Craig A Crispin’s Answers

Craig A Crispin

Portland Employment / Labor Attorney.

Contributor Level 9
  1. Can an employer creating a new position choose to make it salaried or hourly at his/her discretion or is it regulated?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    An employer is free to compensate its employees under any wage or salary structure it wants. No positions exist for which an employer must pay by either hourly wage or salary. An employer does not escape minimum wage and overtime obligations merely because an employee is paid on a salary basis, and it might be that the employer therefore believes that it is legally restricted from compensating an employee on a salary basis who, for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act, is nonexempt (...

    4 people marked this answer as helpful

  2. Is it legal for an employer to use bullying and false accusation tactics on their employees?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    Most employment is at-will, meaning an employer can terminate at any time for any reason. As such, anything short of termination, such as "bullying" or false accusations are also legally acceptable. The law does not guarantee a good workplace or a good employer. All it does is make unlawful such practices when they are motivated by certain "protected classifications," such as age, race, sex, disability, religion, whistleblowing (i.e., reporting illegal conduct by the employer), safety...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  3. I have two questions regarding constructive discharge-

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    "Constructive discharge" is a term meaning that an employer caused such unfavorable or abusive working conditions that the employee had no reasonable alternative but to quit. It takes the place of a discharge in termination claims of employment discrimination. In the unemployment context, the term has no particular relevance because the question is usually whether the employee had good cause to quit. Typically, that question includes an inquiry into what the employee did before leaving to...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. Can a manager yell and scream at employees rip doors off the walls and throw things down? He yells swear words about how

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    Unfortunately, the law does not protect against a bad boss. Absent a contract for a term of employment, the employment-at-will rule controls, which means the employer can terminate at any time for any reason (so long as it is not an unlawful reason) just as the employee can quit at any time for any reason. Because the employer can terminate at will, it can do anything short of termination as well -- such as make the workplace a very bad place to work. Despite the above general rule, some...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. Can your employer cut you back on hours and pay when you are on salary ?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    Absent an express contract providing for a set salary, not subject to reduction, an employer can change the hours, compensation, and working conditions any time. It may do so only going forward. It cannot reduce compensation for time already worked. It cannot also reduce compensation as a way to try to get an employee to quit because of some protected conduct or status (such as age, race, disability, request for medical leave, workers' compensation claim, etc.), but if it is for some...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  6. Do I have any legal recourse?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    It is a legitimate basis for a prospective employer to discriminate between potential employees who arrive on time for interviews and those that don't. Even if you actually arrived at the correct time, if the potential employer believed you were late, it would not violate any law to hold it against you. Discrimination is only illegal when it is because of some protected classification, such as age, race, sex, disability, etc. Unless one of those protected classifications is involved,...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. I had a note from a doctor to take a week off for anxiety, my boss called me the next day and fired me. Is that legal in Oregon?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    An employer may not retaliate for an employee's taking medical leave, but medical leave rights are not earned until an employee has been working for at least 180 days with at least an average 25 hours per week with the employer. Also, small employers are not covered by medical leave laws unless they have at least 25 employees. Even if an employee has a medically approved absence, the employer may terminate for any reason other than the absence. For example, if an employee violates a company...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. Can employer take money out of pay for accounting mistake due to overloaded work load

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    An employer may not make payroll deductions for business losses. This often comes up with breakage, which an employer tries to deduct from an employee's pay, which is illegal. An employer owes the employee the agreed upon wages, regardless of losses. Any claim of the employer against the employee legally must be done through the courts, not by unilateral action by the employer. On the other hand, an employer does have the right to change pay, but only going forward. Once wages or salary is...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  9. I have just received a Right to Sue letter and in need of a very good attorney. I was badgered for a long time. Sincerely.

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    2. Michael S. Haber
    2 lawyer answers

    The National Employment Lawyers Association website is also a good resource for experienced employment lawyers, at nela.org

  10. Can an employer make an employee pay for accidental damage at work ?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Craig A Crispin
    1 lawyer answer

    An employer is not lawfully permitted to take a deduction for damage or breakage. Doing so would be an unlawful deduction under Oregon statute ORS 652.610(3), which would provide the employee the right to sue to collect actual damages or $200, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorneys fees, costs, and a prevailing party fee (up to $500 or more) under ORS 652.615. The above comments do not constitute specific legal advice but are offered for general discussion purposes only. For...

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