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long, sad employment nightmare

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? MICHIGAN

I wasn't sure where to post this, as it covers a lot of bases. About two months ago I took a job at a small business. Middle Eastern Resteraunt run by one man, with a total staff of four (sometimes three.) At the beginning of the job I was very pleased, but soon discovered that my new boss seemed to find fault with anything his employees did. I resolved to accept it. As time passed, however, I noticed he began to come down harder and harder on me. In the interest of time I've compiled a list of things that have happened at this business, to give you the gist:

1. Letting his 8 year old twin girls run the cash register and then threatening to take my pay when the drawer was short. Earlier this week, I explained a cash register error to him in which the drawer would be $14.12 OVER. I very clearly explained that nobody had overpaid and that the error was a technical one. He said he was going to take the money from my paycheck -- that is, he said that he was going to take $14 from my paycheck because there was $14 extra dollars in the drawer and that was just as bad as being short.
2. Blatantly refusing to hire job applicants because of their gender. According to him, people liked to see females behind the counter serving them and bringing their drinks but men didn't know how to deal with customers that way. I watched him tell about five men that there were no open positions because he insisted he wanted girls. He also turned down a girl for a dishwashing job on the basis of her gender.
3. He told me I didn't have to fill out tax forms, he didn't start giving me paystubs showing the deducted tax until I demanded them, and even then they were handwritten. I suspect he may be taking the taxes out and keeping them for himself. All of his records are done by hand, no time clocks or anything printed or computerized.
4. Repeatedly verbally abusive in front of customers, to the point that they would ask me how I put up with it. Yelling, swearing, and making comments like ''you don't know how to manage things'', ''what's wrong with you?'', ''my children run the cash register better than you do,'' etc. He has held me responsible for any mistake that is made regardless of who made it, and constantly threatens to deduct money from my paycheck, despite the fact that everytime I ran the drawer BY MYSELF it balanced perfectly.
5. Asking me repeatedly why I use the bathroom so much (about 3 times in a normal work day, and generally always waiting for a time that's convenient for everyone else.) He kept asking me if I had a medical problem and what was wrong with me that I used the bathroom so much.

Anyways, I started to consider quitting, and that's when things went from bad to worse. As I'd seen 4-6 employees come and go in my two months working there, I was starting to get the hint. He hired a very sweet girl, R, who he'd known for 9 years but never as an employee-boss relationship. This Friday, after I left for the day, she called me because she felt she had to warn me what transpired.

Apparently he cornered her three or four times and began to rant about me, loudly making a scene about what a terrible employee I was (patently untrue -- I am excellent at my job.) He said I was a typical woman who couldn't do anything right, that I had something wrong with me because I used the bathroom too much, and finally that he didn't want me to quit, but if I quit without giving him two weeks notice, he would not pay me any remaining wages. R was basically just warning me that he had threatened not to pay me the money I was owed.

So this afternoon about two pm I went into the resteraunt to officially quit. I took my fiancé with me as an eyewitness. I very calmy walked to his office and the following coversation transpired:

Me: Mo, I need to talk to you.
Mo: Speak.
Me: I am going to have to quit. I won't be in on Monday.
Mo: You have to be here Monday. Our agreement was two weeks notice.
Me: I'm not giving you two weeks.
Mo: You have to.
Me: You can't actually make me work for you if I don't want to. I'm not coming in Monday.
Mo: Fine. Get out.
Me: I need to know when I can pick up my final paycheck.
Mo: You've already been paid.
Me: You still owe me two weeks pay.
Mo: I don't owe you nothing.
Me: You can't not pay me. That's bull****.
Mo: Get the hell out of my office.

My fiancé witnessed everything that transpired, though he said nothing, just hung back five feet behind me or so. Later talking to R she told me he told her he was going to f*** me for not giving him two weeks notice. He told her stories about how he'd done the same to other employees and he was proud of it. R is willing to make any legal statements necessary on my behalf and I have a smorgasbord of witnesses, customers and my relatives alike, that know I was working there. R is willing to repeat anything Mo told her and vouch for my working there when I said I did, as well as vouch for my excellent customer service and the overall good quality of my work.

I want to know a lot of things. I want to know how to cover my own ass, who to call to get my money back (this is not spending money, folks, this is paying for medical costs and rent money), what legal rights I have, the best way to go about getting my money (I'm pretty sure the law is on my side)-- and, furthermore, how to have him formally investigated for gender discrimination and possibly even tax evasion or illegal operation of a business. I'd be lying to say I don't want to get this guy good for everything he's put me through, but the bottom line is: I need the money, and I don't want this to keep happening to other people.

Thanks for listening.



Senior Member
Contact the state Dept. of Labor and file a claim for unpaid wages, once the regularly scheduled payday has come and gone, if you don't get your check.

I'll let someone else more knowledgeable answer your other questions.


I'm a Northern Girl
1.) Contact the state DOL IF he actually shorts you. You can't file a complaint on something he says he's going to do, only when he actually does it.

2.) If you have proof of this, contact the EEOC.

3.) All Michigan law requires is that you be given an itemized list of deductions. It does not say that they cannot be typewritten. YOU file all your taxes as you're supposed to; he'll be the one that gets in trouble if he hasn't paid them as required, not you, as long as you do that.

4.) Not illegal. Rude and unprofessional yes. Illegal, no.

5.) Probably not illegal; borderline if you actually do have a medical problem.


Junior Member
Thank you for your response. Regarding gender discrimination... what constitutes proof? Is it enough that I witnessed it countless times or is this not even worth pursuing?

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