What Does It Mean to Be an “At Will” Employee?

“At will” is a legal phrase that means the employer has the right to fire an employee at any time, for any reason, including a senseless, mean, spiteful, or arbitrary reason, as long as the reason is not unlawful. An “at will” employment can be ended at the will of either the employer or the employee. An employment contract that has no definite duration, and that has no limitation on the employer’s ability to fire the employee, is normally “at will.” Continue reading

Is Your Employer Cheating You On The Time Clock? Clue #3: Changing Time Records

Please read Clue #1 first.  This clue does not repeat the situations illustrating the differences that arise because of pay rates close to the minimum wage, or the differences between overtime/and no-overtime claims. Clue #3.  You punch a time clock, and your time is captured by a computer that calculates your hours and your pay.  However, you think you worked longer hours than the company’s time records show. One Important Fact:  It is a crime under Federal law, and under many State laws, to alter an employee’s time records to deprive the employee of the pay to which he or she is entitled. Another Important Fact: It is perfectly legal for employers to “round up” and “round down” time on time clocks if they do so in a neutral manner, benefiting the employee sometimes and the employer sometimes, and by similar but small amounts. Example 1: Helen routinely clocks in…
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Common-Sense Suggestions to the EEOC

The EEOC has extremely important tasks in receiving and handling charges of employment discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, but is following self-defeating procedures and failing to solve longstanding problems. Some common-sense changes would work far better for the Commission, the charging parties, and employers, and would make the Commission’s limited resources more productive. Here are my ideas. Continue reading

Is Your Employer Cheating You On Your Pay? “Meal Break” Clue #1

Clue #1:  You’re an hourly employee who often has to work through lunch, but your employer automatically deducts half-hour “Meal Breaks” from your time, Federal law: the Fair Labor Standards Act, requires that you be paid at least minimum wage (or overtime) for all working time.  If your employer knows or should have known that you did not take a half-hour meal break, it breaks the law in deducting that time if the deduction means that your average pat was less than the minimum wage when your pay rate for that week, dividing total pay by hours actually worked, is less than the minimum wage; or if you worked more than 40 hours that week, because the deduction means that you did not get time and a half for all hours worked over 40. State law: Many States have wage payment laws requiring employers to pay the agreed hourly rate…
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