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I Really Need Some Help On This One.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark C Sherman, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. Mark C Sherman

    Mark C Sherman Well-Known Member

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    OK Here's the deal When I got hired for the job I work at now I was told that I needed a laptop computer in order to do the job Properly. I got a "SIGNING BONUS" of $3000.00 in order to get myself a lap top. heres the kicker. I was just informed that I am getting laid off and I have 1 month to find another job


    When I got the signing bonus I was taxed on the check so the total I had was 1700 to spend on a computer, which I did. last year the big wigs took my Computer from me stating that it was theirs and that the company paid for it so it is company property.


    So my Question is who's computer is it? Do I get some money back since I did pay taxes on the BONUS CHECK?


    I really need some help on this I don't want to get screwed more than I already have.
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Well-Known Member

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    The signing bonus is yours. If you used the bonus to buy a computer, then the computer is yours too.

    The only way the computer would be theirs is if they gave you the money specifically to buy the computer (e.g. you put it on an expense account).

    The fact that you were taxed proves it. Taxes are only withheld for payroll (salary, bonuses, etc.). If they reimbursed you for buying a computer you would not have been taxed, as it would have been a purchase of a company asset, not a payroll expense.

    KJP
     
  3. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Well-Known Member

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    Whoops... double post. Moe.
     
  4. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Well-Known Member

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    So you were given $3000, and it was taxed as your income?

    You then used the remaining cash (after tax) to purchase a computer?

    The computer is yours... the money was payed to you, and then taxed as income to you, after which it was used to purchase a computer. Just because the company told you how to spend the money THEY payed YOU, doesn't mean they have the right to confiscate what you bought with said cash.

    What's next? Are they going to repossess your car or house with the money payed you for your work?

    Basically, the company has now taken an assett that they have no record of (taxable or otherwise).

    If I were you, I'd go back with the tax receipt and claim that it's your computer. Present them with the purchase receipt of the hardware, or challenge them to do so with a receipt to their accounts. If they give you a hassle, contact a lawyer. This is out-and-out theft.

    Moe.
     
  5. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Well-Known Member

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    Moe's right. Do you have an engagement letter or a contract that refers to the $3000 as a "signing bonus"? That would be most helpful in proving your case. Sounds like they're ripping you off.
     
  6. AviTevet

    AviTevet Well-Known Member

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    The computer's yours... they gave you a signing bonus and you used it to buy a laptop. That's just ludicrous. You're getting laid off... just take it home with you one day. What are they going to do, fire you?
     
  7. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Well-Known Member

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    Avi,

    I believe they've already taken the computer away from him. In this case, they've taken possession of a rather expensive piece of property that does not belong to them.

    If they put up a fight, then it'll definately have to go to court.

    Moe.
     
  8. Paul Bond

    Paul Bond Well-Known Member

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    This is a personal not a professional opinion.

    First, if you were given the money up front as a 'signing bonus', then even if you were required to spend it in a certain way, whatever you purchsed should be yours.

    It particularly should be yours since you were taxed on the money so given. That alone indicates it was not a corporate expense.

    Since they have already taken the laptop away from you, then either they 'stole' it, or (work with me here) it really never was yours. If it never was yours, then you should not have had to pay income taxes on the money. But you did! Now have they included that $3000 in your W-2 as income? If not, then someone has made a big mistake. If so, then someone has made an even bigger mistake.

    At this point, I hesitantly recommend you see a lawyer. Be careful though. He/She will not be cheap, and you could wind up owing more than you get, if anything. Does the company have some sort of Ombudsman setup? Someone you can go to to get things straightened out who doesn't necessarily side with the company? That might be best.

    Except for your job - which is effectively already gone - you have nothing to lose.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Supporter

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    For the computer to be owned by the company, they should have had you first paid for the laptop, and then reimbursed you as an expense (or better yet, just bought the damn thing in the first place). By paying you a bonus, which is taxable income, the laptop is really your asset, not the company's.

    I have never heard of an employer handling "required" equipment purchases in this manner.
     
  10. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Well-Known Member

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    Unless the company can provide a receipt with THEIR name on it as proof of purchase, then it's unquestionably your property. Hell - ask them to provide a purchasing order with their name on it. How about an inventory tracking, or a statement of asset depreciation.

    I wonder - is this a big-name company we're talking about, or just a mom & pop setup?

    Moe.
     
  11. Mark C Sherman

    Mark C Sherman Well-Known Member

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    Hey Guys I have some good news about this.


    When I started my JOB at TAG I was Given a Preamp to use and to familiarize my self with the product so I can provide better customer service. I was told that I will have to bring back said preamp before I leave. Not a problem since it was not mine. Well instead of the computer they are giving me the preamp I already have a computer and don't need another one. I d rather have a good home theater.



    Thank you all for your input it helped me out tremendously.
     
  12. Kevin P

    Kevin P Well-Known Member

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    How much is the preamp worth? The same as the computer?

    I would rather have them give you back the computer (since you bought it with your money) and then give you the option to buy the preamp. To do otherwise sounds fishy. I wonder if they're cooking their books somehow...

    KJP
     
  13. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Well-Known Member

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    It does sound incredibly fishy to me.

    It sounds like perhaps the audio equipement and IT equipment comes out of different budgets and they are trying to sneak their way into getting more computers. Did your company actually pay for the preamp or is there a chance it was donated to them or bought at a reduced price?

    I personally wouldn't hear anything of the trade. You give them the preamp, they give you your computer. If they are willing to buy the computer from you, then great. If they are willing to sell you the preamp, then great. But with the depreciation of equipment, I wouldn't trust an even trade.

    And really, just as a side note, but I'd never work for a company that required me to have a laptop and expected me to pay for it myself. My philosophy is that if they really mandatory, they would provide me with one.

    And just another curiosity question. . since the laptop was YOUR posession, how'd it even get in their hands for them to steal it from you? You can betcha if it was mine I'd take it home every day and not leave it unattended.

    I guess, though, in the end if you are happy with the trade that is what really matters.
     
  14. Mark C Sherman

    Mark C Sherman Well-Known Member

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    The preamp Sells retail for $4000.00 I bought the computer for $1500.00 or 1600.00 2 years ago. I have a new computer. if I give them back the preamp my system will be useless. Id rather have a good sounding system then an out dated laptop. also My preamp is upgrade able(software and hardware) so it will never(somewhat) be obsolete
     
  15. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Well-Known Member

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    In that case, it sounds like they are the ones that got the short end of the stick. You'd probably get, if you're lucky $500 for that laptop. I don't know how much the preamp is worth now, but I imagine a bit more than $500.

    In that case, don't worry about the "trade", though I would still keep in mind their shady business practices in case you have future dealings with them.
     
  16. Mark C Sherman

    Mark C Sherman Well-Known Member

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  17. Paul Bond

    Paul Bond Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like everything has worked out just fine, but (call me Mr. Paranoid) be sure you get the deal in writing.
     

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