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Unpaid work in Delaware and fired

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  • Unpaid work in Delaware and fired

    My girlfriend works as a server in a restaurant in DE. Once a month all employees are required to show up in the morning and clean the entire restraurant for three hours and not one of them gets paid, anything. She was informed that this is manditory.

    I surprised her with a vacation at christmas and didn't realize that the vacation was falling on this manditory cleaning/work-for-free day that month. I asked her to go in and see if it could be excused. She told me that when she was hired she was told that the only way it would be excused was for students that had classes at 8 a.m.

    I know delaware is an at-will-employment and that you can quit or be fired at anytime for any reason (except those protected classes). However it is an interesting situation that she is being fired for missing a day that she not being paid for. Does this fall under covanant of good faith?
    Last edited by iselector; 02-20-2008, 09:46 AM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    There are two separate issues here.

    One is that it was legal to fire her for not reporting for work. That is what "at will employment" means, i.e., the employee can quit at any time for any reason and the employer can discharge an employee at any time for any reason that does not violate the law and this does not. Everyone is in at least three protected classes; race, gender and national origin. Her recourse is to file for unemployment.

    The second, however, is that she must be paid for that time. Her recourse there is to file a claim for unpaid wages with the state Dept. of Labor.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 02-20-2008, 09:55 AM.
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