Answers Posted By Mary T. Keating

Answer to Due to merger new company offered me severance package can I collect unemployment?

You're not entitled to unemployment until the 8.5 weeks are up. You can file, but must let unemployment know that you are getting replacement income. Perhaps better to wait. Maybe you'll find something in the meantime anyway. Good luck.

posted Sep 4, 2012 06:36 AM [EST]

Answer to Can a compnay change a commision structure after the quarter is complete and the work is done?

Change to employment terms

This sounds like a breach of contract. You have a deal, you work according to the deal, and then the employer says, after the fact, that the deal is off. But with two weeks' notice a company can change the terms of employment, going forward. If you are prepared to give up on this company, and insults and injuries might be plenty of provocation, you have to decide if there is enough money at stake to sue. (Make sure your compensation agreement does not require arbitration.) Good luck. Mary Keating

posted May 30, 2008 08:55 AM [EST]

Answer to Old non compete agreement

Non Compete Agreements Are Limited to their wording

It is not possible to decide if a non-compete agreement is invalid from a description of it. In Maryland, non-competition provisions are upheld if reasonable in duration and scope, if the business can show a business need for the provision (another reasonableness determination). Many sales non-competes limit the scope to a given universe of customers with whom the employer had dealings, others seek to prevent the person from working in a certain region in the same occupation. So you'd have to begin with the wording of the contract. Then you may want to assess the likelihood of a problem. Does the new company run to court to enforce these? Do you pose a competitive threat? Is the new company going to back you up? Sorry that a more definitive answer is not possible, but at least those are some things to think about.

posted May 27, 2008 12:11 PM [EST]

Answer to Sign disclaimer under duress to receive pay check

Waiver of wages

I would not cash the check, unless the amounts you are owed are small. Though a disclaimer like you have on your check SHOULD be valid only if there is a legitimate dispute, those are easy to fabricate. In short, you'd be stuck in front of many judges.

Do you have documentation (like a calendar or log) of the hours for which you were not paid in traveling from job to job? That will make the difference in a claim for unpaid wages or overtime.

Good luck. Mary Keating

posted May 9, 2008 5:49 PM [EST]

Answer to Is this legal?

Wage disparity

Assuming that you have no union (and if you do, there should be union involvement on this issue), the legality of paying different wages in different facilities usually comes down to whether there is illegal discrimination. Maryland and federal law require that people of different genders be paid the same for the same work, by the same company. These laws have exceptions that often engulf the rule. If the wage issue does not involve male vs. female, or perhaps people of different races, there may be nothing you can do. The corporate structure may be critical too. If the subsidiaries are different companies, then other rules determine whether they can be considered part of the same bigger enterprise for the purpose of comparing wages. I hope this helps you understand the issues a little better.

posted May 29, 2007 3:59 PM [EST]

Answer to Didn't get a paycheck

No pay

First, you have a breach of contract action if you are not paid when and as agreed. If the company is gone, you can still sue here, but collecting could get trickier. Is there a written contract?
Second, you may not have been a true independent contractor, just because you were labeled as such. If you should have been an employee, you can sue under the Maryland law which allows a court to award you paycheck amount as well as additional damages for the failure to pay, and attorney's fees. If you want to contact me if you are not paid by Halloween, feel free. Mary Keating, 410-532-8900.

posted Oct 12, 2005 08:46 AM [EST]

Answer to Duties removed and deemed unqualified

Response to duties removed

You present a picture of a difficult boss who seems arbitrarily to be deciding to push you out the door, and that something fishy is going on. The problem is, unless you can come up with facts to indicate that the reason is illegal discrimination, you are most likely better off with the severance package. (Depending, of course, if the package has other provisions that hurt you in the marketplace, such as a covenant not to compete.) Is this more than a personality conflict? Do you and the other employee share some characteristic, like your religion or race for example, that may indicate a potential discrimination issue? Since it sounds as though the same person gave you a great review and then changed overnight, the true reason is probably not illegal, even if it is a bad business decision. Call me if you want to talk further. Mary Keating

posted Aug 23, 2005 10:48 AM [EST]

Answer to Employer Filed Bankruptcy, owes me salary, will I get it ?

Depends on the bankruptcy

Your wages are priority claims, but in some bankruptcy proceedings no one gets anything. I would need to know more about it. The bankruptcy papers are public, and you can look them up, or a lawyer can, and get some idea of the employer's situation. You can and should file a proof of claim for everything you are owed, and then take steps to protect yourself. You may find that the employer has not been paying your health insurance premiums, for example, so you want to check out such things. Best of luck. Mary Keating

posted Mar 2, 2005 09:31 AM [EST]

Answer to Employee Records?


Along with the concept of employment at will goes the idea that a company can refuse to hire you for any reason. If the reason is discriminatory, you might have a claim, but not just for arbitrariness, petty meanness, or the like. It's worth your sending a letter, though, asking for the reason and a waiver for other states (maybe this one guy just never wanted to work with you again). Good luck.

posted Jan 26, 2005 07:54 AM [EST]

Answer to "Temporary" layoff and severance

"Temporary" layoff

If your job was eliminated (and on these facts it looks like you can argue that), you can collect both unemployment and severance pay, so long as you are not receiving during your severance period your full range of salary and benefits. Because most people don't get life insurance and certain other benefits during the term of severance, that condition is usually fulfilled. Good luck to you, call me if you need more information.

posted Jan 19, 2005 08:33 AM [EST]

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