Fighting for You: Construction Workers Demand Their Boss Issues Final Paycheck

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HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Many Americans are coming up with new ways to stretch a dollar every day. Two Morgan County men say they are all stretched out. Both are waiting on their former employer to pay them for work they did on a construction project. The long-time construction workers emailed WHNT NEWS 19 asking for help.

Randel Letson and Mike Williams say they were fired. Their former boss, Jeff Horton, says both men quit. No one can agree on what happened. They do agree money is owed. What's the delay?

Letson and Williams worked for Affiliated Commercial Construction. The construction workers say their former boss owes them a paycheck.

Williams is waiting on more than $1,000.

"It's a huge deal. It is a lot. You could buy things for Christmas, Thanksgiving and everything," said Williams.

Letson claims his former boss needs to pay him for more than 50 hours of work. He's expecting a check totaling close to $800. The men told WHNT NEWS 19 they helped put up frames on a construction site near Greenbrier Road in Madison County. Both insist they worked on the project for months.

Letson and Williams stopped working November 1, 2012.

"He said that we were not getting enough done and just terminated us," added Letson.

Letson is referring to Jeff Horton. He says Horton is the owner of the Cincinatti-based construction company.

WHNT NEWS 19 picked up the phone to get Horton's side of the story.

"Actually, it is not true. I went through this with someone from your office yesterday. Oh man, let me tell you," said Jeff Horton.

Horton does not deny owing the men money.

"They worked for me and quit on Thursday, November 2, 2012," added Horton.

Horton makes it clear, there is no rush to cutting the men a check. The business owner cites an Alabama law protecting him. He says the law allows him up to 30 days to issue a check to someone who quits a job.

"We follow the law, OK and on the 30th day, they will get their check," added Horton.

Letson may not make it to the 30th day.

"My daughter didn't even go to school because I don't have any money. I am about to lose my car because I don`t have any money. I can't get to Birmingham because I don't have any money to work," added Letson.

The men are frustrated.

"He's a big guy. He's got the money to pay us. We live week by week. He lives year by year, added Williams.

Williams' frustration has turned into pain.

"It hurts inside. I've done all I can do for him and then he turns around and does us like this. I can't afford to do anything about it," added Williams.

"I was going to pay them this Friday until I got this phone call that says they are going to my job site, calling my boss and telling them things that are not true," added Horton.

Horton told WHNT NEWS 19 he plans to pay Letson and Williams on December 1, 2012.

WHNT NEWS 19 discovered there is no state law regulating wages for Alabama workers. Federal law prevails when no state law exists. If an employee's last day of work falls after a regularly scheduled pay-day, federal law requires the employer to issue a paycheck on the next payday.

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