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Warren D Atlas

Warren Atlas’s Answers

9 total

  • I work for a local cab company which has bounced paychecks and also withheld pay to try to extract extra work hours from people.

    What can I do to get paid without being forced to work extra hours? I am owed money and they just ignore me when I ask to be paid.

    Warren’s Answer

    I am an attorney who has concentrated my practice in labor/employment matters for over 30 years. I have extensive experience with Wage/Hour Attorney General Complaints and private treble damage actions arising under a variety of provisions set forth in the Massachusetts "Payment of Wages" Statute (M.G.L. c.149 c.148).

    With respect to the "Payment of Wages" section of the statute you must be paid in full for all wages that you earned within six(6) or seven(7) days of the termination of the applicable pay period. You can enforce this right by filing a Complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Fair Labor Division. The Attorney General's Office can only seek single compensatory damages on your behalf but does have the authority to seek punitive state penalties against the offending employer under the "Penalties for Violations" section of the Act (c.149 s.27c). These penalties, if secured,go exclusively to the Commonwealth,not the employee who has been damaged. Furthermore,the A.G.'s resources are limited which inhibits their enforcement efforts, particularly on behalf of a single employee,as contrasted to a large group who may have been damaged.

    However there is a very "employee friendly" section of the Wage Act (c.149 s.150) which allows an aggrieved employee to proceed independently of the A.G. by requesting a "Private Right to Sue" authorization from the A.G. which allows the employee to immediately proceed in court against the allegedly violative employer. The "beauty" of this provision is that it has greater financial penalties benefiting the employee, as opposed to the A.G.'s single damage remedial powers. Under Section 150 a prevailing employee is , without judicial discretion,or any other legal " escape clause ",absolutely and automatically entitled to l ) mandatory (no exceptions), non-discretionary , automatic payment of treble damages , three (3x) the wages owed,2) attorney fees and 3) court fees . This is , as above, a more timely and powerful personal remedy that is unequivocally required by the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. c.149s.150) ,provided the employee is successful.

    Your question also raises the possibility of Overtime Pay violations (M.G.L. c.151 s.1A) if you are required to work in excess of forty( 40) hours in a workweek for straight time pay. More details than you have provided in your Question would have to be provided and analyzed before any opinion could be formulated regarding the overtime question. As a cab driver it is my opinion that you would be covered by the overtime law and if it had been violated you would be entitled to damages. If your overtime rights had been violated you would be legally entitled to the additional application of the treble damage provisions described above.

    One other thought that occurs to me is that if you are classified as a 1099 independent contractor, not a W-2 employee ,and separately, but independently, are required to lease, purchase or pay expenses re: your cab you may be entitled to another treble damage recovery for misclassification. As above,a great deal more facts need to be assessed before an opinion can be formulated.

    On the basis of the foregoing, I would be pleased to discuss the details, and the potentially available remedies, with you by phone (781-275-3500) or in the office on a no fee consultation basis. Let me know how you would like to proceed. Thanks.

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  • My employer hide the fact that the job is unpaid until one moth later, what shall I do?

    They told me hourly salary during the interview but then told me there will be no salary until three months later after my one month's working there. And we have signed one employment agreement. Meanwhile, there was no information about the salary...

    Warren’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Unless you are a legally approved "intern" ,your employer has definitely violated the Massachusetts Wage Act if you have performed any work on its behalf. If so, immediately contact the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division Division , request and file a Non-Payment of Wage and Workplace Complaint Form and allege a violation of c.149s.148 (Payment of Wages) for the non-payment of wages .

    As a sole layperson claimant I suggest that you retain experienced wage/hour counsel and have your attorney request a "Private Right of Action " so that a complaint can immediately be filed in court on your behalf. If you prevail, you are automatically entitled to treble (3X) the contractual wages , court costs and attorney's fees. Acting on your own, with appropriate counsel, will generally expedite resolution of your claim .

    Whether the employer's action was "unintentional" is irrelevant. The Wage Act provides unequivocal strict liability. In conclusion, you also appear to have a "retaliation" claim for raising the issue of payment but this process is more protracted and may not yield any additional remedy so I recommend that you discuss this "count" with your experienced counsel before "jumping in feet first". Good luck!

    to

    sue

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  • Can I sue my former employer, who I feel terminated me for personal reason?

    Fired w/o any consueling(within probationary period) and no motive just basicly because I voiced my objection towards the way she yelled at everyone in the office. The supervisor asked to be "friends" on Facebook and I pretty much refused her requ...

    Warren’s Answer

    Typically an employer is not restrained from terminating an employee their probationary period unless the termination offends applicable employment laws.

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  • My employer had me sign a last and final and still terminated me a week later.

    With only a weeks time passing my employer chose to instead terminate my employment.

    Warren’s Answer

    More details with respect to the terms and conditions under which you were hired are needed for a comprehensive response.

    If you were an "at will" employee (which allows for termination with or without cause or prior notice) and none of the exceptions to the "at will" doctrine apply, it could be argued that your termination satisfied the criteria of a legitimate discharge pursuant to the traditional application of the "at will" doctrine.

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  • Should I request a right to sue or continue with the EEOC?

    I've been sexually harassed at work by my direct supervisor and three others at work. Filed an EEOC complaint first week of June. In my meeting with the company lawyers and HR a few weeks later, I showed them many clips of hidden camera footage I'...

    Warren’s Answer

    By exercising your right to retaining your own private counsel in an EEOC matter, you will be able to expedite the proceedings due to the staffing limitations at the EEOC. Assuming that your attorney is an aggressive advocate, your opportunity to secure higher, either compensatory or punitive damages, is increased.

    As the video tapes constitute evidence that you would be relying upon in pursuing and proving your claim, the tapes would be made available to the company's attorneys pursuant to Discovery Rules that would allow the respondent to establish its defenses.

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  • Is there anything i can do about unfair treatment at work?

    My boss hired a "friend of the family" a few months ago. He makes $2 more than i do and now he is geting more hours than me. I have worked here for a little over 2 years now and have worked my way up from 10 hours a week to 40.

    Warren’s Answer

    Your employer is not prohibited from, or economically favoring, a "friend of the family" by paying more and granting more hours even where you have worked longer than the new "friend of the family" employee. However, if the employer is covered by a union/management collective bargaining agreement, which establishes levels of pay based on seniority, you may have a claim that the labor contract has been violated entitling you to file a grievance (provided the contract has a grievance procedure) challenging the employer's favoritism.

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  • If the client asks for arbitration in a fee dispute with that person's former lawyer and arbitration is granted, and the client

    decides to withdraw from the arbitration, can the lawer force the client to still go to arbitration even if it is against that client will?

    Warren’s Answer

    Unless the fee agreement prohibits arbitration and the client seeks an order for arbitration from a court of competent jurisdiction which grants said order, the client is bound to proceed with the arbitration unless he/she goes back into court and demonstrates that there are legally cognizable grounds for the court to rescind its order directing that the fee dispute be adjudicated in an arbitration forum.

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  • My lawyer put a law suit to my insures comp for one million dollar we been in arbitration 2 times and they still don' wan t pay

    i am back i spoke with ,my attorney is telling me if the insurance don't want to pay after 2 arbitrator second was in the court room for 2000,000 who look at the case.. then my lawyer is telling me to let it go and is nothing he can do that i...

    Warren’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Provided your case was heard by two appointed arbitrators and they ruled in your favor for compensation in excess of the $85,999 policy, my suggestion is that you seek enforcement of the arbitration award in a New Jersey court with appropriate jurisdiction to affirm the arbitrators award. If such a court affirms the award and the insurance company fails to comply with the court's order, the insurance company could be found in contempt of court.

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  • Can a company stop my salary that I am entitled to? Also if something is put in your contract can they change this?

    I am leaving my current employer and returning back to the UK and they are now stating that I am not going to receive a payment that was in our contract which we should of got when arriving, also they are not going to pay for hours worked too.

    Warren’s Answer

    In Massachusetts the failure to pay for hours worked violates the Wage and Hour laws. With respect to the arrival contract question, the failure to pay the commitment constitutes a breach of the contract provided it was in effect.

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