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Michelle Ray Matheson
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Michelle Matheson’s Answers

62 total


  • Can I be not hired for a job because of a stutter?

    I have a stutter and it has been classified as a disability from the state. Interviewed for the fire department. I have a friend that was on the board and she said I should have got the job but one board member thought I could not do the job bec...

    Michelle’s Answer

    You may want to contact the EEOC about filing a claim for disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. See www.eeoc.gov for further details on filing a charge.

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  • Can my ex employer withhold wages by saying i must pay for the cost of fixing a mistake?

    I was a project manager for a construction company. I was also in sales. I was owed $7800 worth of commissions from both sides. I was a W2 employee. When I was project manager I was paid a percentage of the total contract and out of that I paid f...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Arizona wage law defines the limited circumstances in which an employer can withhold wages earned by an employee: (1) it is a mandated state or federal tax deduction; (2) the employee has provided written authorization to the employer agreeing to the withholding; or (3) there is a reasonable good faith dispute about the amount of wages due, including any set-off or reimbursement of debt or counterclaim against the employee. See A.R.S. 23-352. It sounds like your employer is taking the position that it has a claim for the cost of repainting and is withholding your entire commission amount under this exception. The amount of the set-off, however, seems awfully coincidental and there may be an argument that you are not the person solely responsible for the mistake and therefore should not be charged with the entire cost. If you can establish that the cost of the repainting is less than the $7,800 in wages due, your employer is required to at least pay you the undisputed amount of wages due to you. In other words. If the cost of repainting is only $4,000, they should immediately tender the $3,800 difference to you. An employer who fails to pay undisputed wages due to an Arizona employee may be held liable for three times the undisputed wages due. See A.R.S. 23-355.

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  • They just instituted a new policy at work that affects overtime pay.

    I work for a utility in Arizona. We are part of the Arizona State Retirement System. We work 4 10 hours a day. This includes the entire company. In the past, if we worked over 40 hours, it was OT. If we got called out, it was OT. If we got called ...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Because Arizona has no state overtime statute, eligibility for overtime is governed by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA"). The FLSA requires premium overtime pay for employees performing non-exempt job duties if the employee works more than 40 hours in their regular work week. Payment for holiday pay does not count toward the 40 hour calculation unless the employee actually works the holiday.

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  • Do we have a case? I'd like a lawyer to set her up and gather evidence for the case, then quit and file for disability etc.

    This will be an abbreviated summary. This is regarding my 60 year old mother. She's a CNA at a Nursing facility in Arizona. Situation began after taking emergency leave from her work due to her illness. She was diagnosed with hyper thyroid conditi...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Your question indicates that there may be several potential legal issues. First, depending on the size of the employer, your mother may have been entitled to protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act ("the FMLA") Second, the medical conditions you describe likely qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("the ADA"). Both the FMLA and ADA protect employees from retaliation by an employer. In addition, the ADA requires an employer to make affirmative accommodations for an employee to assist him/her in performing essential job duties. A leave of absence, shift change, or assistance in performing job duties are just some examples of reasonable accommodations. Finally, depending on the employer, it is possible that your mother may qualify for short term disability benefits under a disability benefit plan provided by her employer. I agree with my colleague below that the best place to start is with an experienced Arizona employment attorney. In addition, any claims under the ADA will also need to be filed with the ADA within 300 days of the adverse job action being challenged. You can find out more information about that administrative process at www.eeoc.gov.

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  • What are my rights as an employee and does the employer really have a case?

    Recently had a civil suit filed against me, employee by former employer, regarding a recoverable draw during 1099 employment from 7/2013 to 1/2015. Only contract in place was for year period from 7/2013 to 7/2014. There is no language in the cont...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Your question indicates that your employer is seeking to recoup money paid to you "during 1099 employment." However, if your employer was paying you on a 1099, then it sounds like your employer was not treating you as an employee but rather as an independent contractor. The misclassification of individuals as contractors who should in fact be receiving the benefits and privileges of employee status is a hot topic in employment law right now. In fact, the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recently published an Administrator's Opinion in July of 2015 addressing the misclassification of workers as contractors who, in fact, should be treated as employees. For example, workers who are misclassified do not receive employee benefits; do not receive employer contributions towards retirement; do not receive employer contributions toward social security and medicare taxes; are not eligible for unemployment compensation; and are not covered by many other laws, including minimum wage and overtime, and laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation by employers. If you have been misclassified and should have received these benefits, you may be able to file a counterclaim against the former employer for underpaid wages and the counterclaim may also be an effective mechanism to resolve the claim early in the litigation process.

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  • My boss has been taking away hours that I have worked what can I do ?

    I worked 7 hours in a day and the next day I noticed on my payroll it said I only worked 6.5 and the day after that I was missing 20 minutes as well . Note these hours have been worked but were changed by my boss

    Michelle’s Answer

    You are entitled to payment for all hours worked. It also appears from your question that your position is a non-exempt position under the federal overtime statute, the Fair Labor Standards Act. Is your employer doing this to avoid paying you overtime? If so, you may be able to recover your lost overtime plus a statutory penalty equal to the underpaid overtime.

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  • If I live in Az work as a flight attendant in lax. Do I need an attorney in lax or can one be obtained in Phoenix?

    United Airlines has "involuntary grounded" me for applying for FMLA back in March. It has been carried out until yes it is October. I have been released from my Dr twice. The first time they said no return to work. That was August 18th, 2015. The...

    Michelle’s Answer

    An employment attorney in either Arizona or California attorney should be able assist you with a claim under the FMLA which is a federal statute. As a general rule, however, California has numerous state statutes which apply to individuals working in California that are not available to Arizona employees. In addition, there are typically a greater number of California attorneys who offer free consults and/or will work on a contingency fee basis.

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  • Can an employer hold your paycheck because you have not completed an EXIT INTERVIEW?

    Long story short I quit my job a few weeks ago and today we usually get paid and I know I should be receiving a couple days worth of pay and today I called and asked about my check and they said they're holding it until i do my exit interview. So ...

    Michelle’s Answer

    Arizona wage law defines in A.R.S. 23-353 when a departing employee must receive his or her final paycheck. If the employee quit, then the final wages are due "no later than the regular payday for the pay period during which the termination occurred." If the employer terminated the employee, then the final wages are due "within seven working days or the end of the next regular pay period, whichever is sooner." Arizona wage law also defines in A.R.S. 23-352 when an employer can withhold a portion of an employee's wages. These limited exceptions are: (1) required state and federal tax withholdings; (2) if the employee has provided written consent to the withholding, such as for repayment of an advance, or a voluntary employment deduction; or (3) there is a reasonable good faith dispute as to the amount of wages due, such as a counterclaim for theft, damage or failure to return employer property.

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  • Do I need a lawyer for age discrimination

    Myself and four other managers were let go from American Airlines workforce due to reduction in workforce yet it was a lie people have been hired for our positions in Pay raises have been given and the station is still not Close all five of u...

    Michelle’s Answer

    In order to preserve your right to pursue a claim for age discrimination you must file a timely charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC has a district office in central Phoenix and its investigators conduct new intake interviews on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, beginning at 8:00 a.m. To learn more about this process you can consult the EEOC website at www.eeoc.gov and select the tab entitled Employees/Applicants and then select the link entitled "filing a charge." You may also want to consult with a local employment attorney to learn more about this process and the damages available under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

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  • I've been discriminated against regarding employment. If EEOC rejects claim, will I have 2nd chance to seek action? With whom?

    If EEOC rejects claim of discrimination, will I be allowed to seek action via personal lawyer. Large company with over 1500 employees, feel odds are against me and EEOC will not rule fairly.

    Michelle’s Answer

    Yes, only in very limited circumstances does the EEOC file a lawsuit on an employee's behalf. The vast majority of charges filed with the EEOC result in a dismissal which does not find for either the employee or the employer. The dismissal notice, called a "Right to Sue" notice, will be mailed by the EEOC to the Charging Party (the employee) at the completion of its investigation. This Right to Sue Notice informs the employee that he or she has 90 days from receipt of the Notice to file a civil lawsuit for monetary damages. An employee can then retain a lawyer to file the lawsuit or the employee can file the lawsuit on their own, pro per, without the assistance of legal counsel.

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