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  • unpaid wages

    I was terminated last oct from a company in massachusetts that ordered its employees to be present at work on or before 5:00 am every day , although we where not paid until 6:30 sometimes 7:00. also we where ordered to be present on inclement weather days and then sent home after a few hours. Should I have been paid for this time? The records of this do exist . I had the sheriff deliver a notarized subpoena to the company to obtain these records. The company won't respond. What should i do ? I am persuing a private right of action authorized by the attorney generals office. My civil court court date is in 2 weeks. How can I prove my case with no records?
    Last edited by jeffcaissey; 03-10-2006, 02:06 PM.

  • #2
    PRA? Court date?
    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
      private right of action issued by attorney generals office..civil court for unpaid wages

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      • #4
        MA law (c.151, sec.15) requires that employers

        "keep a true and accurate record of the name, address and occupation of each employee, of the amount paid each pay period to each employee, of the hours worked each day and each week by each employee, and such other information as the commissioner or the attorney general in their discretion shall deem material and necessary. Such records shall be kept on file for at least two years after the entry date of the record. Such records shall be maintained at the place of employment....."

        In addition, as of 9/8/04, the same section of the law now requires that "An employer shall allow an employee at reasonable times and places to inspect the records kept under this section and pertaining to that employee."

        So, the employer's failure to furnish records shouldn't be too difficult a problem, since that, in and of itself is a violation of the statute.

        As for "reporting pay", the law requires that if an employee is scheduled to work for 3 or more hours, and she shows up, then she must be paid for 3 hours, even if she is sent home early.

        As for a subpoeana for records, there could be many reasons why a company fails to respond. Perhaps the subpoena doesn't ask for relevant, it may be sent to the wrong person or place, it may fail to give the required time for response, etc. No point in speculating.

        In any case, employees trying to prove hours worked should consider having witnesses available who can testify for them as to when then actually performed services.

        Lastly, are you sure it's a "trial date" in 2 weeks? Have you completed the time alloted for discovery (depositions, requests for documetns, etc.)? Have you already had your pre-trial conferences? That seems a little bit unusual to me. Is this in small claims court? How much money are you seeking?
        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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        • #5
          thank you great info

          civil court,2000.00,maybe treble damages if I can prove unfair or deceptive business practices.

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          • #6
            As for the treble damages standard, some legal research might benefit you.

            Take a look at the Weidmann decision from July 2005 (Weidmann v. Bradford Group). The standard for treble damages there was whether or not the employer's conduct was "outrageous beause of the [employer's] evil motive or his reckless indifference to the rights of others." The court didn't define that, but if you can prove it, you'll get treble damages.

            That confusion is one of the principal reasons why I filed a new law with the legislature to change c.149 so that treble damages are mandatory.

            Wage cases aren't decided on the c.93A deceptive practices standard. Wage cases are brought under c.149, sec.148, and thus must follow the Weidmann decision...for now.

            Phil
            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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            • #7
              great advice

              Perfect...I have been doing tons of research and you have great info again.. thank you

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