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Is this true Massachusetts

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  • Is this true Massachusetts

    I have been reading post after post after post on this message board and I keep coming up with the same conclusion.

    Correct me if I am wrong but from what I understand an employees boss is allowed to do the following without any threat of legal recourse.
    • Treat employees unfairly
    • Treat employees with utter disrespect while at the same time demanding respect in return
    • Change schedules without notice of any kind while at the same time require the employee to be aware of their own schedules even if the change happens on their day off
    • In certain states, breaks (paid or unpaid) do not have to be given
    • Can terminate employment for absolutely any reason they want (except race, religion, sex, ect.)
    • Do not have to notify anyone of sexual harrassment so long as they make it stop (even though sexual harrassment is against the law)
    • Can talk about an employees pay to whomever, whenever
    • Can mention if employees have been fired to whomever, whenever
    • Do not have to under any circumstances give raises regardless of length of employment as long as pay is equal to minimum wage
    • Can make an employees work environment as uncomfortable as they want as long as they dont violate race, religion, sex, etc.
    • Can lie directly to your face
    • Can talk negatively about you behind your back

    ...and much much more all while only being considered bad business practices.

    I bring this up only to prevent any unnecessary questions in the future.

  • #2
    If any of those above things are done because an employee is a member of a protected class, they are illegal.

    Most companies do not simply follow the minimum requirements of the law, but they do much more for their employees. Most companies choose to give raises, pay over min wage, provide benefits, ensure a harassment-free workplace, etc. Most companies will choose to discipline a manager who lies, talks about people behind their backs, and treats employees poorly.

    Not everything can be legislated.

    Companies have an interest in "going above and beyond" so that they might attract and keep good employees. Those who treat people badly will keep losing employees. That is the free market. If I'm not happy with my company, I could easily move on to others who would treat me better.
    The economy is booming; every company seems to be hiring.

    As a parallel, a restaurant can choose to just follow the law and serve simple food, woth no variety, that simply passes board of health requirements. But they choose to make a variety of foods that taste good to attract customers.


    • #3
      Thats a very negative way of putting it but as you put it, not laws are broken.

      Your employer is also not required to offer you sick days, vacation days, PTO, pay you anthing abover minimum wage, give you pay raises, give you merit increases, offer a retirement program, provide employer paid or partially paid medical insurance, life insurance, dental/vision insurance, tuition reimbursement, or paid parking either.

      However, you have the abo****e right to leave that negative envioronment and work elsewhere.
      I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
      Thomas Jefferson


      • #4
        In regards to my post above, if an employee is subjected to what I have listed should that employee:

        A. Go to the boss and speak to them about the situation?

        B. Go directly to corporate HR (since I am talking about a retail store there is no HR on site)?

        C. Go to the district manager?

        D. Attempt to contact the corporate office and explain things to them?

        Thank you for all of your help!


        • #5
          Though, if they would rather not organize and form a union, then by all means, they should report their concerns in writing.

          I used to work for a large retail chain that rhymes with "map." We had no local HR either. But the company was very responsive to our concerns (this was back in an era with lots more unemployment, and they could easily have said "go ahead, leave, we'll find someone else" but they didn't.)

          I would first talk with the store mgr, then if not satisfied, put it in writing, and CC the district mgr. If the district mgr did not resolve the problem to my staisfaction, I'd contact corporate.

          Retail (in general) has a staffing shortage, so in the current economic climate they may be more invested in resolving employee complaints and keeping good people.


          • #6
            I agree with TS. At least give the employer a chance to resolve the issues. Unions don't solve everything.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


            • #7
              In any given situation any of the above might be the answer. It is hard to speak in generalizations because every employer, manager and situation is different. Usually it is best to start at the bottom and work your way up the chain of command rather than go over the heads of managers. It makes both you and them look bad and isn't always going to result in getting the problem solved. Other times there may be a good reason to go over someone's head such as when they are the problem.

              Getting others to agree there is a problem or to work toward a certain goal isn't always feasible either. Not every employee is bothered by the same things and if you are in the minority with your desires, a union isn't going to help.

              If you really feel there is an issue out there that requires legislative intervention, you are free to petition your elected representatives to change the law.

              If you are unhappy with the benefits and practices of a particular employer, don't accept a job with them, or seek employment elsewhere. Those that treat their employees poorly don't attract the best and brightest which does affect the bottom line.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


              • #8
                I will also add to the list of what the can do:
                1) create issues against you a) make a big deal of something that someone they are friends with do all the time b) pull you aside(or infront of everyone else) that you have been peforming substandard for sometime without warning-although you have been told you have been doing a good job until then- and they simply say they have had other issues they were dealing with which is why they didnt notify u of "substandard" performance before: this probably stems from pissing someone off(ego)-even though your intentions were best for the situation.

                2) They are allowed favoritism.

                3) They are allowed to promote/reward whom ever they want. Keep in mind your desire to succeed isn't always enough-they can make it easier for those who they simply like better, and harder for those they simply do not like. In alot of cases they will personally see to it that they are informed with the most updated info, while those they prefer less are purposly not given info, look stupid, and make it seem he/she isnt worthy of higher rank.

                This is just 3 examples, but do not have anything to do with law. people tend to think these things are illegal, but not. Work can be like a social game, and of course poeple will treat people better who they simply like, just like we all treat those who we like better. But its up to companies to spread glory in order to keep good employees and grow, not n order to prevent prosecution.
                Your options in the workplace are the three "L's"- Live with it, Lobby for change, or Leave. Screaming for an attorney will do no good most of the time.


                The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.