Legal Ethics

Lawyer Suspended for Agreeing to Pay Receptionist ‘Under the Table’

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A Massachusetts lawyer has received a three-month suspension, with all but one month stayed, for agreeing to pay his receptionist without reporting her income.

According to a summary on the Board of Bar Overseers website, lawyer Daniel Szostkiewicz hired a former client as his receptionist in August 2007. He asked her to sign a W-4 form, but she said she needed to be paid “under the table” so she could keep state health benefits for her sick husband.

Szostkiewicz agreed, and paid the woman $400 a week in unreported income until he fired her in February 2008. When the ex-employee sought unemployment benefits, Szostkiewicz made the appropriate payments to the state unemployment commission and acknowledged that she was a former employee.

The final two months of the suspension will be stayed as long as Szostkiewicz agrees to an audit of his law practice and agrees to auditor recommendations.

Hat tip to the Legal Profession Blog.

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