Q: I used to work for a flight school.My manager informed me that I could take flight lessons, build a balance & the owners
Would clear my balance for being an employee, just as I witnessed they did with other employees because this was one of the benefits working there. After a year of working there, I discovered my manager was stealing from the company so I informed the owners and they fired her. I stopped working there shortly after because they started treating me terribly. I sprained my ankle one day and tried to use a sick day and they yelled at me, threatened they could take my sick days away anytime, said their place of employment was not a democracy and proceeded to yell at me to come in because I was “just a receptionist, not the owner of a company who can decide when not to come in.” I was offered a job with better pay so I took it, but on my last day they expected me to pay the flight balance of $6000 (in full or $300 monthly payments which I cannot afford and never would have flown if I knew I would be responsible for paying this) even though there was never a contract signed.
A: I suggest you do two things.
Consult with an attorney experienced in employment matters.
Contact the Labor Commissioner's office and ask for help getting your full pay and the benefits the employer promised you.
You can contact the Labor Commissioner's office by copying and pasting this link into your browser: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageClaim.htm
A: This kind of dispute is likely not the kind that the Labor Commissioner's Office will handle well. It usually handles normal failure to pay wages or overtime, or failure to provide meal and rest period claims. Yours is much more akin to a contract dispute that is far better handled in superior court. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
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