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  • i need answers!! Massachusetts

    hello,
    i have many questions..any and all answers will be very appreciated, thanks.

    -the d.a.o. web sight says that if you are terminated, layed off or fired, the employer must pay "all wages dure" on the day of termination. My boss argued that with me and said i have to wait, and if any legal action was taken bu myself, i'd be retaliated against. what is the loophole that is keeping me from getting paid?
    -the grounds of my termination were never discussed, and he said that it just wasnt working out.. it is a family owned/opperated place and i believe i was fired because the sister of the owner does not like me. what can i do?
    -our pay period went from sun.-sat. and was seven (7) days long. we were paid 10 days later (two tuesdays from saturday). I read that there was a seven day limit for wages to go out. also, he had refused to give the checks out on pay day because they were bouncing in weeks prior. I had to wait until thursday and even friday to get my check at times, and it still bounced.
    - My schedual was never printed/posted until the day of my first shift of the pay period, and somedtimes not until 2-4 days into the week. Am I accountable for those hrs which are not writen, and if not when do the shifts have to be posted?
    -I work in a restaurant, and i've never got cash, the tips are added up, pooled, 3% of sales go to support staff,and they are taxed. 10 days later i get a check.. that just dosent seem right.
    -i believe I was fired for expressing my rights, and could not be punished for that, was i wrong or right?
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    is there illegal activity?
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    am i wron in my feelings?
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    Last edited by tinavera1969; 06-24-2006, 01:31 PM.

  • #2
    OK, already, here's some answers!!!!!!!!!! Is one hour fast enough for free?

    I'm assuming you were discharged. That's the situation in which final pay is due on your final day of work. I don't know where you found that resignations are the same; my sources say that if an employee resigns, final pay is due on the next regularly scheduled pay day (the one for the pay period that includes your final day).
    http://www.ago.state.ma.us/sp.cfm?pageid=1110

    If you are no longer with the company, how do you expect you will be retaliated against? Again, if you resign, you have no legal expectation of your final pay on your last day. If you were discharged, THEN you have a claim.

    Massachusetts, like very other state except Montana (and even there, in some situations) is an "employment at will" state. That means you can be discharged at any time for any reason that that is not a violation of a law, and that you can resign at any time for any reason. The law does not require the employer give you a reason for discharge, give you any warnings, and it is not a violation of law for you to be fired because someone "doesn't like you".

    It is true that the employer must have a regularly scheduled payday and that must be no later than 7 days following the end of the pay period. However, you are now terminated and, unless there is other pay that is still outstanding, I doubt very seriously the AG's office will accept a claim for late pay, since you now have it.

    There is no law in any state that requires schedules be posted at all, let alone any specific advance notice. It is the employee's responsibility to know when he/she is expected to work. I'm not saying it's not a good idea to post schedules in some situations, but there is no law requiring the employer do so.

    You got a separate check for your tips? If so, since tips are wages, that would be a violation of the requirement to pay wages by 7 days following the end of the pay period. But, again, since you finally did get them, and you are already terminated, I don't see the AG's office taking a claim for this issue either. Tip pooling is allowed and 3% is very reasonable; many restaurants require as much as 10%. And tips are taxable earnings.

    Expressing what rights? And to whom?
    Last edited by Pattymd; 06-24-2006, 02:31 PM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      pattymd, thank you very muchh for taking the time to read and reply..but there is still a few things i'd like to know...
      first, i was terminated on tuesday, june 20 and have not yet recieved my pay. it is now wednesday june 28.
      second, i was expressing the truth, all of the info. i have gathered from the a.g.o. websight..payroll, pay period, and time allowed to process a check. nobody at the restaurant would stick up for themselves, so i did, and then i got fired(which is also against the law, retaliation )
      anyhow, it has been eleven days since the last day of that pay period and eight days since my last shift.
      i have not been paid
      i am broke and i need my check. what should i do??
      ps. he said if i go to the restaurant it wont be there for me and i cant go there to pick it up..
      thanks again,
      -t

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, you were discharged, right? Then your pay was due on your last day of work, as I stated before, and if you didn't get it, you would have to file a claim for unpaid wages with the Attorney General's office. There's really nothing faster, I'm sorry.

        So, do you believe that you were discharged because you complained internally? Was it a violation of a law that you were complaining about? If so, did you report that violation to the proper governing authority? Generally speaking, "whistleblower protection" does not apply to internal complaints. What exactly were the complaints about and to whom did you make them? Is that what you were talking about when you mentioned "retaliation"?
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Actually, MA adds a little bit more when it comes to retaliation. The Minimum Wage Statute provides that it is illegal to discharge an employee because, among other possible things, the employer "believes that said employee or individual may complain of a violation" of the minimum wage statute, which would likely cover the internal complaint.

          So, you may have a retaliation case.
          This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

          This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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          • #6
            Sheesh, you get protection if "they think you might"? Pretty sweet deal for the employees.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Patty, MA is not quite as employee friendly as CA (employers still have a couple of rights) but it's getting up there real fast.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                I haven't seen a case turn on what "belief" means, but the employee bears the burden of proving by a "preponderance of the evidence" that the employer "believed" the employee was going to complain of a violation.

                It's not as high as the "beyond a reasonable doubt standard" of criminal cases, but it still takes work. The good news for employees is that they don't have to prove an actual complaint, which is sometimes difficult to do when agencies are too busy to cooperate.

                Also, makes my job more interesting. I love trying to prove that an employer "believed" something when they say (to my surprise, of course), "We had no idea."
                This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

                This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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