Issue 5 Contents


Deadbeat Bosses: Make Them Pay!


Recently, we ran into an unusual problem. What do you do if your boss bounces your paycheck? You might think that you could call the department of labor for assistance, but their support varies by state. Rhode Island's D.O.L. said they couldn't hel p. In reality, there's no great number of advocacy organizations for this type of problem. A lawyer can help, but for a fee that you probably can't afford. Small claims court may be an avenue to explore, but it takes time and you might actually make mo re than the $500 maximum.

The following is our best advice:

  • Make copies of the checks and the bank statement with the returned item and fees incurred as a result.
  • Organize any materials or documents which might document similar problems in the organization.
  • Keep in mind not to make threats to get your money. You could be sues.
  • Refuse to redeposit the check if your employer recommends it as a solution. Three attempts at depositing a check will render it even more worthless than it already is. Do not release the check from your possession! That check proves they owe you th e money. That NSF stamp is valuable, too. Think of the PR nightmare a company could experience if its customers become aware payroll checks are bouncing.
  • Send a certified letter to your employer demanding compensation in cash or by certified check. They have seven days to comply.
  • Writing a bad check is a felony. Call the police, ask for a detective in the bank fraud division, and tell him your story. The certified letter qualifies as grounds for a search warrant. If the boss doesn't pay, he gets arrested.
  • Keep it as friendly as you can with the boss. There's no one worse than a guy who screws the people who work for him. Don't sink to his level.

You can find assistance from these organizations as well: