Q: I worked/boarded dogs in a kennel; can they hold my dogs until bill is paid when they haven't paid valid wages?
I boarded dogs at a kennel. After 5 months of payments the owner offered me a part-time job. It progressed from a 3-4 hour morning/evening to 24 hours (10 hrs in the kennel & 14 hrs in their home taking care of their 8 pets) over 3, 5, 7, or 10 day periods. On lunch, I was required to answer phones & conduct business. They held my pay for payment; I received no money. After a year of work, & telling them that I couldn't physically do overnights anymore they agreed, but forced me to do a 10 day trip before stopping. Seven days after that trip they stated they were taking another trip. I refused. They threatened the safety of my dogs, stated an inflated balance owed & demanded immediate removal of the dogs. I later discovered the owner didn't: pay overtime wages, pay federal withholding, report wages to IRS, & other violations. The bill would be satisfied if O.T. was given. Rectification takes years. Can I remove the dogs for safety while getting an accurate bill & reporting violations?
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