Jump to content

Can I collect unpaid employee benefits/compensation without litigation?


Guest ALANDER
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest ALANDER

As I close a six month contract having provided services (considered by the employers as more than satisfactory) under the title of Development Director, for a struggling non-profit, I confront the following dilemma as I leave:

Should I sue this starving non-profit for not providing the healthcare benefits they agreed to provide in lieu of 25% of my compensation?

A brief explanation: At the time of accepting this part-time position, I inquired about the benefits advertised in the job announcement. The hiring committee offered me the job nearly immediately, however they said they would investigate and endeavor to provide healthcare benefits as well. When the ED called to initiate my actual hire, I was offered healthcare benefits and a salary reduced by 25% from the initial offer. (A recent graduate with little contract negotiation experience, I saw no real problem with this since it was assumed by all parties that this salary would be increased relatively soon based on an evaluation of my performance and the succes of the revenue-generating development activities that I would initiate.)

After more than a month of working extra hours and patiently but consistently inquiring about the healthcare benefits, I found that the organization had decided that I should register for an individual plan, which they would pay for. I called, received, filled out and filed the paperwork, which took approximately another month. The original application lapsed before I was able to secure the organization's payment plan (due to vacations of all financial personell). When I discussed the amount of time lapsed and absence of appropriate persons with the ED and CEO, they attempted to hold me responsible for not applying for insurance immediately.

Needless to say, four months into the contract, I realized that another month would go by before I became insured, so I suggested that we revert to the original compensation offer. A meeting to discuss the board's decision regarding this matter was scheduled for two weeks later, after which I was informed that they were of the opinion that they owed me nothing. Again, in the interest of reasonable negotiation, I suggested that they pay not the original amount of compensation, but merely the amount they would have paid for the benefits. Note that I also have assumed additional overhead costs for this organization, a generosity of which I gently reminded them when I asserted that they should merely pay me the amount of the healthcare benefits.

Thus, my dilemma: Do they owe me compensation for which I should sue? Or am I perhaps a fool (near bankruptcy) with no leverage and no rights?

Advance thanks for your studied opinion. Sincerely, ALA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might post your message on a labor law or worker's rights board of a community forum like www.lawyers.com and get some advice from those versed in employment claims. This isn't the best place to research employment and labor issues. You can also find about making wage claims through you state's labor commission or labor standards division - it's where workers denied earned compensation might find some leverage. For California, that site is:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/dlse.html

In preparation, I think the first question you're likely to get from anyone is, "What do you have in writing that supports your claims.", so you might think about that. Good luck to you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...