Rebecca Elise Ary’s Answers

Rebecca Elise Ary

Seattle Employment / Labor Attorney.

Contributor Level 8
  1. I signed a non compete clause after 1year of employment and asked to back date it to hire date. Is this binding?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Rebecca Elise Ary
    2. Todd Russell Sorensen
    2 lawyer answers

    If your employer did not give you anything (other than continued at will employment) in exchange for signing the non-compete, it is not binding. However, the key is that you signed it after you had been employed for a year. If you back dated it, you might have trouble proving that the agreement was not entered into when you were first hired. Also, if the non-compete is unreasonable about things like the geographic limits or time, then a court may revise it to make it more reasonable.

    2 people marked this answer as helpful

  2. I am a waitress and work the floor from open to close should I get breaks?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Rebecca Elise Ary
    1 lawyer answer

    You are entitled to at least 10 minutes of paid rest break for every 4 hours worked in a shift. Whenever you work more than 5 hours in a shift, you should get a 30 minute meal break. You must be paid for every hour worked. Requiring you to work off the clock is illegal. If you are working more than 40 hours per week, you are entitled to overtime. I strongly suggest you hire a lawyer to handle this matter, or at least make a formal complaint to the Department of Labor and Industries....

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  3. I got a fishy document to sign from my former employer, and I want to know who to contact that can help me decide what to do.

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Rebecca Elise Ary
    1 lawyer answer

    Absolutely consult a lawyer before signing such a release. Signing it usually means you waive your right to sue. But perhaps you don't have anything to sue over anyway. I recommend any of the lawyers belonging to WELA. Find them at www.welaweb.org.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. I need to terminate an employee who is an admitted alcoholic that was sober, and has fallen off the wagon

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Rebecca Elise Ary
    2. Susan Lee Beecher
    3. Ronald Anthony Sarno
    3 lawyer answers

    Alcoholism is a recognized disability. Firing someone for conduct resulting from a disability is illegal. Be very, very careful here. Before you do anything, I strongly suggest you hire a lawyer with experience in disability discrimination. Disclaimer: Nothing I say here is legal advice. Do not do anything based on what I say. Hire an attorney to advise you. You are not my client unless and until we have both signed a fee agreement saying otherwise.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. Employment law: Laws in Washington St. regarding collecting commissions owed after being laidoff due to an RIF, no fault???

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. John Robert Bonin
    2. Rebecca Elise Ary
    2 lawyer answers

    It does sound like you have a strong case for unlawful wage withholding. (Though it is difficult to accurately evaluate a case without seeing all of the relevant documents.) In such a case, I typically argue that the employee is entitled to double the amount of pay owed, attorney's fees, and 12% interest. I would be happy to talk to you about representation in this matter. Unpaid wage cases are my absolute favorites and make up roughly half of my caseload. You can read more about them on...

  6. I filed a dicrimination complaint and was retalited against. Should I wait for state investigator to tell of retaliation?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Rebecca Elise Ary
    1 lawyer answer

    Retaliation for filing a complaint is illegal. Without more details, it's hard to give you any specific advice. It sounds like you might need to hire an attorney to protect your rights.

  7. Step parent adoption when bio parent has had no contact and abused the child?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Sally A. Lanham
    2. Rebecca Elise Ary
    2 lawyer answers

    This is not something to do on your own. Get yourself an experienced adoption attorney. You can find a list of Washington adoption attorneys at http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/ca/exchange.pdf.

  8. I have worked for a massage company who didnt sell products and now I am told if I dont sell more products I will be let go

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Rebecca Elise Ary
    1 lawyer answer

    You're right -- it's not fair. Unfortunately, it's totally legal. Unless you have a contract or union agreement saying otherwise, you are an at will employee. That means you can be fired for no reason at all (unless there is illegal discrimination or retaliation). If you do lose your job, you might be eligible for unemployment compensation. But I'm no expert on unemployment compensation.

  9. If a non compete clause is to broad in the definition of a competitor thus limiting ones ability to find work how binding is it?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Rebecca Elise Ary
    2. Todd Russell Sorensen
    3. Nicholas William Juhl
    3 lawyer answers

    Sounds a bit broad to me. A judge MAY decide to narrow it down a bit. This is far from certain. I strongly suggest you hire a lawyer BEFORE you accept a job offer.

  10. Can I be fired for saying "no" to a major change in my job description?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Rebecca Elise Ary
    1 lawyer answer

    The short answer is, yes, you can be fired for not doing the new job. In general, employment in Washington is "at will," which means you can be fired for any reason, or no reason at all. There are exceptions to this, such as discrimination based on race, age, gender, disability, etc. Also, if you have an employment agreement or collective bargaining agreement that limits when or why you can be fired, that could protect you.