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Question added to topic Human ResourcesDecember 22, 2008

Do I have to pay an employee who quit without notice?

A friend worked a week or so for me and had no employee contract, signed no application or any documents. He was paid in cash for his time. One day he left in the middle of the day and sent a text message saying he was done. Through his actions, he cost me much more than I would owe him. Do I have to pay?
Ah, the perils of doing business with friends. Both of you could have some problems here. You're calling this person an employee, but I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that you didn't withhold the appropriate employee taxes, nor did you pay the withholding over to the taxing authorities. I'll also wager that your "friend" didn't declare what he earned from you as income and isn't planning to pay taxes on it. You're both in the wrong. I'm not clear on how his actions "cost you," but unless he's guilty of something grossly negligent or criminal (or if you have some agreement to the contract...which you don't), you're generally responsible for paying an employee wages in connection with all services rendered. You had no agreement, so there was no notice period he was required to give you.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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