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Daniel A Swedlow

Daniel Swedlow’s Answers

54 total

  • Do the same laws apply for self employed people

    My husband and I completed a job 20 days ago for a farmer. He has been giving us the run around like the check is in the mail . I asked to get pais 2 days after the job was done

    Daniel’s Answer

    The law in Washington is that you are entitled to be paid for services you provided. It makes no difference whether you are an employee or an independant contractor. In either case you have two possible theories of recovery. One is a breach of contract claim. That one is rather straightforward. The other is a statutory claim for failure to pay wages. Inability to pay is no defense. If the employer fails to pay your wages when due, and it doesn't matter if you are in independant contractor or an employee, that employer can be personally liable for twice the amount of your wages plus whatever attorneys' fees you incur collecting the money if you have to bring a lawsuit to get it. So if the job was worth $1,000 and he doesn't pay, sue him for $2,000 plus attorneys' fees.

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  • The co. I work for has not placed retirement monies into my account as per our union contract. Can I take legal action?

    For about six months, the company I work for has not made contributions into the retirement fund, as required by our collective bargaining agreement. The union has seen fit to ignore this and try to work with them, without our vote to do so. Can...

    Daniel’s Answer

    yes you can. There are lawfirms that specialize in this type of work.

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  • Employee's rights under WA employment law regarding past employer who is lying about my work ethcis to perspective employers

    My previous employer is not being truthful about my past job performance with him. This has been going on since February. I finally now have written proof he has been lying as to my past job performance with him. I worked for him for three years. ...

    Daniel’s Answer

    a lawsuit for defamation or intentional interference with a contractual relationship (or both) comes to mind. Be careful though, in a suit for defamation, truth is a defense. You have to be certain he is really lying.

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  • Employee's rights against employer who tries to break up union membership WA state employment law

    Can an employer repeatedly reorganize to try to break the union and eliminate older workers? My WA state employer recently reorganized and laid off 5 workers (4 union & 1 nonunion) in one job classification. Two jobs were created & filled by the...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Ouch! Your employer could be facing some serious trouble. It's worth talking to your union and to the regional office of the NLRB. Go to www.nlrb.gov. Find the regional office and talk to a Board agent. Most of these issues depend on an analysis of what the employer's motivation was. If the employer was simply implementing a reasonable productivity oriented change that resulted in some layoffs of union folks and older workers, it could be ok (maybe). On the other hand, if the employer was motivated by a desire to break the union or get rid of older workers, or both, that employer is in serious need of a good labor lawyer.

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  • How long can my employer keep me after my scheduled shift.

    I'm scheduled to work from 5am till 2pm.I take my 1/2 hour lunch at 9am and I get a ten min. break at about 11am.I'm expected to keep working till they tell me to go home but I am usually ignored at 2pm and I finally have to ask to go home.I'm not...

    Daniel’s Answer

    You are probably entitled to overtime pay and more breaks than you currently get. You should probably consult with a lawyer about your specifics because it doesn't sound like you are getting everything you are supposed to. For example, you are almost certainly supposed to be getting one additional 10 minute break and you should be getting time and a half after 8 hours of work in a day or 40 in a week. Sending you home early on the last day of the pay period would not be an effective way to avoid an overtime obligation. Sounds like your employer also needs to talk with an attorney. What industry you are in might make a difference but you might want to think about looking into this.

    To answer your actual question though, your employer can ask you to stay as long as you are willing to stay. There is no limit to what they can ask IF YOU AGREE AND IF THEY ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR IT. I should also add that certain industries don't allow continuous working for safety reasons - like long haul truckers and rest breaks, that sort of thing.

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  • I was fired without warning. I never received any negative feedback, verbal or written. Do I have a defamation suit?

    1. I joined a very small company at the beginning of March. 2. They placed me on a 90-day probation, and at the end of the probation period gave me a luke-warm performance review and extended my probation period 90 days. 3. In July, at the ...

    Daniel’s Answer

    I am licensed in Washington and I agree with Mr. Taylor. You don't have a defamation suit. However, you could (read should) check with your previous employer and ask if it would be accurate to state on future applications that you were simply let go due to their lack of continued need for your services, aka laid off. Fired has such a negative connotation and it may not be the case that you were really "fired." It can't hurt to ask them if they would object to such a characterization.

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  • Can we charge a driver for fuel for abandoning a load??

    A driver we had (we own a small trucking company) stole $750 from our account. Then we gave him another chance. The next week he was supposed to go from point A to B to C (home). He didn't pick up the load at point B. Just drove home leaving u...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Nope nope and nope. You cannot deduct, withhold or in any other way not pay the full amount of wages owed. You can, however, and should, bring a separate cause of action against the previous employee. Bring it in small claims court. Chances are you could get a default judgment and then garnish his wages at his next job if he doesn't pay. Unfortunately, even if he blatently stole money from you, even if he did it right in front of your face openly, you couldn't withhold wages as a setoff. You have to bring a separate action to recover. Good luck. By the way, after an employee steals from you, second chances tend to work out exactly as this one did.

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  • Rights of salaried employees and overtime in Washington state

    Is it leagal for an employer to work a salaried employee over 40 hours a week with no compensation what so ever. I know there are 2 types of salary, the person to which I refer is an office worker transfered to a warehouse position. As an office p...

    Daniel’s Answer

    The obligation to pay overtime is tied to what the employee is doing, not whether they are paid hourly or salaried. An office worker who was legitimately exempt from overtime laws, and not all are, could easily lose that exemption by being transferred to the warehouse. The employer would then have to pay overtime.

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  • Can a employer forece you to work when you have a phobia

    Can a employer forec someone to work during a thunderstorm when that person has Astraphobia? (Fear of thunder and lightning.)

    Daniel’s Answer

    If the Astraphobia is a legitimate disability, and it could be, the employer would have a duty to engage in a conversation about reasonable accomadation. There may or may not be a reasonable accomadation available during a thunderstorm (i.e. working from home, working inside, taking unpaid leave, etc.) Noboday can force anyone to work - that is called slavery. At the same time, your employer is generally, although not always, free to fire you for any reason or no reason at all. When disability issues kick in though, there is that initial duty to engage in the accomodation discussion.

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  • Can a current employer discuss your criminal history with other employees.

    I have worked at this company for several years. During my tenure here, I was found guilty of a crime, disclosed it to my supervisor, was given a leave of absence to serve my time, then told to ask in writing for my job back. I submitted my ...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Criminal history, especially convicion information, is public information and can be shared without restriction. See RCW 10.97

    Medical history is a totally different reality and cannot be shared.

    Your best bet is to talk with your supervisor about your concern and ask that the discussions stop. You could address it up front so it loses some of the mystique that makes people want to talk about it. If it was a violent crime, depending on the type of employer, they might have a duty to disclose the information to co-worker and even customers or state licensing agencies. If it was a non-violent crime, and not the type of crime that would impact your trustworthiness (like bank fraud and you work with money), it shouldn't matter and it shouldn't be a subject of workplace conversation. That however is not a legal issue, that is a common decency issue. Legally, you have no right to privacy as to that information. You could explore challenging the record and trying to get it sealed. Call the Washington State Patrol or go to their website to figure out whether that's an option. Good luck.

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