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Questions Answered by Rhiannon Herbert
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington on
Q: Can you refuse an unpaid 30 minute break?

I work in a bistro restaurant

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Oct 5, 2022

Employers are permitted to require their employees to take 30+ minute unpaid breaks. However, if you are required to perform any work during this 30 minute break period, such that it isn't an "uninterrupted" break, you generally need to be paid for the break time.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Can an owner of a restaurant use the word salary on a paycheck stub to avoid paying overtime

On the stub rate of pay says salary The hours for 2 weeks say 80 but the employee worked a 105 hours. The owner paid $6.98 for a 105 hours And the employee did not get time and a 1/2 for overtime

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Oct 5, 2022

Generally no. There are certain standards an employer must meet in order to prove their employees can be properly paid on a salary basis. If these standards aren't met, then employees must be paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a week.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Kentucky on
Q: My employer wants me to clock in and out for bathroom breaks and I also had an ADA form filled out from my Doctor

I have a medical condition that causes me to have very frequent bathroom breaks my HR department wanted my doctor's office to fill out an ADA form but now that they have the form my employer wants me to clock in and out for bathroom breaks when no one else has to what can i do about this?

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Sep 28, 2022

You should contact a Kentucky employment attorney to discuss your situation in greater detail. Generally, break periods of 20 minutes or less constitute paid time. In addition, if you are being treated differently than other employees based on your disability and accommodation request, this can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: is it legal for a company to change your pay date in the middle of the pay period without notice?

normally i work thursday-sunday and get paid that monday. this past friday we found out (literally overheard the managers) that payroll was going to be messed up and we weren’t getting paid monday. my managers/HR/owner has not said ANYTHING about how or when we will be paid. other than “if you... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Sep 28, 2022

This will likely depend on the length of the delay in receiving the payment. Generally, employers can change their payroll schedule without notice (ex. changing pay date from Mondays to Fridays), but there may be payment deadlines imposed by Michigan state law that your employer cannot exceed.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Texas on
Q: Is it illegal in Texas for an employer to withhold tips from an employee?

I worked part time for a company making the $7.25 minimum hourly wage. The company also had a tip pool on top of their pay, and employees were tipped equally every day. When I quit the job, the manager told me that they were going to withhold my tips from the previous day I had already worked. They... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Sep 20, 2022

This is a tricky situation. Under federal law, employers are generally only required to pay you at least your state's minimum wage for each hour of work you perform. In the service industry, this means your server wage + your tips received must equal a ground total that averages out to an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Rhode Island on
Q: Do Live-In Sober House Managers make a Salary in RI?

I was a live-in sober house manager in RI for about 9 months, and did not get compensated aside from the free room. Am I entitled to some money?

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Sep 20, 2022

You should contact a Rhode Island employment attorney to discuss your situation, as this situation will be highly dependent on the specific facts of your situation. While housing can be provided as part of an employee's compensation, there are special rules that must be met in order for an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Contracts for New Jersey on
Q: How can I get out of a 72,000 expense reimbursement contract from my employer?

My employer detailed a $6,000 a month x 12 month training cost that required 24 months of work upon completion of the program otherwise repayment for the uncompleted months. Research shows the training program used did not cost 72k and my training did not last 12 months, only the “orientation... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Sep 13, 2022

More information is needed here - you should contact a New Jersey contract attorney to discuss your situation in greater detail. Repayment terms are generally enforceable to the extent they fairly approximate the value of what your employer paid for. However, the longer you've worked with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Employment Discrimination and Health Care Law for Virginia on
Q: I just had heart surgery and my employer of 15 years seems to be trying to find a way to fire me. Should I lawyer up?

My employer quite suddenly has begun writing me up for perceived performance opportunities that seem fabricated after never receiving developmental feedback like this. I’m worried it is because I had health problems and needed open heart surgery. It could also be my tenure with the company. It... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Sep 13, 2022

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employees cannot be discriminated against or targeted for termination based on a disability or need for an accommodation based on a disability. If you think your employer is targeting you for termination based on your past surgery and/or ongoing related... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Arizona on
Q: I was "stood down" by my employer do to my mental health. Now they are threatening to enforce the attendance policy.

Please tell me how to proceed? Especially if they do not wish to say anything via email.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Sep 6, 2022

More information is needed to answer your question. You should contact an Arizona employment attorney to discuss your situation in greater detail, because disability-related issues are highly fact dependent.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New Jersey on
Q: Can an employer notify an employee 5mins before a double shift starts that their shifts have been canceled indefinitely

These two shifts that were terminated on 5 minutes notice made up half of the employee's weekly income as an Emt-b in the state of NJ.

Reason cited for terminating shifts were for "budgetary purposes" when clearly it is not.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Sep 6, 2022

Employers have a lot of discretion regarding changes to work schedules, and there are no laws that require employers to offer a certain amount of hours, so your employer's actions are not inherently unlawful. However, if you believe your hours have been reduced based on a discriminatory animus... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law on
Q: Do I have any legal recourse if my job is cutting my hours? I live in a spare room. Quitting would make me homeless.

I was under the impression that this jobs would allow me to afford an apartment, but they offered to house me until I found a place.

Fast forward a month and a half or so and suddenly the bosses are planning hour cuts.

I can’t afford to live here on what they’re paying me... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Aug 31, 2022

Unfortunately, there is nothing unlawful about an employer's decision to cut employee hours. However, if your employer deducts rent from your pay for your current living situation, then you should contact a Colorado employment attorney to discuss this, as there as special wage rules an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Is it wrong for an employer to lay me off due to covid 19 yet have someone else doing my job during this time?

I was told that with a covid 19 layoff, I should be the 1st to be offered my job back. I waited & wasnt contacted. They have hired someone else to do my job. I was always given wonderful reviews of my job performance from all my supervisors, managers, as well as persons I came in contact... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Aug 23, 2022

While your situation sounds unfair, this is not necessarily unlawful. However, if you believe your employer decided against bringing you back and hired someone else based on a discriminatory reason (i.e. based on race, sex, age, disability, religion), then you should contact a California employment... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Georgia on
Q: Updating equipment off the clock for my employer, illegal or no?

My company requires that I run the updates for the company provided equipment every month off the clock, which is always at least an hour or more if the update didn't take the first time. Complaints have fallen on deaf ears evidently.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Aug 23, 2022

More information is needed here, since whether "off the clock" work must be paid depends on a number of different factors. These include how you are paid (hourly vs. salary), how many hours per week you work, and what specific tasks you are required to do in order to run and complete the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Sexual Harassment for Georgia on
Q: Is this sexual harassment or something more?

A female employee walks into her office and finds a male co-worker going through her personal phone. He is taking pictures of her screen with his phone. When caught, he immediately drops her phone and when she questions him, he says that he was just looking for the calendar. When she picks up her... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Aug 16, 2022

You should first look to see if your company has a policy for reporting incidents of sexual harassment. If so, you should follow the policy and report what happened in writing. If no policy exists, you should still make a written report either to HR and/or your supervisor. Once the company has been... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Alabama on
Q: Can my employer stop paying time and a half like is Federal law??? They only paid me the half not the time + half.

I worked 97.5 in 2 wks....i make $13 , so my rate with the 17.5 hrs will b $19.5 × 17.5

But thats not how they did it and i can't get this issue resolved!

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Aug 16, 2022

You should reach out to an Alabama employment attorney to discuss your situation. While most hourly-paid workers must be paid at a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, this general rule does not apply to everyone. There are certain professions and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Georgia on
Q: Can my employer legally make me show documentation of diagnosis after leaving the ER?
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Aug 9, 2022

More information is needed to answer this question. However, if you miss work for a medical reason, your employer is generally permitted to request documentation of your absence to substantiate that your absence was caused by the medical reason provided.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Nebraska on
Q: If I have an email stating that I would be paid a set amount at the start of summer. Never received that wage.

Is my employer required to retroactively pay me due to the payroll employee just not paying me that amount bc she didn't think I should get that.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Aug 2, 2022

You should first discuss the situation with the individual that told you that you would receive compensation at the higher rate. If they don't agree to retroactive payments, then you should contact a Nebraska employment attorney. While the email you mentioned is not a contract, you may want... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Can my employer require me to take an unpaid lunch at a certain time and not permit you to leave the building

Job forcing lunch at 2am while having a policy in place that they can terminate you if you leave the building between 12am and 4am. There is no way to get food and I don't have time to bring food

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Aug 2, 2022

Employers can require breaks for any purpose, whether it's labeled as a meal break or not. These breaks can also be unpaid if they are for 30 minutes or longer. However, if you still have to perform work during this break time, then you are not considered to be fully relieved of your duties,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I share an email I created and sent to an employer. It does not include their response.

It will be used as proof that I submitted a freelancers invoice for payment.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Jul 26, 2022

There are generally no laws that would prevent you from doing this, but you should check your employer's policies on email security before doing so. If an employer adopts a policy against using your work email for purposes other than the work for the employer, you could be disciplined if you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Offer Letter Rescinded/Altered after Acceptance. Any legal action that can be taken to keep the original offered salary?

I am in a contract position that is being transitioned to a new company and they plan to bring me over to fill the same role. I provided my salary requirements and then received an offer letter. When i received this offer letter the job title was incorrect and I pointed this to the recruiter and I... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
answered on Jul 26, 2022

While this situation sounds unfair, it's unlikely that you have any recourse. An offer letter is generally not a contract, so the terms of the offer can be changed without your acknowledgement or approval. If you don't want to accept the position with the lower salary, you are not... Read more »

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