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Margaret Ferron

Margaret Ferron’s Answers

30 total

  • Is it ilegal for your employeer to take advantage of your language skills?

    I work for a company that deals with interpretation, we have to departments one is in charge of quality assurance, the interpreters and translation. The other department which is the one that I am in (FYI I moved from the other department to this ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    That's an interesting question. To me, it sounds like you might be in a good position since you appear to have lots of skills that are valuable to the employer (remember that when it's time for a review). On the other hand, if you think you're being assigned work in a discriminatory manner based on your national origin, you may have a case for discrimination. I'm not sure, without more information, whether 1) the language issue is really a national origin issue or 2) whether being assigned more work is an "adverse employment action." Generally, employers can assign more work or different work to their employees without it being considered an "adverse employment action" for the purposes of the discrimination laws. However, if you think that they're assigning the work BECAUSE of your national origin, and they are doing it to discriminate against you, that sounds illegal. However, if they're just trying to squeeze more work out of you because you have good skills, that does not sound illegal.

    I would probably talk to a Nebraska employment lawyer about this.

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  • If you are suspended from work and are told you are not fired can the employer ignore your requests to come back?

    I was suspended from work due to a domestic dispute with my husband-he tried to kill me and I defended myself-charges were brought against me-my boss told me I was okay at work-then 2 days later said I had to be suspended without pay-however I was...

    Margaret’s Answer

    There are employment laws that cover victims of domestic violence. For example, there is a law that provides that victims of family violence are entitled to a 12-day leave of absence to get medical attention, go to court, etc. If you are not reinstated from this leave, you can sue for damages. I would recommend talking to a lawyer if you are not put back to work soon.

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  • Does my employer have to pay me my bonus if I have an offer letter stating what I am to be paid over a years employment?

    I have been employed for one year with my employer. I have my original offer letter stating my hourly wage and my bonus amount, to be paid in three payments over a years period.I have had difficulty getting my bonus installments in a timely manner...

    Margaret’s Answer

    That depends on whether the bonus was "discretionary." If the offer letter says something like, "you will get a bonus based on a certain formula," then you have a good claim to it. Connecticut courts generally won't make an employer pay out a bonus if it's discretionary, that is, if the letter just says that the employer may or may not give a bonus based on his or her discretion.

    The timeliness issue is important too. A non-discretionary bonus is sometimes considered "wages," and in Connecticut, an employer has 8 days from when the wages were due to pay the employee or else the employer may have to pay double.

    You can file a "statement of claim for wages" at the CT DOL- here's the link- http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/forms-wws.htm. That's a good place to start.

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  • Can my employer change my rate of pay and position on a weekly basis?

    Our scheduals are posted for two weeks, each week is always different. My job description on my check stub states that I am a Shift Manager, yet whenever my employer sees fit he will give me a Cashier shift a day or two a week. There is a $4.00/hr...

    Margaret’s Answer

    That depends- are you actually doing different work when you are getting paid the lower rate? It is legal for employers to pay different rates if you are actually doing different jobs. But if your employer is having you do shift manager work but paying you on a cashier rate to save money, that's not legal. Also, if you're getting overtime, your employer can't pay all of the overtime using the lower rate if you did some of the overtime work (some of the hours beyond 40) as a shift manager.

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  • Disability discrimination

    I was bullied, my disability was discriminated. I asked the accommodation in August, only now I received not what i asked, my request was changed in unrecognizable form and boss' answer was ; "you developing an adversarial stance toward me". I a...

    Margaret’s Answer

    The EEOC does have staff attorneys that can help you draft your complaint for free- call your local office and talk to someone there about the procedure for filing a claim. If you would like to speak with an attorney, please visit http://www.nela.org/NELA/ to find a good discrimination lawyer in your area.

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  • My employer just started an on-call for all employees but have no money to pay for a phone bill every month can i be fired forit

    i live in TN. and i get by week by week and can't afford a phone just to use for work and i live 20 mins. from a pay phone my employer told me that i either buy a phone or drive to a pay phone every hour to check in for the day im on-call ro i wil...

    Margaret’s Answer

    What a terrible situation- I'm sorry you've been put in such a terrible situation. It doesn't seem fair that an employer can make you pay money to work. Phones and calling plans are expensive these days!

    That said, my sense is that your employer probably can make having a telephone a condition of your employment. I would check your employee handbook or other documents that you got from your employer to see whether there is any mention of the procedure for introducing new rules. I would also talk to a Tennessee lawyer- there may be different state laws that protect you.

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  • Can I be fired from my job if I was convicted of a felony a year and four months after I was hired?

    I was convicted of a felony in September of this year and I have currently been on my job 1 year and 4 months now. My employer is attempting to terminate me because of this felony. I have never gotten into any trouble at work and I am always at wo...

    Margaret’s Answer

    Unfortunately, they probably can. Georgia is what's called an "at will" employment state, meaning that you can be fired for any reason at any time and the employer is not liable under the law. There are some exceptions to this, of course; you can't be fired because of your age/race/gender/disability/pregnancy/religion or complaints about illegal or discriminatory behavior. But my boss can walk into my office and fire me for wearing a blue dress and there's nothing I can do about it.

    Committing a felony is usually a good example of a reason that an employer can fire you. There may be some other causes of action, however. Check your employee handbook or other documents from your employer to see if there's any mention of whether committing a felony is grounds for termination. As always, it's a good idea to talk to a lawyer in person and get a second opinion!

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  • I think I might of been fired for blowing the whistle on a safty issue at a hotel I worked at. can I sue for damages?

    I worked at a hotel and I was in charge of the housekeeping. I found alot of mold under the wall paper in a few rooms. I ripped the wall paper off the walls and put the room out of order. I made work orders. The manager acted like I did somethi...

    Margaret’s Answer

    I would go see a lawyer if I were you. This is largely dependent on state law, and I'm not a New Jersey lawyer, but in Connecticut you can sue for this kind of action. You may run into an issue if this reporting is a part of your job duties- many courts hold that if you're doing your job and you report some kind of illegal or unethical behavior committed by your employer you're just doing your job and aren't protected. It also makes a difference if you reported the problems to a state or federal agency or just internally. You can still sue if you complained internally, it's just a different kind of case. '

    I would go see a New Jersey employment lawyer.

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  • WRONGFUL TERMINATION, PREGNANT, SLANDER, UI BEING CONTESTED 2 MONTHS LATER, COMPANY DIDN'T FOLLOW THEIR TERMINATION PROCEDURE

    I worked for a large hospital in chicago for over 17 months. I went on FMLA for an infection which was subsequently denied. I continued to work even after the FMLA was denied however I started being harassed by my boss. I let my direct supervisor ...

    Margaret’s Answer

    I would definitely go talk to an employment lawyer. It sounds like there could be several illegal actions. The denial of the FMLA is one potential issue- if you have a serious health condition, your employer can't interfere with your right to take leave. The harassment is another issue. Depending on what kind of harassment it was, it may be actionable as well or it may be retaliation for taking the FMLA leave. The termination may be illegal based on pregnancy discrimination, or retaliation for your complaints of harassment or retaliation for taking FMLA time that you were entitled to take.

    Keep pursuing the grievance process, and go see an attorney. You can usually find an employment lawyer who ill at least see you for a free initial consultation- go to http://www.nela.org/NELA/ to find an employment lawyer in your area.

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