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

I worked for non-accredited college as a staff accountant. I was doing payroll for them and at first my controller, Cindy, would tell me that the teachers were contractors and shouldn't be paid until a month after they taught classes. This was clearly wrong and a major wage violation. A few months later when our cash flow was bad she asked me to pull 40 people off the payroll and not to let the employees that were affected know. I was not ok with this and she was well aware that I did not feel comfortable with doing this. Since she was my boss I listened to her about pulling the employees but I also sent them emails telling them that there was going to be a delay in payment. As you could guess this caused a huge unrest with those employees and soon had the owner of the school asking why weren't paying these instructors. Even though Cindy told me not to let the owner know the reason why I felt it was important and necessary for him to know so I told him it was due to lack of funds. Once he found out he found money to pull into our account and we were able to pay the employees gradually over the next month or so. I wouldn't know because Cindy after finding out the owner knew, had moved me to the front desk and the front desk receptionist was trained in my job. Three months later I was let go because I made too much to be a receptionist even though I was a staff accountant and was told the front desk job was just for diversifying my training. I feel I was retaliated against because I stood up to my boss about wage violations.

1 answer  |  asked Nov 21, 2013 09:17 AM [EST]  |  applies to Massachusetts

Answers (1)

Kevin McGann
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 by Kevin McGann  |  Nov 21, 2013 10:14 AM [EST]

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