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Employment Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on

Q: My boyfriend committed suicide. The boss at our old work told current employees. I live in California. Is this legal.

Both my boyfriend and I no longer worked at a place. He hadn’t worked there for two years. My best friend still works there. The regional director told all of the current employees (some who didn’t even know him) that he committed suicide less than a week after it happened. I do not know how he... Read more »

Neil Pedersen answered on May 26, 2019

I am very sorry for your loss. Because this information was not disclosed by the employee to the employer and because your boyfriend was no longer an employee there, the employer would have the same rights to talk about him as anyone else would. There are no special legal duties that would... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oklahoma on

Q: Is it legal for my employer to take my vacation time away because I didnt use it by my anniversary date?

I had 30 hrs of PTO on my 4/10 paycheck and my next paycheck was 4/25 & my PTO is gone. They said they take it away because I did not use it by my 4/13 anniversary date. They never told me I had to use it or lose it. Is this legal?

Melissa Oxford answered on May 26, 2019

I recommend you consult an employment attorney to discuss the details. Find out if this policy is in an employment handbook or otherwise documented somewhere. If so, be sure to bring it to the attorney consult.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Oklahoma on

Q: An employer threatened to withhold my paycheck. When I told the employer that this was illegal, they terminated me.

Can I sue my former employer?

Melissa Oxford answered on May 26, 2019

You may have a cause of action but I recommend you consult an employment attorney. They cannot withhold pay, and you may be considered a "whistleblower", which may afford you additional protection. A lot of this is dependent on additional facts.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Contracts and Business Law for Oregon on

Q: My employer is requiring that I work in the future following my two weeks.

I work at a low end, fast food restaurant. It is a chain, but owned and operated independently. I put my two weeks in, but the owners are telling me along with other workers who have done the same that (even after our two weeks are completed and we are technically no longer employed) we will still... Read more »

Daniel DiCicco answered on May 26, 2019

Allow me to answer with a technical response: “lol.”

Slavery has been out-lawed for some time now, and no one can force you to work. What are they going to do - fire you? You already quit. If you’re worried about future references then maybe that will be a problem in the future, but...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on

Q: Does my daughter's employer have to pay her for hours worked, even if she was incarcerated?

I have requested her last check be sent, but they are saying she didn't fill out a timesheet. She has talked to her employer and said to send her check, but she hasn't.

Neil Pedersen answered on May 25, 2019

The employer has the legal duty to pay for hours worked, period. While an employer can require an employee to fill out a proper time sheet, it cannot use something like incarceration to avoid paying the money owed. It must use other data to properly pay the employee.

Good luck to you and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on

Q: In Florida, is my employer required to payout unused PTO if 2+ weeks notice was given?

Mitchell Feldman answered on May 25, 2019

Not unless it’s in writing and promised.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law and Tax Law for California on

Q: If my business' cofounder and I elect to stop receiving compensation for months, must I file state payroll reports?

The two of us are currently the only employees of our business, and only took a single paycheck of $100 each to set up the payroll system so it would be in place when we have employees in the future. We have since decided to delay any hiring, and will not be taking any compensation ourselves, for... Read more »

Neil Pedersen answered on May 24, 2019

This is a question best answered by your tax accountant. While owners can agree to not take a salary from the business there are tax consequences associated with that decision that you need to measure against the relatively small administrative charges you wish to avoid paying. Get in contact... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on

Q: I'm charged a $ 10.00 fee to cash my payroll check at the bank that the check is drawn because I'm a non customer.

It doesn't seem right that Im penalized for not having an account with them in order to receive the money I worked for. What about this Calif labor code

California Labor Code section 212 requires employers to arrange for employees to cash paychecks without incurring a fee

Neil Pedersen answered on May 24, 2019

I am sorry but fair or not, there is nothing unlawful about the bank charging a fee to a non-customer for check cashing privileges. You can avoid that charge by using your own bank for your banking. Of course, even your own bank will charge you for certain services. Bank fees are just a fact of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on

Q: Hello I live in Albany NY and I need either a Pro-Bono attorney or Contingent Employment Attorney. Please Help !

While working, I was injured on the job and went to the doctor on the same day. There was 4 employee witnesses and I told my boss also on the same. Because the nature of the incident and where the injury occurred "at the CEO's home" I was in fear of my job I started voice recording after I was... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba answered on May 24, 2019

#1. You definitely need a work comp lawyer. Retain one now! You only owe $ if they recover $ for you so it makes no sense not to.

#2. The EEOC or NYS DHR will determine whether you have enough facts to support discriminatory termination. Recording or no recording it's a fact issue. No case...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on

Q: Can a consulting Engineer charge a client mileage and not be considered an employee?

I work for an engineering consulting firm in California and have always charged our clients mileage. Recently a client stated that if we charge him mileage, then that makes us an employee and he would be liable in the case of an accident.

He said that this is a California Law. (I can't find... Read more »

Neil Pedersen answered on May 23, 2019

No that is not correct. Two parties who enter into a contract can agree on compensation and expenses without turning the relationship in to an employment one. However, the statutory right to mileage is only guaranteed under the Labor Code. That may be what the other person is confused about.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Law and Sexual Harassment for California on

Q: False sexual harrasment accusation & Human Resources trying to fire me ? For a irrelevant case ?

A girl went to Human Resources and told them that I left my students alone. (It was for less than a minute ) I was multitasking and my door was open. I was less than 10 feet away. Of course, HR may want to potentionally fire me for this. But my manager already gave me a warning for it. So why am I... Read more »

Neil Pedersen answered on May 23, 2019

I am sorry this is happening to you. Far more would need to be known about your situation before you could get reliable advice upon which you can govern your actions. Generally, in California you are considered to be an at will employee and your employer is allowed to discipline or terminate you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Tax Law for Utah on

Q: I was overpaid by my employer, the DOD, and ended up losing $7k that I was told would come back through taxes. It didn't

I work for Hill AFB and I have a rather interesting problem that I am not sure how to resolve. My problem is not with the IRS but with DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service).

When I started working for Hill, in 2017, I was guaranteed an 11k bonus. I received this bonus. The problem... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 23, 2019

You said you received $11,000, as promised. Then you said you received another bonus--without telling us how much. Bottom line: If you received a second bonus you did not deserve (under your employment contract) then you must repay it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for North Carolina on

Q: Hello, is it against the law for a manager to ask and have a discussion about my medications with my coworkers?

I was out from work for 2 days because of my panic attacks. Today is the third day and my coworker just told me that my manager was asking him about my medications and in front of my coworker while I am not there. I am so embarrassed and upset that my manager is asking my coworker about my... Read more »

Kirk Angel answered on May 23, 2019

In this scenario, most like this is not unlawful. Employers with 15 or more employees are required to keep employee medical information once they receive such information from the employee or a third party on the employee's behalf (a doctor for example). However, asking about your medications is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Sexual Harassment for California on

Q: False sexual harrasment accusation

Someone grabbed a students ( 8 yrs) sweater put it against their chest, with a disgusted look and rudely said excuse me with no consent

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 23, 2019

These facts do not constitute actionable sexual harassment. Tell her to stop, and document it. If she persists, talk to a lawyer.

Q: I have separated from my fiance. He is now harassing me and my friends. Can I get a restraining order?

He also is unwilling to give me the money owed me according to our business contract and he also is not allowing me access to get the rest of my things from his home. What should I do?

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 23, 2019

If the facts are as bad as you say, you can get a restraining order--and an order allowing you to get your things. But if you do owe him any money, you might see a lawsuit soon.

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Employment Law for Florida on

Q: can an employer force an employee to purchase a company provided laptop if there are damages?

One of my twins pulled my work laptop off the countertop in my kitchen and subsequently broke a few pieces of the external plastic frame. The computer still works, no screen damage, just external Plastic parts that need to be replaced. My employer is demanding that I buy the laptop from them and if... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 21, 2019

Before you let yourself get all worked up about having to purchase the laptop your children broke please know that Florida is an “at will” state, which means employers are free to hire, transfer, promote, demote, suspend, reinstate, fire and rehire employees for any reason at any time, i.e.,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Nursing Home Abuse, Personal Injury and Sexual Harassment on

Q: I work in a group home for the mentally challenged. I had a resident expose my breast and pinch it can I charge him?

He took my phone smashes it then grabbed my face scratching my nose and eye. Then snapped my glasses and flushed them down the toilet. Repeatedly kicked me in the legs and stomach. Then when my vision was compromised he exposed my left breast and pinched and twisted it. Then seemed out my purse and... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 21, 2019

Unless you did something to provoke the attack, the best (and only real) remedy is against the group home because they knew or should have known this resident would act out in the manner that they did. Talk to a lawyer.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Personal Injury and Products Liability for North Carolina on

Q: If a doc. between privatemployer and you is not notarized and a word doc, is it considered a legal doc

Husband out of work for 4 and a half months due to injury not sustained at work. Work said he had 40 hrs PTO he can use, but broken down to maintain insurance needed for operations , Dr appts, etc. Returns to work, employer hand him document that is not notrawarized and typed up in a Microsoft word... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 21, 2019

Whether the document is notarized or not does not matter. This is a simple internal payroll issue. It sounds like the employer has allowed your husband to return to work but is also docking your husband's pay because he used more than 40 hours of PTO while tending to his medical needs. This can be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Law for California on

Q: Can an employee file a lawsuit against the owner personally instead of the business?

Received a letter from an attorney this morning and was wondering if it's possible for an employee who I owe back wage to, to file a lawsuit against the owner instead of the business?

Neil Pedersen answered on May 20, 2019

There are several ways an employee can sue the owner of a business. While the general rule is that the business is primarily liable for many of the claims an employee can make, there are several ways an owner who either engages in certain acts of harassment, or who has discretionary control over... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on

Q: Im a federal supervisor. I manage a staff of 8. One of my employees is harassing me with frivolous emails and demanding

Over the last 2 years I have given this employee a letter of reprimand, a PIP, and a proposal for a seven day suspension. My upper level supervisor failed to sign off on the suspension. My upper level supervisor has promised over the last year that this employee would be moved. After a few month of... Read more »

Andrellos Mitchell answered on May 20, 2019

Just based on what you have presented I can't advise you. It requires meeting to discuss the case, review of paperwork, and research. However, it sounds like you may be open to getting in trouble with upper level management and should hire counsel to protect your rights.

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