Skip to main content
Howard Benjamin Hoffman

Howard Hoffman’s Answers

195 total


  • What are the laws on independent contractors and is there a "contract " requiring a signature upon hiring.

    Employment questions. My wife has been working for a spa as a massage therapist. When she was hired she filled out a W4 and was hired as an employee. Each payday she received a hand written check with no pay stub. Now come tax time my wife is give...

    Howard’s Answer

    This is a classic case of employee misclassification. Twenty hours a week is not the test to determine whether someone is a contractor. Were taxes taken out of her pay? If so, then they were not remitted to the government, and the 1099 will likely require her to pay self-employment taxes.

    The Internal Revenue Code provides a cause of action for an employer's willful and fraudulent reporting of wages on a 1099. You should speak with an employment attorney who has handled such cases.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    www.hoholaw.com

    See question 
  • What should i do? or, what are my legal rights on this matter?

    i quit my job on November and was supposed to get a check 2 weeks after, so on November 24th. they told me someone else cashed the check and that they are "still working on it". they have been "working on it" for almost 3 months now.

    Howard’s Answer

    This sounds like the sort of flagrant wage theft cases that I handle. There is nothing to "still work on" - even if someone else cashed the checks, they need to pay you.

    You should contact an experienced wage/hour attorney in Montgomery County, MD who will talk with you on a gratis basis. A lawyer should be willing to assist you without charging you any monies or taking a percentage of your hard earned wages.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    301-251-3752
    www.hoholaw.com

    See question 
  • Can a independent contractor be charged a fuel surcharge on fuel that he or she is putting in their private vehicle?

    Independent contractor being charged fuel surcharge.

    Howard’s Answer

    The first question in my mind is whether you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, and that you are an employee under the law. That is very common. The law classifies who is an employee and who is a contractor. If you are an employee, you may have greater legal rights - and those rights might impact the ability to be charged a "fuel surcharge" for fuel that you are putting in your vehicle. Contact an employment lawyer!

    See question 
  • Do I have legal grounds to get my job back. I went through the appeals process. The HR department kept postponing the appeal mee

    I was sexually assaulted by a client I provided case management services to. While on sick leave it asked to be transferred to another location for fear of the client. I was transferred to another location but given an entry level job I than began...

    Howard’s Answer

    You present a lot of employment law issues in a single paragraph. It is best to talk with an attorney who practice concentrates on employment related matters. Most lawyers should be willing to talk with you on a gratis basis.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    301-251-3752

    See question 
  • As a salary employee, can my employer dock a days worth of pay when he sent me home, against my will?

    I am a salary Employee for a small company. I removed my work email account from my personal phone because the new security measures put in place by the company made using my personal device difficult. I have never agreed or signed any document th...

    Howard’s Answer

    Your employer could not dock your pay, consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), under the facts that you have described. This disciplinary deduction may result in your being entitled to overtime, if they do not take corrective action. Any complaints should be properly phrased, and if properly phrased and in writing, they would be protected from retaliation under Federal law (FLSA). My practice concentrates on cases involving unpaid overtime (and related issues).

    Howard B. Hoffman, Esq.
    301-251-3752
    www.hoholaw.com

    See question 
  • My question to you, is can I recuperate loss tips ?

    My boss failed to pay me tips over an extended period of time. The amount could near several thousands of dollars. This is just the start of bad behavior on his part. I've filed a discrimination complaint with my state. He stated that I was a con...

    Howard’s Answer

    Are you asking whether a discrimination victim can recover lost income, which is partly made of tips? If so, the answer is yes - tipped income can be recovered if you suffered a discriminatory adverse action, such as a termination.

    If you are asking whether you can recover your tips which were stolen by your employer, as a "wage and hour" matter, then that is a different question.

    You should talk with an experienced employment attorney who represents tipped worker on a frequent basis.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    301-251-3752

    See question 
  • Is it illegal to deny a worker compensation for work they have done under the pretense of a lunch break even if no lunch happene

    I need help with federal and Virginia state law concerning labor laws about overtime and hour deduction.

    Howard’s Answer

    Yes it may be illegal. Auto deductions for untaken lunches, or lunches of less than 30 minutes, is a frequent way employers violate the Fair Laor Standards Act. Contact a lawyer who is experienced in this area and will consult with you on a gratis basis. (Never agree to pay an hourly fee or contingent fee in cases such as this).

    See question 
  • What can I do

    I am trying to find out if I can sue my company for allowing a co worker to sexually harass multiple times. I have reported it several times but each time they place me on a final notice for causing problems without evidence. They said the camer...

    Howard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree with Mr. Norman and my other colleagues. This behavior, which needs to be more carefully described and detailed, may be actionable sexual harassment. If the Company fired you for reporting it, or fired you based on a pretext when their real motivation was retaliation, you may have a claim for retaliation. You should reach out to an experienced attorney handling employment matters. Try to find someone who fits that bill, and will talk with you on a gratis (basis).

    See question 
  • Is there any solution? Can I file a complaint to the department of labor even though I am an independent contractor?

    I have a problem with current staffing company. I am an independent contractor for a this company, which I should not be classified as an independent contractor because I am clearly not. I do not meet the criteria as an independent contractor. ...

    Howard’s Answer

    What sort of work do you do for this staffing company? Why do you believe that you are not an independent contractor? Do you ever work overtime?

    Many workers who are misclassified as independent contractors are owed overtime wages. You may be owed more money than you believe. While an independent contractor could, in theory, be subject to a non-compete/non-solicit, whether the agreement is enforceable is fact-intensive and I agree with the other lawyer that they may be in breach of the agreement relieving you of your obligation to perform.

    You should contact a lawyer experienced in unpaid wage litigation.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    301-251-3752
    www.hoholaw.com

    See question 
  • My Wife is H4 visa and X employer filed H1B and got RFE, but employer is not responded to RFE and crossd over RFE end date

    My Wife is H4 visa and X employer filed H1B and got RFE, but employer is not responded to RFE and crossd over RFE end date. Question is,Automatically She will be back to H4 or need to file H4(COS0?

    Howard’s Answer

    Intuitively, I believe that if her COS is denied, then she would retain her current status - which would be H-4. I aware of no authority that would leave your wife without any status, under these circumstances. But you want to ask the lawyer who filed on behalf of the Company the question. I would also be curious why they let the RFE go unanswered.

    Best of luck.

    See question