Heather Catania | The Influence Brian Ludlow tax fraud, violation of California Labor Code Los Angeles California
It is with no regret that I write this report here to share my experience at The Influence Media Inc, Heather Catania's online fashion startup. I was brought on after much of the construction of the site had begun, and didn't realize the full extent of how damaged the strung together PHP was within this custom installation of Wordpress. If the code wasn't enough of a nightmare, the constant changes that were requested made my job beyond what would normally be considered full time.
In the beginning before being brought on as a contracted employee, I was given a check for $400 which bounced; this began the constant uncertainty of payment until my retirement from the company in October of 2014. So the demands were high, and managing other programmers who were brought on to assist, was another responsibility of mine at the company. Every single programmer who came on said the same thing I was saying: a) that the Wordpress theme was a monster b) Heather Catania was a difficult person to work for.
I know of one programmer who repeatedly would ask me about her payment that was well over 30 days late, and all I could think to myself was that I was recieving the same non-payment treatment. One financial document that was sent to me to print had Heather's apartment which was over $3500 a month was a monthly, budgeted business expense. So, while I couldn't pay my rent because I wasn't getting paid bi-weekly as my contract stated, Heather Catania's apartment was being paid for in full.
Eventually you stop working when you are not paid (even though you are masterfully strung along with the hope and promise of payment). So, that's what I did. When the balance hit $3500, I stopped. I had to find paying work to afford life. Then all of a sudden we all were paid with some loan that they secured. That was great, except the next pay day was the following Monday, and guesss what, no pay.
It was infuriating. It wasn't even brought up, and not once did Heather Catania or Brian Ludlow apologize for the insanity they were putting us through. So, after that missed payment, New York Fashion Week occurs, and guess who has money to take a trip for a week in New York? Heather Catania. Instead of paying the people keeping her site afloat, she takes a week to attend fashion week. Presumably she did this whit the remaining sum of the loan they had secured.
I kept working, because I was paid before, and I figured I would be paid again. Not the case, the balance hit that $3500 and I resigned, and I did so after reading up on my rights. From the moment of my resignation, Heather Catania, CEO of The Influence Media Inc had 48 hours to pay what was owed to me. She failed to meet that California State law and to this day has failed to aknowledge my debt personally. I filed a labor wage claim and with the penalties she has incurred she owes me over $10,000. She failed to show up at the mediation. It is as if the debt does not exist.
More troubling perhaps, is that deductions were taken out of my check to presumably pay for taxes. I never once was given an itemized list of said deductions and I did not recieve a 1099 from them or any form of tax documentation. I believe this money never went to taxes thus constituting theft. Theft.
If you are going to work for Brian Ludlow or Heather Catania do so with extreme caution. This was my experience, but I know she did the same to many many more people.
I hope someone finds this report useful.