Possible mistreatment at work.

My work recently demoted me based on the content of my personal web page. Also, they refuse to pay overtime and they will not pay any hours worked on a day that you may have been late. I'm just wondering if any of this is legitimate.

1 answer  |  asked Jul 18, 2006 6:49 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
No protection for web page, but wage-hour laws may have been violated

Your question raises two very distinct issues. First, the demotion. When you work in the private sector, your employment is presumed to be terminable at will - that is, your employer can fire you at any time for no reason, just as you can quit whenever you choose. Although the publication of web page content is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment is a limitation on government, not private parties. So you are not protected if your employer retaliates against you for what you publish.
The second question involves the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law that requires employers to pay minimum wage and overtime. If you are an hourly employee, you are entitled to be paid a minimum of $5.15 per hour for every hour you work. If you work more than 40 hours in a week, you are entitled to time and a half for every hour over 40 that you actually work.
If you are a salaried employee, things become more complicated. Certain jobs are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, leaving you with no protection under federal law. Others are non-exempt, meaning the law still applies, but not necessarily the way you would expect it to. I would recommend that you contact the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage & Hours Division, regarding your employer's practices. For more information, go to www.dol.gov or call 602-640-2290.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Jul 19, 2006 3:02 PM [EST]

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