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Alexander J. Higgins

Alexander Higgins’s Answers

256 total


  • What employee rights have been violated and what employee rights can I enforce in this situation.

    If you disclose to your manager of a medical condition which is in relation of something her manager said had noticed a change in her because of it. She stated to the manager this is why I'm taking taking scheduled time off to see my doctor for th...

    Alexander’s Answer

    The answer to your question is very complicated and involves a number of "it depends" sort of answers. You need to consult with an attorney.
    -Alex J. Higgins

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  • Manager told me to get naked

    I went to a job interview for cowgirls inc Seattle and the manager told me to take my clothing off and that I was not allowed to have a boyfriend ect .. This can't be Legal who do I contact to turn this guy in Cowgirls inc is a coyote ugly style...

    Alexander’s Answer

    If this happened in the City of Seattle, contact the City of Seattle Human Rights Commission. If outside of the City, then contact the EEOC. www.eeoc.gov
    Call a lawyer if you need help with any of this.
    -Alex

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  • Is it possible to be awarded punitive damages through EEOC mediation, or are these settlements limited to compensatory damages?

    I have filed a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim against my employer through the EEOC and hope to pursue and settle during EEOC mediation if my employer agrees. Is it possible to be awarded punitive damages during this mediation, or...

    Alexander’s Answer

    The mediation process is open and flexible. Technically, you could structure a settlement so that you receive punitive damages as part of the settlement. There is no "award" in that the mediator does not decide who is right or what damages you should receive. The parties negotiate with the mediator's help. Each party has to agree to the settlement. In my experience, companies do not settle based on punitive damages. You are more likely to negotiate something based on the emotional distress you suffered due to the harassment. Under Title VII, the combined maximum for emotional distress and punitive damages is $300,000. Anything more must be reduced by the Judge (which happened to my client in a trial last year). Under Washington, although no punitive damages are allowed, there is also no cap on emotional distress damages.
    -Alex J. Higgins

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  • Is this wrongful termination? Aren't I still entitled to the commission report submitted and my commission in Accounts Receivabl

    I'm paid $40k & 2% commission on all jobs I bill/estimate. I'm collect on these jobs once the company gets paid on them. On 1/11/16 I submitted my monthly commission report for all jobs I billed that the company has been paid on. On 1/19/2016 I re...

    Alexander’s Answer

    Sounds like you're right, but you'll need a lawyer to help you get paid.
    -Alex J. Higgins

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  • What are my options for dealing with Mental Health in Washington? Am I able to apply for unemployment?

    I've been suffering from major depression and generalized anxiety disorder for quite some time. My workplace has been aggravating it over the past few months to the point where I'm having panic attacks constantly at work. I'm seeing my doctor and ...

    Alexander’s Answer

    You should seek a reasonable accommodation from your employer first. Then, if they are unable to accommodate you, your unemployment claim will be much stronger.
    You should go to HR and tell them about your reluctance to reveal the conditions to your immediate supervisor and coworkers due to the bias they showed against others with similar conditions. You might also think about hiring a lawyer to help you navigate this situation.
    -Alex

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  • I see this as a tool for constructive dismissal. Do you feel that my thoughts are correct?

    I have over 40 years experience with my company commencing in the United Kingdom. I was "prematurely retired" in 2005. I was asked to return to a position in Richland Washington in 2001. I have since that time replaced two senior employees p...

    Alexander’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    This is too complicated for an Avvo posting. You should buy some time from a lawyer.
    -Alex J. Higgins

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  • What constitutes drug addiction treatment under FMLA terms? What kind of documentation is needed to apply under these terms?

    My brother was denied both FMLA and disability leave while seeking treatment for drug addiction in the state of WA. I thought that was illegal. We need advice on what his rights are under FMLA and what constitutes drug addiction treatment under ...

    Alexander’s Answer

    Treatment for drug addiction is a qualifying condition under the FMLA. FMLA leave, however, may only be taken for treatment for substance abuse that is provided by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services on referral by a health care provider. (See section 825.118.) On the other hand, absence because of the employee's use of the substance, rather than for treatment, does not qualify for FMLA leave. (See section 825.114(d).)
    I hope this helps.
    -Alex

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  • Can employer prevent liability from just stopping the alleged discrimination?

    A minority employee, who is Asian(the only one in the depart.) works for a manufacturing company. Please keep in mind that all the employees in the dept. have the same job title/duties. In this dept. there is a rotation schedule. The purpose for t...

    Alexander’s Answer

    The discrimination was against the law. The employer stopped, but that does not make the past discrimination go away. Yes, the employee can file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC within 300 days of the last act of discrimination.
    -Alex J. Higgins

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  • Can an employer in Washington state keep tip jar money?

    I work in a sandwich shop which has a tip jar next to the cash register and the employer keeps all of the tips, is this legal? I get paid minimum wage. They say it is to cover for mistake sandwiches and such.

    Alexander’s Answer

    Absolutely not. There is a Washington statute prohibiting this. Call the Department of Labor & Industries and make a complaint.

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  • Is it legal for my employer to access my private email account? I sent some messages and he was able to tell me what they said

    It is not connected to my work email, I think he got them off the server? The emails he mentioned to me were not related to work in any way.

    Alexander’s Answer

    If you used the Company's server, then you may have lost your reasonable expectation of privacy. The analysis may depend on an analysis of the Company's policy on use of Company servers, computers, etc. Some policies explicitly warn about employees about this. If so, then you probably have no recourse. If the Company does not have a policy, you have an argument that it violated your privacy. I'm not sure there is a specific rule in Washington, however.
    -Alex J. Higgins

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