Posts Tagged 'wage claim'


Yes, your cruise director is already obsessed with filing his taxes for 2008 even though the year isn’t over.  My hope is that I’ll qualify for a refund so the earlier I file the better, right?

But there is some concern on my part and my fellow ex-Hellerites should be concerned too.  I am not a tax attorney so if there is someone out there such as an ex-Heller tax attorney or paralegal, please weigh in at the comments.

W-2 Statements

I am beginning to wonder what type of operation will be in place at Heller Ehrman to issue the W-2 statements and whether that will be done on time and within the mandated deadline.

If you do not get a W-2 statement, what are the steps needed to enter your income and other details on tax forms?  Can you construct one based on the previous year’s W-2 (using the Employer ID Number) and your last paycheck stub?

If you do get a W-2 statement, what if the figures are incorrect as compared to your last paycheck stub?

Can Non-Payment of Accrued Vacation Be Considered a “Loss?”

I have been following the Bernard Madoff scandal – about Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC and the $50 Billion scam of its investors – quite closely since there seems to be quite a bit of scumbaggery these days.  Remember how I said in an earlier post that this seemed to be the Decade of the Big Lie?  I may have to call it the Decade of Scumbaggery.

There have been interesting articles in the past few days as to how these investors can recoup some of their losses when filing their income taxes.  It appears they can claim this as a loss due to embezzlement and based on percentage of income, etc. they may be able to lower their taxable income.

This might be a stretch, but I am wondering if the same can be done with the accrued vacation and other wages owed to ex-Hellerites?  While I don’t think accrued vacation meets the same standards as a loss due to an active investment made by a person (and I am certain that WARN Act monies and Waiting Time penalties don’t qualify), it is interesting to ponder the possibility.  This obviously requires some more thought and comment.


Wage Claim Conferences – Updates

Just a quick update and summary on how the wage claim conferences have been going – all this based on great comments provided by readers.

Bottom line:  the response from the Heller Ehrman Dissolution Committee, at least during Jonathan Hayden’s appearance at a San Jose conference yesterday, has been one of not disputing the claim for accrued vacation and wages.  However, the D.C. does dispute the penalties to be levied stating that Heller’s failure to pay the wages was not “willful” as one commenter put it.

The “willful” part is obvious the same tired old game of blaming Bank of America and Citibank for the inability to pay.  As one commenter stated, this is a bullshit excuse and can you imagine if you went through life with this attitude?  How about telling IRS that you couldn’t pay your taxes this year since there was no money or the bank wouldn’t let you pay?

It is shameful that the D.C. has engaged in a game of “chicken” with its former employees but, as I’ve said before, this seems to be the typical reponse and accepted way of running a business these days.  Try to get away with whatever you can, try to screw your employees and willfully disobey laws as they pertain to your employees in the hopes that some, if not all of them will simply throw their hands up and walk away.

Notice to Mr. Hayden, the rest of the D.C. and the other scumbag players in this tragedy like Larrabee, Fram, Haslam and others: we aren’t walking away.  That should be obvious by our willingness to talk about this tragedy to the media and to others.  It should be obvious by the route some people have taken in various lawsuits.  It should be obvious by the mere existence of this forum for the ex-Hellerites.  You just don’t get it do you?  Or you do and you just don’t care.

DLSE Conferences Today & Tomorrow

From what commenters have said, there are several conferences scheduled today with the California Labor Commission – in San Diego and San Jose from what I recall.  These are a result of wage claims filed for accrued vacation and non-payment of wages at the time of termination.

If you have a conference scheduled, can you please add your comments as to what occurred (next steps, if anyone appeared on behalf of Heller Ehrman, etc.) and what was the end result.  Or you can email me at and I will keep this post updated during the next few days.

Wage Claim – Rejected!

Well I finally received a response to the wage claim I filed last month with the State of California Labor Commissioner’s office.  Below are scanned images of what I received and I imagine this is the same for most ex-Hellerites who filed.  

I’ve seen comments on other posts about this latest development – I think I and other readers would like feedback and comments from those who received the same response.  What are your next steps?



Re-jected! Any Wage Claim Rejections?

While yours truly, Heller Drone, has not yet received word about his wage claim, I am wondering if readers and followers could supply info on the following:

– have you had any of your claims rejected outright? and if so, what reason was given?

– if you’ve received a hearing date notice, how long did it take to receive the notice? any other details such as what you’ve been told to bring to the hearing, is it in person/by phone, etc?

– if you haven’t received any acknowledgment from the agency or agencies, how long has it been since you filed a claim?

Any Sample WARN Act Letters or Wage Claim Letters?

Your cruise director has received several requests from ex-Hellerites on how to compose a demand letter to the Dissolution Committee, how to compose a WARN Act letter or a Wage Claim letter. Let’s face it, while yours truly is no Faulkner when it comes to the written word, even I get writer’s block from time to time and find it hard to compose letters.

If you could post your samples (with your personal contact info redacted out) in the comments or send to me,, and we’ll get some good info out there for people to use.

I’ll start off with a sample of a letter sent to the Dissolution Committee:

November 10, 2008

Mr. Peter Benvenutti
Heller Ehrman Dissolution Committee
c/o Jones Day
555 California Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

Heller Ehrman Dissolution Committee
Heller Ehrman LLP
333 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

Dear Peter and members of the Dissolution Committee:

This letter constitutes a formal demand for payment of wages and other monies due me as part of my employment at Heller Ehrman LLP since April 14, 1912 (substitute your own start date) as Bad Ass Litigation Secretary/Diva (substitute your own title). The calculations are as follows:

• Accrued Vacation: ______ hours at _____ per hour = $_________

• Waiting Period Penalties (for non-payment of accrued vacation): $_____ per day at 30 days (October 11 – November 10, 2008) = $_________

• WARN Notice severance as agreed to in written notice on September 26, 2008: October 11, 2008 – November 28, 2008 = $________

The wages and penalties due are $_________. Please indicate to me in writing when I may expect payment for these wages. Please send all correspondence to:


Frieda Fondle

Final Paychecks Trickling Out to Recipients

We have received several emails today from Heller staffers stating that they received, via US Mail, their final paycheck today.   All have said that the check did not include accrued vacation or any WARN Act monies – just the one week’s wages held in arrears.

The fact that such paychecks were to be given to all terminated employees upon their departure and the one week delay does not absolve them from this transgression. 

We are assuming the same will hold true for those terminated today – that they will receive their checks late next week.  We hope.

When I get my check I intend to run and cash it.

Over and out,

Heller Drone
Cruise Director

Life preserver.jpg
Remember the words of Rev. Frank Scott (Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure):

". . . sitting on our butts is not going to help us either. Maybe by climbing out of here, we can save ourselves. If you've got any sense, you'll come along with us."

Contact Us!

Send us your information as to job leads, networking, or just plain vent!
Go ahead, say it!
Add to Technorati Favorites
Bloggers' Rights at EFF


This blog has been created by Thomas MacEntee.

Recent Comments

Terms of Service

Heller Highwater (
Last Modified: September 14, 2008

- Don't be a dill weed.

- Treat other people the way you want to be treated.

- Ladies and children first.

- This is a rescue, not a bitch session.

- Help don't harm.

- Save the snarks for the attorneys and Above The Law.

Heller Highwater is not:

- a place to practice viscious and vindictive "whisper down the lane" rumour-mongering;

- a place to bad mouth co-workers;

- a place for diatribes against specific people or specific incidents;

- a place to heap pity on poor Heller Ehrman staff by outsiders;

- a place that discriminates or sets margins noting who is outside and who is inside - we even welcome supportive Heller Ehrman attorneys!;

- meant to further the demise of Heller Ehrman, LLP.

Heller Highwater is:

- a place for support, a place of empowerment, a place of passion;

- a place to learn about job leads, resume preparation, skill building, training, new opportunities, and how to succeed in a new workplace;

- a place to keep up on the latest news as to how Heller Ehrman management intends to treat its support staff as it winds down its operations - will it be every woman for herself? or will it be "let me hold the door for you and is there anything else I can do for you"?

- a place of refuge.

Note: in no way, shape or form is Heller Highwater sanctioned, supported or even recognized, (but it is very likely monitored) by the management of Heller Erhman, LLP. The opinions represented here and on each and every page of Heller Highwater do not constitute the opinions of Heller Ehrman, LLP or its shareholders or its management. In addition, the comments left by visitors do not reflect the opinions of Heller Highwater.