I was employed as Business Development Center Manager for Joe's Premier Ford, in Gladstone, Oregon. I was hired in the fall of 2008 and left a steady job in Salem, Oregon and began to commute 100 miles per day to assist the sales team with internet and phone followup, appointment setting, and sales support. I was very successful and created many sales opportunities for the dealership.
On Friday, December fifth, 2008, the employees were told that the dealership had been sold and that it would be business as usual over the weekend and that the new owner would take over on Monday and that we would all be paid that afternoon.
The checks were not available when promised, and when the General Manager, Jerry Hudson, and the Chief Financial Officer, Dan Powell, called the sales team to the showroom at five PM, two hours late, they presented checks that equalled a small percentage of what was owed. Dan Powell, when asked if the dealership was dodging paying us our full wage, promised we would get a phone call on Monday, December 8th, the day that Oregon law requires our full checks to be distributed, and we would be told when and where to pick up the balance of what we were owed.
Since Joe Khorasani still owns and operates two other dealerships, Hyundai of Milwaukie, Oregon, and Hyundai of Hillsboro, Oregon, we felt we could trust him to come through with what he owed us. We were dead wrong.
We subsequently received several different stories about when we would be paid, and it wasn't until January 12th that checks were mailed to the employees. A total of 56 people had been put out of work, including service, parts, sales, and business office.
I received my check on Thursday, January 15th, about six weeks after it was due. It did not include all of the wages owed, and that was the case with other employees as well, as the dealership did not pay for vacation pay owed.
On the check stub, it showed that a total of $1042.71 had been taken out for child support, to be mailed to the state of Oregon and subsequently forwarded to my ex-wife and two sons. Normally, the money would be available for her within a few days, but after two weeks she still did not have it and the state did not show it as having been processed.
I contacted the dealership the following week and asked them to go ahead and send the funds to the Marion County District Attorney's Office, as they normally did, so my ex-wife would have the money she desperately needed to pay her household expenses.
Dan Powell, the CFO, representing Joe Khorasani, the owner, said that they were the defendant in a lawsuit against the Ford dealership and he said he would "refrain from making any promises..." about forwarding the funds to the state so my ex-wife could be paid, even though I earned the money in November and December and the money showed as having been withheld on my checkstub and showed on my W2 as income for 2008.
I checked with the courts and found that Ford Motor Company Credit was suing the dealership and Joe Khorasani, though I also found that the suit was not filed until January 23rd, 2009, eleven days after the checks were mailed and eight days after I received mine in the mail. In other words, the money for child support owed to my ex-wife should have been processed the week of January twelfth, over a week before the lawsuit was filed.
Dan Powell later said that they were under restraint by the court to dispense any collateral due to the lawsuit. However, a few facts fly in the face of that statement:
1. I earned the money in November and December, 2008, far in advance of the lawsuit, which has no relation to my wage or the child support that the owner effectively put in his pocket instead of sending it to the state of Oregon.
2. My check was not received by me until about six weeks after it was due under Oregon regulations, according to the Bureau of Labor and Industries.
3. I was also entitled to 30 days wages for the late payment, which was not paid.
4. I have records which the employer gave me saying, in effect, that they would be forwarding the funds I earned and they deducted, so my ex-wife would receive them.
5. The paycheck I did receive was also short of what was owed.
6. My W2 is now invalid, as the dealership shows wages that I have not been paid.
7. Joe Khorasani still owns and operates two other dealerships, is selling cars and making money, and could easily pay the money to the state out of his own pocket or the operating funds of one of the other two dealerships without violating the tenets tied to the lawsuit.
Joe Khorasani is acting like a thief, not the professional businessman he pretends to be on TV and radio, and his CFO is acting no better. Despite his problems with Ford, he is a wealthy man and the money he owes my ex-wife and two sons is a pittance to him. Because of his greed, I was unable to buy a single Christmas present for my family this year and to make matters worse, am still unemployed two months after losing my job.
All of the above information is true and completely verifiable. I can only pray at this point that Mr Khorasani has a streak of good conscience that will compel him to send the money so my ex-wife can have it. I have copies of my check stubs and copies of emails from the dealership I will gladly forward to anyone who would like to view them.