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Stuart M. Address
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Stuart Address’s Answers

1,204 total


  • Resign or Fire?? I was hired 7 months ago as a warehouse clerk for a fortune 500 company. We are pushed to put 12 hours/day.

    Some coworkers begun teasing or "bullying" me. First altercation came along cause I was tired of the teasing. Second altercation came along, even though I reported some priors incidents to night shift supervisor, nothing was done. Night of the ...

    Stuart’s Answer

    Unfortunately, you don't indicate why you are being bullied or teased; or what type of bullying and teasing. Thus, it is really impossible to answer. As for the 12 hours per day, there is no prohibition on such hours except in certain occupations. If you resign, you will most likely lose unemployment. If you are terminated, you will end up disclosing it on future employment applications. You may want to see if you can negotiate a reference letter in exchange for resigning, and/or even some severance, if you are willing to consider giving up unemployment benefits. I would discuss this with a local attorney before you take action.

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  • My husband was fired because charges showed up on his criminal background check. They only said he could not have convictions.

    He was arrested but charges were dropped. The job only said he could not have convictions. Can they actually get away for firing him for this, or does he stand of chance of a case against them?

    Stuart’s Answer

    He is an at will employee in Florida. He may be discharged for no reason, a true or factually inaccurate reason, a good or bad reason, fair or unfair. He is protected against things like discrimination and various retaliation claims. If an employer wants to terminate an employee for an arrest, there is no law against such action.

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  • My former employer is holding all my tools and my final check. He told me he could no longer afford to keep me in his truck

    He is holding all my tools and final pay check. I have called several times and he says he thinks maybe i owe him, but will not tell me how much or for what. I cannot work without my tools.

    Stuart’s Answer

    An employer may not hold a final paycheck beyond the date when the paycheck would ordinarilly be issued to all employees for that period. You would have a small claims case against him for those monies. As for your tools, certainly you are entitled to them if they are yours. His failure to return them is conversion (civil theft). He could be responsible for the full value of you replacing them. If the total of the money owed and the value of the tools does not exceed $5,000, you may want to file a small claims case and hope it is resolved before the trial. If it does exceed $5,000, you will need to consult with an attorney.

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  • Am I entitled to commissions not paid?

    I am a remote employee (Director) and was recently informed by my boss that my position is going to be moved in house and I will no longer have a job. When I started w/the company over 2 years ago I was a Manager and my contract stated that I wou...

    Stuart’s Answer

    If your contract, whether oral or written, was violated as to commissions then you have a right to the commissions. If the bonus was given anyway, you are probably entitled to the bonus plus the commission. If the bonus was given in lieu of the commissions, then you are probably entitled to the commissions less the bonuses. You should consult with an attorney to review all of the facts.

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  • I am a Deputy Sheriff and has requested FLMA and completed the needed documents but my medical has been told to my supervisor

    My FLMA application information has been given to my supervisor with out my permission causing an hostile work environment for me which I was sent on admin leave for about 6 months, then forced to reclassify my position.

    Stuart’s Answer

    Your question leaves many unanswered facts so you really need to consult an employment attorney. If you sought FMLA, then I'm not sure about the problem with that information being provided to your supervisor. Your permission is not necessary. Of course, if the supervisor takes action to "interfere" or "retaliate" against your FMLA application or leave, then a violation of the FMLA has occurred. As to why you were sent on administrative leave for 6 months, that is unclear from your facts as is why you had to reclassify your position. If you are on FMLA leave, you have up to 12 weeks unpaid time and if you return within the FMLA period you must be returned to your same position or an "equivalent" position as defined under the FMLA.

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  • Can an employer force transfer you from a FT to a PT position having no performance issues, causing a loss of medical benefits?

    I work FT in the transportation division (union member) of a major Orlando FL company. I made HR aware of safety issues during training this summer and also at that same time discovered I was diabetic. In prep for a DOT physical I discovered I als...

    Stuart’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Stein but will respond in a bit more detail. Generally, am employer can cut you from FT to PT. If so, you can quit and still be eligible for unemployment due to a substantial change in the terms and conditions of your employment. In your situation, if the change was due to whistleblowing and/or medical issues then you may have a variety of potential claims such as violation of the Florida Whistleblower Act, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and if the company has at least 50 employees in a 75 mile radius and you have worked there for at least 1 year and 1,250 hours in the past year, a claim under the Family & Medical Leave Act.

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  • How long can old crimes be used against you to deny employment? Is there ever a cutoff it can no longer be used against you?

    Was denied a job opportunity over a 13 year old misdemeanor paraphernalia charge and an 11 year old misdemeanor DWAI charge in 2 different states. Both of them I was convicted of seems I'm ineligible for expungement. Paid for these crimes long ago...

    Stuart’s Answer

    The simple answer is forever. It is up to any private employer whether to hire an employee and any arrest or conviction can properly be a reason for not hiring an employee regardless of how minor the offense or how long ago. This is different than how long can a conviction be used for example against you in court.

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  • Can an employer force me to sign off on a half hour lunch taken when I did not have one?

    My employer tells me it is federal law that I MUST clock out after six hours worked, but often I have so much work to do that this impossible. They make me sign a release to take the half hour off anyway. Is this legal?

    Stuart’s Answer

    You must absolutely be paid for all time worked. If you are forced to clock out and work even a minute of your lunch break, the entire lunch break is compensable time. Even if breaks are required, if you don't take one and work, you must be paid. If you violate a company policy, they can fire you but you must be paid for all time worked.

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  • Can a restrictive covenant be presented 23 months into employment with no change in position or salary?

    Am I obligated to sign restrictive covenant? I have been with the company for 23 months and have no change in position or salary. Shouldn't this have been presented when the position was offered?

    Stuart’s Answer

    Yes. A restrictive covenant can be presented at any time. If you are already employed, the consideration for executing the restrictive covenant is continued employment assuming you are an at will employee. All restrictive covenants though can be reviewed for duration and geographic scope in the event you need to take another position. Florida law, though, does favor restrictive covenants so personal hardship would not be a basis for setting one aside. If you do not sign it, you are likely to be terminated.

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  • I need to sue my ex employer i went to jail for no reason for the first time in my life i was 18

    I was blame for kicking the manager car on 11/26/13 on the day i went to go get my 37$ check. He lied on the police report saying that the damage was $1500 (felony) and i was fired on 11/05/13 which was the first day i started working for them aga...

    Stuart’s Answer

    You are certainly entitled to your wages. The issue of timing is generally simple, but given the termination and re-hiring, an attorney would need to examine more detailed facts. As for "perjury", since the statement to the police was not under oath there was no perjury. If the statement was not simply an estimate (as another responding attorney suggested) and was willfully fraudulent and this led to the arrest for a felony, then there may be a basis for a malicious prosecution and/or defamation action. Again, an attorney would have to review detailed facts to evaluate such a potential claim.

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