This is a contracts question, not an employment question, and I have shared your post with the contracts forum on Avvo so more attorneys who practice in this area may see your question.
The terms of your husband's agreement with the company will determine the conditions under which he or the company is responsible for losses. If the contract is silent, then a court will try to determine the intent of the parties. There is over a century of case law to consider, so your husband probably needs legal advice, and that advice may cost him more than the $1,000 loss. That said, if your husband is no longer interested in working with this company and he believes the company did not have the right to deduct $1,000 from his payment, he can file a claim in small claims court for the $1,000 underpayment. Many small claims courts have a small claims advisor who can help a claimant prepare his or her case.
@MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and must not be taken as legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts which are impossible to gather on a public web site like Avvo. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * *
You should consult with an attorney who handles breach of contract issues / business litigation.
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I agree that this is primarily a breach of contract issue, but there are also employment / independent contractor / master-servant / agent issues. You should consult with an employment attorney who handles contract litigation or a business litigator familiar with employment issues.
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I agree with Ms. North who said "there are also employment / independent contractor / master-servant / agent issues. You should consult with an employment attorney who handles contract litigation." Look around and see if there is a competent lawyer who will give your husband a free consultation to determine your husband's rights. Be prepared to fully describe the relationship between the company and your husband and all of the duties, rules, hours and expectations your husband is required by the company to abide by. This will help the lawyer to determine the rights and responsibilities between the company and your husband. Good luck.
*Scott G. Nathan has been licensed to practice law in California since 1983. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice for any particular case or matter. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with Scott G. Nathan or my law firm. For specific advice about your particular situation, you should consult with an attorney immediately.