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Michelle J Douglass

Michelle Douglass’s Answers

10 total

  • Can a certified auto sales associate be denied commissions earned on sales?

    I was hired and certified in one week. I sold 5 cars in one month. The company is denying my commissions claiming I was in training. Should I have been allowed to be put on the sales floor and sell if I were not going to be allowed commission? No ...

    Michelle’s Answer

    A sales commission is a sum of money paid to an employee upon completion of a task, usually selling a certain amount of goods or services. Employers sometimes use sales commissions as incentives to increase worker productivity. A commission may be paid in addition to a salary or instead of a salary. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require the payment of commissions.
    However, if you have a contract or a past practice that governs the method in which you were paid for sales you were responsible for negotiating and closing, you may have a claim based on a breach of contract or an implied contract.

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  • Can I sue an employer for terminating me as a result of management misleading me as a new employee.

    I was fired for "Allegations that I improperly obtained compensation to which I was entitled in connection with Bank of America banking transactions". As a newer employee I, and others, were mislead in to "capturing deposits" to obtain good number...

    Michelle’s Answer

    It is uncertain what you mean by "capturing deposits." If the direction by your employer was in any way impermissible under the law and you refused to participate in that activity, you may indeed have a whistle blower claim for wrongful termination from employment. You also might attempt to threaten to file a lawsuit for fraud and misrepresentation just in the hopes of negotiating with the employer the removal from your record of a termination from employment.

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  • Can an employer require an indepth psychiatric evaluation on an employee who left a semi suicidal note

    a letter was left out of anger and frustration from a victim of threats and assaults...employee stated she couldn't take it anymore and that maybe she should not be around anymore...now they made her take her own time pending psychiatric eval to i...

    Michelle’s Answer

    An employer has an obligation to act if and when it knows that an employee may pose a threat of harm to anyone in the workplace. An employer may not be able to force an employee to undergo a psychiatric evaluation; but it may request an employee to undergo one to determine whether that employee may safely resume his or her duties. The employee may refuse, however, in an at-will employment situation, the employer may terminate the employment relationship.

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  • I received a Dismissal and Notice of Rights from EEOC: they checked off: The EEOC issues the following determination:

    Based upon its investigation, the EEOC is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes. This does not certify that the respondent is in compliance with the statutes. No finding is made as to any other i...

    Michelle’s Answer

    You received a Notice of Suit Rights meaning you have the right to file a lawsuit in Federal Court for violations of the federal laws pertaining to disability, genetic information and age discrimination in employment, but, you must do so within the 90 days from receipt of the Notice of Suit Rights letter you received from the EEOC.
    The Notice of Right To Sue is not a guarantee that you have a viable cause of action, it simply means that the EEOC has cleared you to pursue a claim in federal court if you choose to do so. The EEOC made no determination on the merits of your claim.
    There is no way to determine based on the information you supplied whether an employment attorney would be willing to take your case. You may contact an attorney specializing in employment law and civil rights to discuss with that attorney the specific facts of your matter and develop a plan to determine your best course of action from there.
    Remember as well, that you may only be able to file a lawsuit in federal court depending on whether you are a federal employee or not. Otherwise you may be permitted to file a lawsuit in State Court which allows for a greater time period within which you may file that action, which is a two (2) years time frame, generally, from the date of the last adverse, or negative employment action against you. In any event, always better to pursue your employment claim sooner rather than later.

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  • Can I sue a recruiter for disclosing my employment status/history to former co-workers?

    The recruiter and I used to work for the same company at one point. I had left and started a new job and she became a recruiter. I didn't know who she was until she contacted me after seeing my resume online, telling me that she used to work for ...

    Michelle’s Answer

    There would not seem to be a legal cause of action for the situation you describe. Unless the recruiter/former co-employee published false, misleading or intentionally interfered with your new employment in such a way as to cause you economic harm, the information disclosed does not violate the law. The recruiter's actions may have violated the recruiter's policy but this is not tantamount to a violation of the law. It is also questionable as to whether the disclosure may have violated the recruiter's policy since there is no information to suggest that you had a contract of any kind or any legally binding relationship with the recruiter.
    It is unfortunate that you have experienced an underhandedness of sorts, but it may be best for you to simply move on if there has been no economic harm or reputational harm caused to you.

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  • I worked `under the table` at a restaurant for almost 3 years, I have since left and am still owed 8 weeks of payroll.

    payroll was $1/hr paid every 4 weeks. Owner fell behind and 4 weeks turned to 8. Working 64hrs a week, that added up to a lot of money. I was told I will not be getting that money since I no longer work there. Is there anything I can do to get wha...

    Michelle’s Answer

    You state that you are owed "8 weeks of payroll" and that you worked "under the table" at a restaurant for almost 3 years. In the event that you are claiming to be owed for 64 hours a week at $1 an hour "on the table", that is, you were reporting to the IRS (and presumably, your employer too) that you were working at 64 hours a week at $1 an hour, you have a legal claim to this money. The problem is that under the law, your employer was required to pay you the minimum wage of $2.13 an hour( assuming you are a waitor or tipped employee) (combined tips and cash wage is $7.25 an hour); so you also have a violation of wage and hour laws for failure to pay the minimum wage. You will never have a claim for any "under the table" work because to do so, is to risk hefty fines and interest and back taxes for the 3 year period you were paid under the table. Your case is risky. Moreover, is the employer financially viable? There are a number of other issues involved in your query and your best course is to sit down with an attorney to review your possible risks and benefits in pursuing a claim for the wages owed you.

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  • I was terminated due to my background, and I put it on my application is there anything I can do about it?

    I was hired at a local community college as a part time temp after 6 weeks of work I received a letter saying that I was terminated because of my background. When I applied I did say yes to the question have I been convicted of a felony. I don't s...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Your situation is a rising problem in the U.S where a number of people have been convicted for past charges, such as drug offenses committed in their youth and a record these offenses remain into adulthood despite a record of law abiding behavior since. According to one estimate, there are currently over 12 million felons in the United States, representing roughly 8% of the working-age population. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has interpreted the Civil Rights Act to require that, where an employment policy of a state, municipal, or private employer that discriminates against criminals will have a disparate racial impact, employers must show a business necessity before automatically disqualifying criminals. But, some statutes prohibit hiring criminals for certain types of jobs, such as health care or education, and forbid licensing boards from distributing licenses to criminals or require the boards to consider the applicant's moral character. Professions requiring licensing can include Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, billiard room employees, attorneys, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, barbers, embalmers, septic tank cleaners, realtors, accountants, contractors, and sellers of alcoholic beverages. Such regulations sometimes result from lobbying by professional communities seeking to raise barriers to entry.
    Therefore, unless race is a factor, there is little you can do to with regard to the temp position at the college. However, I do suggest that you contact an attorney in order to have your record expunged. You will not be required to disclose your criminal background for future employment prospects.
    There is currently legislation pending in some states that make it illegal to terminate or refuse to hire based on a criminal background unless that criminal conviction may directly impact the employer's business. There is no such pending legislation in New Jersey.

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  • My employer will no longer pay me commission - after 15 years of employment can I quit and collect unemployment?

    This unexpected change (retroactive) will lower my overall - net compensation, by 40%.

    Michelle’s Answer

    Your employer may change the terms of compensation with notice to you. Your employer cannot withhold commissions on work performed and on which you performed based on a commission fee arrangement. The proper course of action s the contact the NJ Wage and Hour Board in the event that your employer continues to withhold commission on work performed. You should not simply quit as you risk being denied unemployment compensation insurance benefits. Moreover, a recent NJ Appellate Division case has ruled that even in situations where your boss has made the working conditions intolerable, you must still provide the employer an opportunity to remedy the situation before walking off the job.

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  • I work for a school district and over the past 6 months I have been treated horribly

    my boss got caught not paying me overtime. We spoke almost daily before and very friendly. Then he my asst BA and everyone stopped talking or responding to my emails. When other workers in my dept purposefully attacked me or intentionally antag...

    Michelle’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The timing of all the events you describe is important. For instance, if the time frame within which your boss "got caught" not paying you overtime (and you were the person responsible for the boss having to legally pay you overtime) and your firing is close in time, you may have a strong case for FLSA and CEPA retaliation violations.
    Also, you may have claim for invasion of privacy for the employee having gone through your personal items. What actually was in the personal items? If it was an illegal substance and there was a good cause for your co-worker to have gone through the personal effects, then this would seriously undermine your retaliation case for wrongful termination. You need to sit down with a lawyer and go over the facts of your case in detail. See our website link for more information on Employee privacy rights. www.douglasslawfirm.com

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  • Was I wrongfully terminated?

    I was just fired today and was not given any reason on why I was told I will find out this Friday on why I was terminated. I was hurt on three separate incidents. I was doing inventory off the clock on my day off and a bottle of beer fell on my wr...

    Michelle’s Answer

    For specific information as to whether you have a case, see The Douglass Law Firm vlog at
    http://www.douglasslawfirm.com/#!vstc0=vlogs.
    It appears that you may have a legal cause of action for wrongful termination based on the fact that you were injured on the job and fired in close proximity to this event. Your employer may have fired you because you are a workers compensation liability; or because you would lose time form work. Additionally, did you ever report the failure to have safety equipment at work? f so, you may have a whistleblower claim for reporting OSHA violations and having been fired as a result of it. You should really consult with an employment law specialist to review your factual history with this employer and determine if indeed you have a viable cause of action.

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