The want of money is the root of all evil (I’ve heard). This came to me while re-reading Mob Rules by Louis Ferrante, a former mafioso turned author. He had some telling anecdotes about how greed wrecks lives, even in the mafia. Roman, European, and American history is filled with lessons instructing us to be generous. The scrambling for money and power to the exclusion of relationships, equity, and human kindness wrests its toll eventually — in painful ways — without fail. Nobody has to be caught in that trap. We can all do better by giving a little more and gathering a little less, in all ways.
A client came to me with an unpaid overtime case today. She had been mis-classified, willfully I’m sure, by her former employer. My client was, by all tests and checklists, an employee. Yet she had been paid as a flat salaried, independent contractor. Employers do that often. True, employees think it’s great – until they realize co-workers on the clock are being paid more, working less, and don’t have to pay self-employment taxes. When they learn this and take action with lawyers, those same cheating employers become liable for unpaid overtime wages, that amount doubled, unpaid payroll taxes, and attorney’s fees.