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Stuart M. Address
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Stuart Address’s Answers

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  • My position was recently terminated at a company I have worked at for almost 20 years; i have been offered a severance package

    what are my rights? what can I ask for? i have only received a top line Transition Statement. Per HR I won't receive full written package info with release letter until my last day of employment -April 30, 2015

    Stuart’s Answer

    I agree with other counsel who have responded. If your position was terminated, there is probably a plan for severance which is unlikely to be modified for you unless you have some other information which could legitimately be utilized as leverage for a better package. To determine what you may know and whether there may be a basis to seek a better package, you should consult an employment litigation attorney.

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  • A probationary employee was terminated without cause, after sustaining injury

    the probationary employee was ordered to perform a task that resulted in injury to their shoulder, the employee went to company doctor and was placed on light duty for a while. When released by the doctor, company kept employee on light duty for a...

    Stuart’s Answer

    The key issue here is whether you were terminated for filing a worker compensation claim or suffering a work-related injury, OR whether there were any other non-prohibited reasons to terminate. At the very least, the proximity of the termination to the time of your injury and coming back on light duty would lead me to conclude that you should contact an employment attorney in your local area (which we are) as soon as possible.

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  • Should I punch for lunch

    I work overnights for lowes in Florida we get locked in the building and are required to take a thirty minute lunch is this correct

    Stuart’s Answer

    I'm not really sure what you mean by "locked" in the building. As for having to take a 30 minute lunch, yes it may be required. However, you must be free from all work during the break for it to be non-compensable as wages. If you have to do anything work-wise during your break, the entire break is subject to being paid as wages.

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  • 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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