 2008 – I mailed all my completed work orders, my company checkbook, and my company credit card to the Illinois office. I also passed on my invoicing information to Lisa.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008, midday – Lisa called me and told me that she was told that by Tim that he had closed ESI’s bank account because I was still writing checks off the account even after I had resigned (this was a lie). Lisa was told that the check he had already mailed her to reimburse her for her expenses was no good because it would be returned “account closed.” Lisa could not get a straight answer from Tim on when he would send her a new check from a new account or how in the world her direct deposited wages would go in this coming Friday (Nov 14) if the account has been closed. He said that he would open a new account, but he couldn’t give her a straight answer on when she would be reimbursed and paid. Another employee, Amy, is in a similar situation.

Note: The account must have been closed Monday or before because Tuesday was a bank holiday – Veteran’s Day. Otherwise, he may have been lying.

Later that afternoon, Tuesday, November 11, 2008, Tim gave another employee a check from the closed (?) account. Either he was lying to Lisa, or he wrote a fraudulent check to this employee knowing the account was closed.