Worcester, MA asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts

Q: is there anything I can do?

I'm a delivery driver for a small liquor store. I get paid minimum wage from the store, and about on average $400-$500 a week in taxed tips. In 1 year, I've delivered over $230,000 worth of product for them alone.

My boss recently said he was no longer going to pay me gas money ($20/week) I disagreed, and we got into a heated conversation. He then announced infront of my coworkers and customers "you make $1200 a week, you don't need gas money. I was upset he had said that infront of my coworkers because I make a lot more than anyone there. That creates a hostile work environment when someone knows you're making triple what they make.

I was so mad I told my boss I was going home. I walked out on my shift and said loudly I was going home.

My boss has now replaced me on the schedule and is saying I quit. I called to tell him I didn't quit that I would be in tomorrow and he said I had to take a week off without pay. Can he do this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth
  • Salem, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: The question involves a lot of complex issues. However without going through a detailed analysis and determining what employment policies your firm has, the answer to can he force you to take a week-off the answer is yes he can lay you off for any reason he wants so long as it does not violate his employment policies that may exist.

As for telling everyone what you earn, while that may be a bad policy it is not illegal. To determine what claims you may have and their strength is a lot more information is needed. Even if you have a claim and could file a complaint it will only make your work environment even worse. I suggest you let things calm down and keep your eyes and ears open and keep your comments to a minimum.

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