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Monday, 1 Shevat, 5780
  |  January 27, 2020

I’m Being Sued by Cleaning Lady

From the inbox: The cleaning lady asked for a raise before Pesach which we agreed to. Now, I got a court summons. Full Story

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Levy
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Levy

How could she proves how many hours overtime did she punch in and out How can she prove anything say she worked seven hours a week.And if she’s going through this lawsuit wouldn’t that require her to pay taxes?

Joe the Barrister
Guest
Joe the Barrister

BS”D don’t settle, counter sue for all the things she stole (mine would even help herself to pine-sol), did she keep time records or a diary of the hours worked , if not,forget it, the burden of proof is on her to prove she worked overtime. And ask the Rebbe for a Brocho and do NOT settle. Furthermore bc if the amount it is a Supreme Court (of NY) case and with
depositions, adjournments and the backed up calendar she will be long gone before this case comes to trial. Get a 4th opinion

So True!
Guest
So True!

Thanks for sharing. The same is with yidden working/ helping yidden. I was helping a you’d with something she requested and she eventually hurt me so bad…..

The law
Guest
The law

If you employ someone for pay to do something for you, you are an employer. There are laws governing such an arrangement. Because there may be many laws and because they may be confusing and because others ignore such laws, does not free you from responsibility to abide by the laws of your land nor from the consequence for their violation. Here’s a sampling – https://labor.ny.gov/legal/laws/pdf/domestic-workers/facts-for-employers.pdf https://labor.ny.gov/legal/laws/pdf/domestic-workers/facts-for-domestic-workers.pdf Paying a foreign-language-speaking individual cash does not absolve you of anything. And doing things you think are nice, does not compensate for any dereliction of your legal requirement. I wonder what the point… Read more »

counter sue
Guest
counter sue

She has no record of hours and it’s time to fight back. Make a list of every missing thing from the house that you “never wanted to think she took.” Also, call ICE and see what can be done to speed up her case. Enough is enough.

1099
Guest
1099

Have the cleaning person fill out a 1099 to be an independent contractor and then no over time issues

To #4
Guest
To #4

The Rebbe sometimes told women to get cleaning help. You don’t know this person’s circumstances or what other obligations they have so please don’t judge. If someone’s donkey is under its burden, you’re supposed to help it – this can also mean help for having a clean home. Also, maybe the lady didn’t know the law. Judge her for the best. A lot of people assume that if someone is an illegal immigrant that they are not covered by wage laws. Instead of feeling so judgmental , maybe show some compassion. After all, especially in the aseres yimei teshuva, we… Read more »

Just a Thought
Guest
Just a Thought

I utilize a cleaning service for my home. (Clothing is something l prefer to do myself). There are two ladies who come weekly (more often if needed) and they are bonded with extensive background checks. The work is excellent. There is a signed agreement /contract with the service clearly explaining fees and what is covered so there are no hidden surprises or extra expenses. I knew several people who had items taken by private cleaners who just disappeared. The cleaning company offers me a sense of security and I wouldn’t do it any other way.

Give them a ring
Guest
Give them a ring

ICE.gov

1-866-DHS-2-ICE

It’s an old trick
Guest
It’s an old trick

Here in California this has been going on for a while. There are spanish speaking lawyers who seek out customers. The best thing is to ignore and not respond to these summons.
Eventually they drop it.

Congrats
Guest
Congrats

On being an absolute racist.

to comment #4
Guest
to comment #4

i assume by your “compassionate” input that you either don’t have much cleaning help or you’re wealthy enough to get your help from one of those “propah” agencies that charges $20.00 an hour and up, from the self-righteous sound of your lecture on labor laws i assume you meticulously report all the monies you pay in cash for services rendered otherwise,you’d be more sympathetic to this woman’s plight. having said that i’m forced to add that i agree with you that people must become less reliant on cleaning help. as far as this particular cleaning lady is concerned,i and many,… Read more »

Housekeepers have sued for other situations
Guest
Housekeepers have sued for other situations

Make sure to be insured in case she falls or hurts herself at your home. I’ve heard stories to that effect.

this is just awful for you.
Guest
this is just awful for you.

i truly feel bad for you. i don’t know your circumstance so this is not judgement but i was addicted to cleaning help and had different ladies for many years coming everyday to ‘help me’ (a stay at home mum of 4 ) until i realized i was bored and depressed my teen kids were lazy and my husband was frustrated how much of his earnings went to them so we said enough is enough and i went cold turkey and have had no one for a year . the house is spotless , i’m busy and houseproud , the… Read more »

How much is your peace of mind worth?
Guest
How much is your peace of mind worth?

Ask for documentation and make a copy, pay on the books. If the worker sues, you have something on which to stand. If the documents are counterfeit, it’s they who are in bad faith. Consider the price difference an investment in peace of mind, and a form of insurance!

To 6
Guest
To 6

Household help must be paid on a W-2, 1099 would not protect you from workers comp or unemployment insurance.

1 hour
Guest
1 hour

All she needs to prove is one hour and the corrupt bottom feeder lawyer gets paid by you. The law is not on the side of the employer. Good luck!

Not paid on the books?
Guest
Not paid on the books?

If she was not paid on the books and is here illegally, then I do not see how on earth she could have a case! That means she is not paying taxes! And you can tell your entire side of the story to the judge. Do not despair – You do have a case! But this highlights such an important issue in our community. Hundreds if not thousands of Jewish mothers in Crown Heights are literally buried and overwhelmed by messy houses. Their husbands and children are too spiritually lofty to lift a finger to do any cleaning help at… Read more »

To #8
Guest
To #8

Can you please post the number to the cleaning service you use.
Thanks

The law
Guest
The law

The law establishes that you have certain responsibilities to your employees. Additionally by employing illegal immigrants you hurt the country and deprived the government of taxes which cause people who uphold the law to pay more taxes to make up the deficit. I hope you will somehow be obsolved of this but your complaining that you broke the law and got caught. Imagine the shoe was on the other foot. Your bubbie or zeide moved to this country and were taken advantage of by an employer because they did not know any better and a a yiddish lawyer told them,… Read more »

speaking on cell phone
Guest
speaking on cell phone

does anyone allow their cleaning lady to talk on their cell phones all day? was just wondering how to go about it?

ice
Guest
ice

call ice get her deported

You need a employment attorney!
Guest
You need a employment attorney!

Some of the comments here reflect a lack of understanding of basic employment issues many employers deal with regularly. Unfortunately, I know a lot about these issues and it is necessary to have a good employment lawyer on your side. Mendy Halberstam is a frum attorney who specializes in employment law (he represents employers only, not employees). He lives in Miami but works for a large national employment firm with offices in NY and California (and all over the US). I’ve worked with him a lot, and he is an excellent employment litigator. If you are sued, reach out to… Read more »

If cleaning lady can prove she was employed
Guest
If cleaning lady can prove she was employed

the letter writer is in trouble. Her failure to pay taxes, declare income or anything else is her problem, however, it doesnt absolve the employer of his/her legal obligations.

Bureaucratic saavy
Guest
Bureaucratic saavy

B”H
The story is very lamentable on all ends. Best protection: Use an agency. It may be more expensive, but the operators are far more likely to want to stay in business and keep the business reputable by getting referrals

To #18
Guest
To #18

Even with the husband and kids helping, there can be a need for outside help too. That’s how it is in my house, for example.

And by the way, never mind “too spiritually lofty,” and consider that older boys are in Yeshiva for the largest part of the day.

 YES WHAT #2 SAID.
Guest
YES WHAT #2 SAID.

MINE DID THE SAME THING. JUST BECAUSE SHE IS IN YOUR HOUSE THAT WHOLE TIME DOESNT MEAN SHE WORKED THOSE HOURS. I HAD MY LAWYER WRITE A LETTER THAT MINE HAD CHOICES TO LEAVE WHENEVER SHE WANT AS LONG AS WORK WAS DONE. SHE WAS ON PHONE ALL THE TIME . SOME DAYS SHE STAYED AND THAT WAS BY CHOICE. I ASKED HER TO PROVE HER HOURS AND I SHE COULDNT. DO NOT SETTLE . HIRE YOUR OWN LAWYER TO WRITE A NAST LETTER ABOUT ALL THESE EXTRAS WHICH U GAE HER AND STATE THAT SHE DID ABSOLUTELY NOT WORK… Read more »

anon
Guest
anon

if she had the nerve to sue you after all you did to help her, I agree just call ice and have her deported.

#18
Guest
#18

my husband and children help.
as a mother with lots of little ones we need, deserve to have help. the Rebbe encouraged large families and lots of household help. this is not a new culture- i consider it a very Lubavitch culture going way back….I think its a compliment to our community that women are held up with respect for all they do and its encouraged to have help at home

Guard Up
Guest
Guard Up

“The truth is that I trusted her. She may have lied occasionally, but she never touched my valuables though she had enough opportunities to snitch. ”

Honestly, “lied occasionally” should be a red flag! Just because she didn’t steal anything (that you know of), doesn’t mean she’s trustworthy. You’re allowing someone into your home, you need to raise your standards, for your own protection! If you know she lied, at any point, whether once or twice or 20 times, that should be enough to signal to you not to trust her.

chillul hashem
Guest
chillul hashem

the racism in this post and the comments is abhorrent. you should have paid her fairly. her heritage has nothing to do with it.

sad
Guest
sad

calling ice can have this women sent back to her country and potentially murdered. is that really worth it to you?

So let me get this straight
Guest
So let me get this straight

You employed someone without bothering to look into employment law, paid her a substandard wage, and you’re condemning entire countries-full of people because you didn’t do your due diligence? Get over yourself.

Embarrassed
Guest
Embarrassed

I am embarrassed by the racist comments and by someone thinking they are doing someone a favor by paying an adult $12 or $13 an hour for house cleaning in NYC in this day and age. If you can’t afford to pay more and follow the withholding laws, etc. or use an agency that takes care of those requirements, then you can’t afford cleaning help. I would love to have help but don’t for these reasons.

To 34
Guest
To 34

Really I was paid less than that when I worked for preschools as as a Morah and I’m an adult with a degree.

If you're the employer then...
Guest
If you're the employer then...

If they’re owned overtime you really do need to pay them. As for the “just 1099 them” comment above, that doesn’t always apply. The IRS has a set of rules on when someone is considered an employee and when they are an independent contractor. It is nice that you helped with food, uber, and the like. Best bet would be to tell them that’s part of their normal wages and track everything. Otherwise it’s one person’s word against another. And I’d leave the “Mexican” line out. Sounds more racist than not. We’ve had plenty of teenage girl babysitters that spend… Read more »

Ask a professional
Guest
Ask a professional

It’s worth it to spend some money speaking to an expert in the field on how to proceed, especially for peace of mind
.
I’m sorry this happened to you, but it’s a new year and a chance for a new start. Boruch hashem this is the biggest problem happening to you right now and you now have the knowledge to prevent it from happening again, or to others.
Please let us know how things work out.

23 is right
Guest
23 is right

Mendy Halberstam is one of the nicest and fairest people around. He will certainly do you good. He’s also quite smart and talented.

Racist...really???
Guest
Racist...really???

I don’t see what is actually “racist” about this. Facts are that she was Spanish and the employer is Jewish. If either was Chinese, what difference does it make if they mention that?

Don't see any racism here...
Guest
Don't see any racism here...

Facts are facts…statistics are statistics. Are we supposed to avoid saying where they’re from?
And why is it sad to have them deported? Of course it’s worth it to deport such people who do such horrible things to others like theft…esp. after being treated so well!
Very nice of this author to publicize her story as a warning for others- I sure hope things work out to her benefit

Duke of Kingsbrook
Guest
Duke of Kingsbrook

1) Your lawyer may request the cell phone records of the cleaning lady, and may be able to delay lawsuit further because of them 2) Cell phone records go to reduced labor hours per week and is an important issue which may alleviate overtime issue 3) Although $10/hr net or $11/hr net may seem low to some readers, the gross minimum wage for employers with 10 or less employees was $10.50/hr gross after 12/31/2016 and $12 after 12/31/2017. $12/hr gross is about $10/net so her hourly age in cash is no worse than what minimum age is today. The result… Read more »

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