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Kate J. Fitzpatrick

Kate Fitzpatrick’s Answers

152 total


  • The question: Is this a wrongful termination?

    Kate’s Answer

    You'll have to set up a consultation with an employment lawyer into get into the details to see if a wrongful termination case such as age discrimination can be made. I wish you the best.

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  • Do I need to pay for equipment damage if I wasn’t responsible for the damage or the equipment?

    Kate’s Answer

    If the employer charges you and/or terminates you for protesting it, you may file a claim for free with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. The complaint filing is online.

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  • Retaliation

    Kate’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Absolutely consider reaching out to an employment lawyer of your choice (lawyers cannot reach out to you/solicit you directly) to discuss this in more detail and see what options you might have.

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  • Can an employer terminate someone this way?

    Kate’s Answer

    As the other attorney noted, this could violate the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law. It could also be illegal discrimination on the basis of a disability or perceived disability. Your friend would have to talk this through with an attorney (whom your friend would have to approach -- attorneys cannot solicit clients).

    Best regards,
    Kate Fitzpatrick

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  • What are my rights for an involuntary resignation after 4 months partially paid FMLA/Leave of Absence with benefits in MA?

    Kate’s Answer

    It may be worth seeking an attorney for an initial consultation to see if you have any claims that could justify some severance pay. As for your question, your employer's policies would primarily attend to this so it can't be answered without looking at what they are.

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  • I was wondering who's entitled to keep the tips the customer gives out at a fast food chain

    Kate’s Answer

    In Massachusetts, it's illegal for anyone with supervisory authority to take tips. You can contact the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. They have an online complaint form also.

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  • Can my employer change my timesheet with out my knowledge?

    Kate’s Answer

    If you are not being paid for all hours of work (because the employer removed them from the timesheet or what-have-you) it likely is a violation of the Massachusetts wage laws. The laws require payment for all hours worked. You could file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office online or contact an employment lawyer to discuss further.

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  • What I do if my employer doesn’t record my tipped wages on my paystub?

    Kate’s Answer

    Regarding the tips, in Massachusetts it is illegal for tips to be taken by the employer or manager. You could follow up with an employment lawyer and/or also file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office who also enforces the Massachusetts Tips Law. Re the tax issue, you could contact either the IRS (for the federal) or the Mass Department of Revenue to ask them how exactly you should go about insisting that she represent your full wages (including tips) on your paystub -- she's supposed to -- and then withhold the taxes on those wages. (I seem to recall there is a supplementary form that you can provide her weekly reporting this.) In the meantime, consider taking regular notes or keep a log about everything dicey you see and experience there; it is the best way of protecting yourself.

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  • My boyfriends boss continues to tell my boyfriend how sexy I am; does that count as harassment for my boyfriend.

    Kate’s Answer

    I think this could be considered sexual harassment, though it is an unusual scenario. A primary issue is that your boyfriend needs to be willing to act here in the first place in order to instigate the process -- by filing a charge of discrimination at either the MCAD or EEOC, internally with the employer, or speak with an employment lawyer.

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  • I was laid off over the phone with a company I worked for 30+ years. What's the next course of action during the final meeting?

    Kate’s Answer

    You will have to contact an employment lawyer to discuss the facts particular to you, including if you're seeking or have received a draft severance agreement. (Attorneys cannot approach/solicit you.) Employment law is very fact specific; the advice turns on details particular to each employment relationship.

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