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Questions Answered by Rhiannon Herbert
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New Jersey on
Q: does a company need to provide holiday pay to all if they provide to some?

I'm a full time employee. The company does provide holiday pay. our schedules change from week to week. if I wasn't scheduled to work on a holiday but others were, are they required to pay ALL employees the holiday pay or only the ones scheduled on that day?

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jul 1, 2020

Generally, employers are not required to offer pay on days that you do not perform work. However, you should consult your employee manual or handbook and review your employer's policy regarding holiday pay or other paid time off (if it has one). Employers may set up their PTO policies in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Colorado on
Q: I have been out of work because I lost my voice due to a mass on my throat

Offline having doctors send in documentation required by employer. I went through surgery on June 2nd got my voice back about a week later but days before I was sent a termination letter for attendance. Is it legal.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jul 1, 2020

The answer to this question will depend on what your company's attendance policy is and what kind of documentation your doctors sent over. It will also depend on what your job duties were and for how long you needed to be out of work. You may potentially have a claim for disability... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for South Carolina on
Q: I had a conversation with my company's lawyer about a sexual harassment claim I made. He told me, "maybe it was just a

misunderstanding" And I haven't even given my statement. How do I file a grievance?

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jun 23, 2020

If you have already reported the incidents of sexual harassment to your company's HR Department, the next step would be filing a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). However, make sure you've already reported the incident(s) to HR... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Ohio on
Q: Can my employer refuse a doctors note?

I was given a doctors note stating I can not wear a face mask, but my work said that since the doctor's note doesn't state why I can't wear one it's not a approved reason.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jun 23, 2020

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, your employer is obligated to engage in an interactive process with you to come up with a reasonable accommodation for a disability. If your employer has additional questions about what your disability is and how it restricts your ability to wear a mask to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Kansas on
Q: Is suspicion of drug use enough to legally be terminated?

I was not offered a drug test or any chance to defend myself, I was simply walked out of the building and that’s the last I had heard of it. This is all based solely on hearsay, no evidence or investigation at all. Just wondering if there’s any legal action I can take. Thanks!

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jun 17, 2020

Generally, in at-will employment states, employers may fire their employees for any reason or for no reason at all and need not provide you any opportunity to tell your side of the story. However, you may have a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") here. But whether you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: How can I stop my employer from tip pooling?

We were all brought back to the restaurant for outside sitting. They have recieved the PPP and are paying everyone $10 plus tips are being pooled now. Prior to covid, the busses and runners were tipped a percentage. Now they are getting equal shares based on hours. Basically, the kids got a pay... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jun 17, 2020

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, tip pools are permissible as long as tips are only being pooled between people who would ordinarily receive tips or contribute to the customer's tip. This includes servers and bartenders as well as bussers and runners. As long as you do NOT have to pool tips... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oklahoma on
Q: Can my employer fire me for having to miss 4 weeks per Dr's orders? I had 2 strokes (I'm age 27). 8 months employed

Hello there, I am very curious about this. I have been with this company for over 8 months and I recently had 2 strokes. Spent 5 days in the ER and doctors administered every test under the sun to find the cause: 2 Brain MRIs, Chest X Ray, Spinal Tap, Testicular Sonogram, Throat Sonogram, Heart... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jun 9, 2020

You may have a claim for disability discrimination and/or failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers who employ 15 or more people are subject to the ADA. The ADA generally requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations to their employees (in your case, an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Constitutional Law and Employment Discrimination for Texas on
Q: Discrimination during COVID 19 and sexual harassment

I was furloughed for COVID 19, and my employer said for 2 months he couldn’t afford to call me back to work. All the men in my department were back and working the whole 2 months I was gone. Now he is offering me a lower pay rate and is putting me in another department, and replaced my shift with... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jun 9, 2020

It sounds like you may have a claim for sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To establish this claim, you have to prove you were qualified for your original job, you suffered an adverse employment action (a pay cut or demotion to a less favorable or prestigious job... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation on
Q: My employer is not providing what he promised, What should I do?

On dated 02 April, My employer fired me, when I was working from home and said I will give you two months' salary as compensation in a month's time and my experience letter and payslips in a week's time. Which he hasn't provided yet. I have a company's laptop with me which... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jun 2, 2020

Your employer is required to pay you for all the hours you performed work, so if he is still withholding pay from you, you are entitled to your unpaid wages for work you performed. However, employers are not required to offer any kind of severance benefits (pay after employment ends). If this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oklahoma on
Q: Can a business get around paying you for "on-call time worked", by paying a minimal amount while waiting to engage?

I get payed $2 an hour after hours to stay by the phone and be accessible remotely 24/7 every other week. I am hourly payed in order to do this. Some calls last a couple minuets while others last hours, sometimes more then half the night. At which case I'm supposed to get up and be at the... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jun 2, 2020

Your employer is required to pay you at least minimum wage for all hours spent performing compensable work. The question of whether an employee is performing compensable work during on-call time depends on the degree to which the employee may use the time for their own personal activities. The key... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer laid me off and told me to collect unemployment. made me work from home, unpaid. Isnt this illegal?

I feared that if I didn't comply that he wouldn't take me back. After a month of working from home I put my foot down. Obviously he used covid as an excuse for his financial gain and now he is angry. How am I protected in this situation?

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 27, 2020

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), you must be paid for all hours worked. Your employer cannot tell you to collect unemployment in place of paying you for your time worked after you were laid off. Depending on how many unpaid hours you worked, your employer's refusal to pay... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Illinois on
Q: Can a salaried employee in Chicago be asked/required to work more than 40 hours a week and not be compensated?

Me and my coworker were just made salary. Ever since, we've been asked to work 6 days a week which is more than 40 hours a week with no additional pay beyond the 40 hours. Other than this to stay within 40 hours we are also being asked to work five and a half days a week which will leave us... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 27, 2020

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees who are paid a salary may be required to work more than 40 hours per week without additional pay, but there are rules regarding whether an employee can be classified as a salary employee in the first place. Whether your position meets these rules will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Utah on
Q: When does paid time start in this situation?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, workers are required to pass through a medical checkpoint to answer a questionnaire and have their temperatures checked. Workers must then walk 10-30 minutes from the checkpoint to their "start" area and must be there at 7AM to be officially clocked in. I am... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 20, 2020

Both of these issues are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Unpaid breaks of 30 minutes or more are permissible under the FLSA, so you need not be paid during your lunch breaks. Whether you should be paid for the time you spend in the medical checkpoint and walking to your work station is a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oklahoma on
Q: How do I properly resign if I'm too old to do the work re: Covid-19 safety. I'm a respiratory therapist in Oklahoma.

I was ordered to only work Covid-19 areas, and not allowed to go to "clean" areas. I have hypertension, which is has a 69% mortality rate for persons who contract the disease, Covid-19. I explained the mechanism of action to my superior: the virus SARSCoV-2 targets ACE2 enzymes that... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 20, 2020

You may have a claim for failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act due to your hypertension. But, this will depend on what your typical job duties are. Do other people who perform your job work with both COVID-19 patients and in "clean" areas? If so, you should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Can my employer furlough me due to being high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan?

My employer said they are going to furlough all parttime employees and 1 full-time employee. They asked for volunteers. Another employee, with less seniority, volunteered. Then my employer told me that because of a previous medical condition I need a note from my doctor stating I am not a... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 12, 2020

While your employer can prevent you from coming to work if you've been diagnosed with COVID-19, it cannot treat you differently or require any further documentation from you based on any medical condition that could put you at greater risk for COVID-19. If your employer furloughs you instead... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Do I have to go back to work or am I entitled to unemployment?

I received a call back to work letter. It states I will return back at my previous position and pay. But when I returned they have me doing another job, at the same hourly pay (minimum wage) but no potential for commission. commission makes up for at least 30% of my pay. Can I refuse and collect... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 12, 2020

Unfortunately, you are not eligible for unemployment if there is work available that has been offered to you (regardless of whether it is a different position).

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Kentucky on
Q: do i have to report a severance package to unemloyment in Kentucky when i have been terminated

was terminated but was told i will receive a severance package. Kentucky unemployment is asking questions about severence pay when i try to file.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 6, 2020

The general rule is that you cannot collect unemployment and severance pay at the same time. Depending on how your severance package is structured (i.e. whether you are getting a lump sum or a series of payments over the next few payroll periods), you will not be eligible for unemployment during... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: can employer fire me and take away previous paycheck because of covid?

My employer has been paying everyone to stay at home. I put in my 2 week notice and my employer fired me on the spot and told me they won't pay me for the 2 weeks. They also told me I wont be paid for the previous 2 weeks either. I have a record of the hours worked before it got deleted online.

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 6, 2020

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must be paid for all hours worked. However, since North Carolina is an at-will employment state (meaning either you or your employer can terminate the employment relationship for any reason at any time), your employer is allowed to terminate your employment... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I work part time. My employer is trying to switch me from salary to an hourly wage. What are they allowed to do?

I work at a winery in CA. I do direct-to-customer sales in a tasting room. My employment is part time, but I am paid a yearly salary. I make $35,000 a year and I am not considered a manger. Over-time never happens. Because of the pandemic, my employer has mentioned switching me from salary to an... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 6, 2020

Under the FLSA, the general rule is that every employee can be paid on an hourly basis, but NOT every employee can be paid on a salary basis. Your employer may switch you from salary to hourly, and they can choose your hourly rate (as long as that hourly rate does not fall below California's... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Michigan on
Q: Can my employer give more sick/personal time to "high risk" employees during the COVID pandemic?

I work for a large corporation that is considered essential through the pandemic shut downs. The company generously gave all employees an additional 80 hours of sick/personal time to cover any time off wanted or needed during the pandemic. If not used, the employee will be paid for those hours. It... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Apr 29, 2020

Since your employer is a large corporation (500+ employees) and is considered an essential business, they are not legally required to offer any paid leave during this ongoing pandemic. Since there are no minimum standards here regarding how much paid leave employees are entitled to, your employer... Read more »

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