Skip to main content
Nathan D. Eisenberg

Nathan Eisenberg’s Answers

30 total

  • Should I sign an arbitration agreement?

    I am returning to work for a company as a seasonal part time employee as I have for the past 3 years. This time they have asked me to sign an arbitration agreement, which I know little about. I have read some articles online to try to help me in m...

    Nathan’s Answer

    Arbitration agreements are increasingly common, and often result in waiving your right to bring certain employment related claims against your employer. Such agreements require that you forgo bringing a claim in court, and instead submit all disputes to arbitration. Such arbitration proceedings are not always fair to employees, are often weighted in favor of employers, and may limit the claims you can bring (or money you can recover). By signing the agreement, you may find that you have no effective recourse against your employer if they violate employment laws (including wage or discrimination claims). However, you may also find that such agreement is a term of employment. You'll need to make the choice of whether to sign the agreement or find work elsewher.

    See question 
  • Can you be fired for taking a 30 minute lunch break when you punch out?

    I was fired for this. They claim I get a lunch break at my desk? So, 8 hr shift, with no break at all. This can not be legal? Please advise.

    Nathan’s Answer

    Under Wisconsin law, your employer must pay you for any break of less than 30 minutes or any meal period where you are not free to leave the premises of the employer. Therefore, if your employer was requiring you to punch out for 30 minute lunch breaks, but not allowing you to leave the premises, you have a claim for back pay for those breaks. Additionally, Wisconsin law provides that if you are fired for complaining about not being paid wages you would have a claim for retaliation. This may be worth discussing with an attorney.

    See question 
  • Can I be fired for disputing a deduction from my paycheck?

    I was fired today because I objected to $375 being deducted from my wages due to an injury that occurred to a dog I was grooming.  I work for a franchise, over 20 employees, and I was under the impression that in a case where an incident occurs at...

    Nathan’s Answer

    There is a Wisconsin statue which limits your employer's ability to deduct such amounts from your paycheck. That statute makes it improper for your employer to make such deductions. You can dispute the deduction and if your employer makes the deduction file a Labor Standards Complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. See the links below.

    See question 
  • Can I sign this agreement with my employer?

    My employer is trying to ask us to sign a document saying we will fix mistakes on our OWN time. I need you to see...first if this is legal and second if it is legal if we sign it. We are all hourly employees.

    Nathan’s Answer

    This is probably illegal. Any time where an employee is asked to perform work, even if it is to correct past mistakes, that time must be treated as work time and the employee must be paid for that time. Additionally, there is a Wisconsin statute which prohibits the employer from making agreements with its employees waiving wages that are owed. It would be worth having an attorney review the agreement to check its legality, but the scenario sounds highly suspect.

    See question 
  • Can my employer deduct 30 minutes from my paycheck if I don't take a break?

    I know that it's a common question and the answer is always "no", but this is what I was told...."you may not sit down for 30 min consecutively, but you do get brief periods of downtime and that's your break." I work on a kitchen line and if we're...

    Nathan’s Answer

    Under Wisconsin law, there are specific regulations requiring employers to pay all employees for "on duty" meal periods. Such periods are where the employer does not provide at least 30 minutes free from work. Any period where the employee is not free to leave the premises of the employer will also be considered an "on duty" meal period. There cannot be a situation where you have brief breaks, of less than 30 minutes, which are unpaid. See the link below for greater detail on the Wisconsin law.

    In addition, if you are not actually taking the breaks or working during the breaks you must be paid for that time. An employer's policy of automatically deducting 30 minutes per shift, regardless of whether you perform work or not, is illegal.

    See question 
  • Can your employer make you pay for damages if you work in the automotive industry?

    My fiancé works as a mechanic and while at work he was backing a truck out of the lift and hit another vehicle. His boss is told him he has to pay for the damages to the truck. Is this true? Doesn't the company have insurance to cov...

    Nathan’s Answer

    Under Wisconsin law, there is a state statute which limits deductions for faulty workmanship, loss, theft or damage. The statute states that no employer may "make any deduction from the wages due or earned by any employee, who is not an independent contractor, for ... damage to property, unless the employee authorizes the employer in writing to make that deduction..." Unless a court determines there is "negligence, carelessness, or willful and intentional conduct" the employer cannot make such deduction without consent.

    See question 
  • Can an employer in the state of Wisconsin refuse to payout a final paycheck once an employee quits for any reason?

    I quit my job and my employer will not give me my final check because he believes I owe him money for 3 kittens I no longer have. These kittens died and he does not believe me even though I told him the kittens were in the freezer at work. He is s...

    Nathan’s Answer

    Your employer is required to pay you, in full, on your next reguarly scheduled pay day. This is clearly spelled out in the Wisconsin statutes, which states that an employee "who quits employment ...shall be paid in full by no later than the date on which the employee regularly would have been paid under the employer's established payroll schedule." There is another section of the Wisconsin statutes which states that "no employer may make any deduction from the wages due or earned by any employee....for defective or faulty workmanship, lost or stolen property or damage to property..." except under very limited circumstances.

    See question 
  • Is it legal as a cable subcontractor to get paid only by the task, regardless of the amount of time taken to tge job?

    My husband works as a subcontractor installing cable. He is required to work and only be paid by the individual task he performs. For example, let's say he had to run a line and it is a easy 10min job, and then at his next install job, he has to r...

    Nathan’s Answer

    The issue is whether or not your husband is a legitimate "independent contractor" or whether he should be treated as employees. If your husband is an employee, he would be entitled to minimum wage for all hours performing work and overtime for hours greater than forty in a week. Time attending mandatory meetings and waiting time could also be compensable. Only if he is a legitimate independent contractor, would the per job pay structure be lawful. There have been several successfull lawsuits challenging cable installers misclassification as independent contractors. It may be good idea to speak with an experienced attorney to evaluate whether he has a claim for back pay.

    See question 
  • Is it legal to use work schedule over the time card? Manager must OK schedule before office looks at time card.

    The office uses the work schedule as time worked even though we have to use the time clock. The manager turns in the work schedule along with the time cards, but he has to okay the work schedule if we go over the hours scheduled. Only then will we...

    Nathan’s Answer

    Your employer is required to pay you for all hours of work that are requested, suffered, or permitted. Where you are asked to work for hours longer than the scheduled hours or where your employer has knowledge (or should have knowledge) that you are working longer than your scheduled hours, your employer is required to pay you for those hours. The time card may be good evidence that you are working outside of the scheduled hours and that additional wages may be due. However, additional information would be helpful in determining whether you have an actionable wage claim..

    See question 
  • Not paid in a month?

    I just started my job and I was wondering what I should do , I have a manger that said a week ago that he would have my paycheck overnighted , which wasn't possible i guess , then he said it was going to go into a check for today , my paycheck...

    Nathan’s Answer

    Under Wisconsin law, your employer is required to pay you no less frequently than once a month. If it has been more than a month, you have a wage claim. You can file a claim with the State Deparment of Workforce Development (the link is attached below) or by filing a lawsuit.

    See question