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Michael J. Bace

Michael Bace’s Answers

49 total


  • Is it legal to get paid different rates during the week ?

    I work in Massachusetts. I work 32 hours on the weekends in which they pay me $15.09 to make up the 40 hours. They require us to pick up 4 hours of overtime a week. Now, when I work those ot hours and any others days i might pick up, they pay me a...

    Michael’s Answer

    These complex pay structures can become just that, complex. In general, you must be paid at an overtime rate for all hours over 40. However, there are exceptions that apply. If an employer violates the wage and hour laws you may be entitled to three times your owed waged. Thus, I suggest you contact an attorney without delay to have that firm review the pay structure and ensure you are being compensated properly.

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  • Last month i needed surgery to correct a hernia. when i came back, three weeks later, i found out my employer wouldn't pay me

    i get a "draw" of 2000/wk plus commission on my dept totals less the amount of my draw per month. my monthly bonus was 50% of what it should have been. Can they legally do that? Am I entitled to my full bonus because of the surgery?

    Michael’s Answer

    If the commission is "due and payable," then those monies are wages - the failure of your employer to pay them entitles you to three times that amount as a penalty.

    Whether the commission is actually due probably hinges on the terms of whatever contract you signed.

    Most attorneys, like my office, will give you a free evaluation of a situation like this. You can pursue the triple damages and remain at your job.

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  • Can employers withhold bonuses for months?

    I have a 10% bonus eligibility written into my contract. CFO indicated due to previous fiscal year performance "everybody will be receiving 75% of their bonus". Our fiscal year ended ~ 45 days ago and no visibility into the exact date bonuses will...

    Michael’s Answer

    I agree with attorney Hammarlund. If what you call a "bonus" is actually an earned commission, then your employer's failure to pay it is a failure to pay earned wages. Under this scenario, you are entitled to three times the commission plus attorneys fees. I suggest you call an employment litigator to discuss in detail. Most, like my office will evaluate your situation for free and give you some options.

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  • Employer withholding last paycheck after i resigned from my job.

    It looks like based on the employment agreement we had, they have a clause saying they reserve the right to terminate all further payments. Is this legal? can they withhold my last paycheck?

    Michael’s Answer

    No. You must be furnished with all owed wages at the end of your employment; terms of any agreement that attempt to change that scenario are unenforceable. If an employer refuses to give you those earned wages, you are entitled to three times the amount.

    I suggest you call an employment litigator as soon as possible - there may be other issues as well. Most, like my office, will speak with you for free and may take your case on a contingency based fee.

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  • I am independent contractor whose company's owner is withholding my final paycheck unlawfully and need to know my options.

    I am an independent contractor (or was, I should say) for a newspaper delivery business in MASSACHUSETTS. I chose not to deliver my paper route on a SATURDAY of FEBRUARY 2015. I went to work the next day to deliver my SUNDAY paper route and to col...

    Michael’s Answer

    It's almost impossible to be correctly classified as an independent contractor in Massachusetts. More than likely, regardless of whatever you signed, you are an employee - as a matter of law. This could result in you being entitled to overtime compensation, reimbursement for expenses you paid out-of-pocket, gas, vehicle maintenance, etc...

    If you are actually an employee, you must be paid all owed wages upon termination - the failure of the employer to pay your final wages entitled you to three times your damages, plus a reasonable award of attorney's fees.

    I suggest you contact an employment litigator like my office as soon as possible - most, like my office, will pursue a case like yours on a contingency fee basis. You pay no legal fees until/unless there is a successful recovery.

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  • My company didn't pay my commission according to my contract. Is it possible?

    Company said the basic income is not sure, so they can't calculate the commission to me. But the same situation, they pay others.

    Michael’s Answer

    In some circumstances, commissions are actually "wages" and if your company fails to pay them, you're entitled to three times the amount. You should call an employment litigator to help you determine whether your commission is due and payable. Most office will speak to you for free initially and offer a few next steps.

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  • If my commision pay does not meet minimum wage should my employer be making up the difference?

    I'm a hair stylist making 40% commision. My earnings some weeks do not even meet minimum wage. I do recieve tips. I do have a set schedule working an average of 30 hours and do have set chores and duties around the salon.

    Michael’s Answer

    You should call a plaintiff's lawyer in MA today. Most, like my office, will speak with you for free to evaluate your potential claim. You're likely entitled to minimum wage, and in MA, you're likely entitled to three times your unpaid wages.

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  • My boss fired me without giving me a paycheck that day. What can I do? ( In MA)

    We get paid weekly by check. Others have been fired and received two paychecks on a payday that they were let go. The owner seems to be aware of the laws.

    Michael’s Answer

    If you're not furnished with everything you're owed on the last day - you are likely entitled to three times that amount for the employer's failure to comply.

    I would recommend you call an employment litigator, many others in MA - to review the entire situation before you take any next steps. There may be other issues as well.

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  • Is it legal for the owner/manager of a bar to pool tips with another bartender?

    The owner of the restaurant I work at my only works behind the bar but makes me pool my tips with hers. This can't be legal! I am losing out on so much money.

    Michael’s Answer

    Generally speaking, service workers cannot be required to share tips with non-service workers/managers.

    You may be entitled to three times your damages (the shared tips) and an award of attorneys fees.

    Feel free to call my office for more detail and a confidential free consultation.

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  • My employer has not been deducting taxes from my paycheck. I am given 1099 forms for every year.

    When I was hired, 3 years ago, I filled out a W-4 to have taxes withheld. I have not signed a contract as an independent contracter. I do not set my own hours. They do not want me to work for another company. I have paid about $15,000 in t...

    Michael’s Answer

    Most likely, you are misclassified as an independent contractor. If the work you perform is within the scope of the regular course of business of the company, you're an employee, regardless of the contract you sign.

    You are entitled to overtime pay, the value of unreimbursed expenses, and the other benefits of employment. As to withholding, the employer is required to comply with tax regulations.

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