Why is my employer against me getting unemployment benefits?

I have been working for a Dr. in Nassau County for 6 years. I am a surgical assistant.I am under the suspician he is doing things he shouldn't be doing to his employees. I get paid by the surgery. Usually we have one surgery a day, sometimes two. When I first started working there I never recieved a paystub, until I finally said I need a paystub with my check. He doesnt use a payroll company he does it himself. When we are done with the surgery we can go home. Every month he takes vacations raging from 4 days-2 weeks or more and we don't get paid for them weeks we have off. I recently filed for unemployment for them weeks I have off, and I spoke to the DOL and they said I am entitled to receive it. The day before I returned back to work, one of the girls (receptionist) in which my title is above her, told me he wanted her to call me up and fire me. Then he said forget it. On the first day I returned back to work he asked me to answer 14 questions relating to my job, hours I work, salary etc. that he had typed out on a plain peice of paper with no date when I asked why did he want me to answer these questions he did not want to tell me. I told him that I cannot answer these questions. He then got really angry snatched the paper out of my hand then told me to leave, saying I’m not doing my job if I don’t answer the questions. I told him that’s not part of my job to answer questions that has nothing to do with the surgery. He has an anger problem and screams and yells frequently, sometimes even getting physical with the patients and staff. I asked him are you firing me, he didnt answer me I asked him repeatedly and I still got no explanation as to why he wants me to answer the questions. I know It has something to do with me claiming unemployment benefits. Retaliation. The question is why is he so against me claiming unemployment when he takes these long vacations? Is he hiding something? Please help me understand what the possibilities could be and what I can do about it. I am returning to work the day after tomorrow since I wasn’t technically fired. Someone Please help. Thank you.

1 answer  |  asked Sep 1, 2009 2:31 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

Patricia Pastor
With respect to benefits, an employer is not required to offer its employees benefits such as paid holidays or vacation time. However, an employer is required to pay overtime to non-exempt employees at the rate of one and one-half times your regular pay rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. More information is required in order to determine whether you are an exempt or non-exempt employee.

With respect to your employer's questions, he is certainly entitled to ask you questions related to your position. It is not clear from your question whether any of your employer's questions were improper.

Finally, it does not appear you were dismissed from your position. If you are laid off intermittently due to lack of work, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits for the period of the layoff.

posted by Patricia Pastor  |  Sep 1, 2009 4:03 PM [EST]

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