Answers Posted By Kevin McGann

Answer to How long do I have to report retaliation from my previous employer?

First of all, call the Attorney General's offie, who regulates wage and hour disputes, and see if they cover people who in your position; you are not an employee whose wages were withheld.

Second, I hope you applied for Unemployment Insurance (UI), because you have a good chance of getting it.

Third, "retaliation" itself is not a crime or a claim. Its unlawful if done in conection with protected classes who report discrimination, so that alone is a weak case. Others may disagree.

Lastly, I am betting that this college deals with Federal or State funds. You should explore various "whistleblower" laws (fed, state)to see if they cover you, even though you didn't actually blow the whistle to an agency (but rather to the boss). I don't know enough about them to say. Try Paul Merry in Boston.

posted Nov 21, 2013 12:14 PM [EST]

Answer to Employer requires employee to be available by phone and in person during term of severance payments.

Most clauses like this insert "reasonably available". Yours sounds likely to be abusive.

Understand, nobody owes you a severance agreement. It is a private deal between you and the company: they give you money, and in return you agree not to sue them etc. You don't have to take it. You can add language of your own, too.

In this situation, it is up to you what kind of a deal you think you can bargain for. With these extra expectations they have, you can "charge" them for more money in severance or put a limit on time involved, so they don't abuse your help. After all, they must have discharged you because they didn't need you.

posted May 13, 2013 10:37 PM [EST]

Answer to NT

If I understand you correctly, you were trained to do the job a certain way, and you did it that way, mistrusting the advice of other people. I assume that the other people were NOT your superiors/managers. In Massachusetts, you have a good chance on appeal, and you should hurry up and appeal it. You did not violate any company policies or management instructions, and your manager said you were let go "because it wasn't working out", which is not a reason to deny you unemployment benefits.

posted Jun 21, 2012 7:56 PM [EST]

Answer to Will cashing ck relieve xemployer of bonus earnings

It sounds like he is giving you a second offer with a second check, and the circumstances sound like he is offering you an agreement, and expecting you to accept it by taking the money.

This is not how a severance agreement works. First, you and he agree on a writing which describes all (legal rights) that you are giving up, and all money and benefits he is giving you in return. When you have that writing, and IF you agree with or accept it, then you both sign it. Then you get the money stated in the agreement. This is a very clear step-by-step routine which protects everyone. You should follow this routine carefully.

By giving you the check with some proposed agreement and encouraging you to cash it, he is not following this procedure and thereby blurring what the deal is, and how the deal gets "accepted" by you. If you take the money, it "looks like" you accepted the deal, and gives him an argument that you agreed to it. I would not do that if you think you deserve more, and can get it.

Legally, you cannot give away your rights without a written agreement that you both agree to, by signing it, so you are not bound to anything if you haven't yet done that. On the other hand, you don't have any right to take (and keep!) money from someone who sends it with an unsigned agreement, which you aren't going to sign.

So put the check in a safe place and you decide, first, whether you accept the agreement, or you want more money. If you want more, ask for it, and get it in writing, in the agreement. Then he signs it; then you sign it; then he gives you the money.

posted May 16, 2012 3:49 PM [EST]

Answer to Can employer get around clause in a separation agreement and enter agreement as evidence

Sorry, don't know what you mean.
If you intend to use the agreement as part of a suit for breaking the agreement, then the agreement is a necessary part of the suit, and would not be excluded as evidence.

posted Feb 22, 2012 10:06 AM [EST]

Answer to Can i make up an unpaid 8hr FMLA day in the same week on sat or sun to have my 40hrs.

Employers can require you to use sick or vacation time before using FMLA time. It sounds like you had an agreement with a former manager which your current manager won't do. This does not sound like a violation of FMLA to me.

It also sounds like you have a union contract which has some terms in it about a 40 hour week. Your union rep or union lawyer can look into that. Sorry, but I can't interpret what your Union contract says, and its up to the union to enforce it.

posted Feb 5, 2012 4:48 PM [EST]

Answer to I signed a non-compete in March 2008 and want to know if it is still valid

Yes. Consideration for a non-compete is usually continued employment. The change in compensation is not relevent. The fact that they lied to you may make it unenforceable, but I doubt it, since the mis-statement is not relevent to the agreement.

posted Dec 22, 2011 12:57 PM [EST]

Answer to I resigned from a position due to stress caused by Hostile work environment do I have recourse

If you have physical symptoms caused by stress at work, your claim should be under Worker's Compensation law, and you should get a lawyer who specializes in that.

The term "harassment" in the employment context usually is connected to sexual harassment. There is no employment law preventing manager from being nasty to employees, unless it is on account of race, creed, etc.

You can legally be fired from a job just because they do not like you.

posted Dec 4, 2011 6:08 PM [EST]

Answer to If I received severance and paid all taxes, when I'm rehired does the company owe me the taxes paid?

I assume that you received a lump sum "severance" and that typical income taxes were withheld. That money belongs to the IRS. If the company hires you back and your documents support that they get a pro-rated amount of pre-paid salary back, then you have over-paid your income taxes for the year. This should wash-out on your tax return/refund next year. I suggest you take this question to a tax accountant.

posted Nov 29, 2011 12:16 PM [EST]

Answer to If I'm paid commision at my salon in MA, can they force me to stay at work when I don't have clients

You don't really provide enough details information to confidently answer this question, but let me see if I can help.

The real issue is your "status". Are you an employee or an "independent contractor"? There are about 12 conditions to satisfy to be an independent contractor.

I assume that you are actually an employee, and you get paid by the haircut. This probably works fine if you only have to be there for scheduled work (haircuts), and therefore presumably by dividing the number of hours you work into the total amount you get paid, you would make more than the minimum wage per hour.

But if you are forced to stay at the salon -- stay at work -- and that math (above) comes out to less than $8 an hour, you may have an issue. If you are an employee and make less than the minimum wage per hour -- and if there are no exceptions for your industry -- you should have a further conversation with an attorney or public legal services.

posted Sep 26, 2011 2:39 PM [EST]