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MA Employment Law (Workplace/Coworkers) Questions and Answers

Welcome to our Massachusetts Employment Law Forum. Feel free to post questions, answers, or comments about hiring, firing, workplace policies, and other MA employment and labor law issues.  If you need professional legal advice, please use our Attorney Directory to find a MA employment attorney.

Have a question? Use our SEARCH feature, below, to find your answer.  For example, if you have a question about employee rights under MA law, simply enter one or two key words, such as: employee rights

Massachusetts Employment Law Basics

Before we get to the forum, we’d like to present some basic information about employment law in Massachusetts. As with some of the other topics covered in our various forums, employment law is a very broad subject that involves many topics, including wages, overtime, child labor laws, employee rights, and employment discrimination. As you read this synopsis, if you see terms you do not understand or that you would like more information about, just use our search tool to find more in-depth discussions.

The first broad area of labor and employment law, perhaps the one that is of interest to the greatest number of our readers, is employee rights regarding wages and time worked. If you use our search tool, you will find many questions and answers dealing with overtime pay, the minimum wage, tips, holiday pay, meal breaks, etc. Those who live and work in Massachusetts can also avail themselves of many government sponsored resources. There are numerous government websites dealing with employee rights, and the Attorney General has a Hotline that MA residents can call to get information about their rights on the job. (617-727-3465).

In other threads on this forum, readers will find detailed discussions on the difference between at-will employment and contract employment, and how those two broad categories of employment are treated differently under MA law. This is a key distinction because, with many exceptions (also discussed in the forum) employers are free to terminate at will employees for any legal and non-discriminatory reason. Contract and union employees, on the other hand, can only be terminated for certain, specified reasons.

Finally, readers will find a good deal of information about various types of employment discrimination. It is common for workers in Massachusetts to believe they have been treated unfairly, or even fired, because of their age, ethnicity, gender, or just because they did or refused to do something on the job. Believing you have been treated unfairly, however, and actually proving in a court that your employer violated the law are two very different things. Hopefully, readers will find sufficient information on these pages to help them assess their situation and determine whether they should contact an attorney.

Good luck in your search for legal information, and please let us know what you think about The Forum.

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TopicRepliesCreatedLast replysort icon
Travel Time between locations
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0 1 day 29 min ago
by GenericScreenName101
n/a
Employee Rights when leaving shift
Within several months I have been told as my scheduled shift was ending that I "was not allowed to leave". Understanding that certain projects and tas...
0 2 days 5 hours ago
by 413robinson
n/a
Employer Overpaid but questionable on repayment
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0 1 week 4 days ago
by Mare0175
n/a
On Call pay difference between employees
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0 2 weeks 23 hours ago
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LABOR LAWS
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by shine
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0 4 weeks 5 hours ago
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1 4 weeks 5 days ago
by Captaincheeks
4 weeks 3 days ago
by Kevin M. Kinne
Hospital Closure and accrued sick benefit
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0 5 weeks 6 hours ago
by marley_dog
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Decrease in pay notification on start of employment.
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0 5 weeks 1 day ago
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Termination
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0 5 weeks 6 days ago
by J007160
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All pay from pay period pushed back to next paycheck.
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0 5 weeks 6 days ago
by BrianSS
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0 6 weeks 2 days ago
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getting a raise in workplace
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0 6 weeks 6 days ago
by emilyaransky
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Having surgery
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0 7 weeks 15 hours ago
by Daviles73
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Employee has two black eyes and works in the public eye
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0 7 weeks 3 days ago
by Creed
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Hours Cut Without Being Told
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0 7 weeks 6 days ago
by SaiyanPrince
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MA Labor Question
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0 8 weeks 1 day ago
by John Gomes
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Boss embarrassed me twice
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0 8 weeks 2 days ago
by AmiRoii
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0 8 weeks 5 days ago
by areteIII
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Restaurant Salaried Employees
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0 8 weeks 6 days ago
by map1120
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0 9 weeks 1 day ago
by phillypcp
n/a
Fired for hospital visits?
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0 9 weeks 3 days ago
by Pari40
n/a
my boss doesn't want to pay me for all time that i work
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3 2 years 12 weeks ago
by kelanor
12 weeks 18 hours ago
by shannandunn
Employer Threatening
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2 2 years 24 weeks ago
by Ami Roi
12 weeks 5 days ago
by Ami Roi
Legal to contact new employer about two week notice?
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0 13 weeks 1 day ago
by criddle3
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Salary worker
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1 14 weeks 3 days ago
by Miguelomi
13 weeks 1 day ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
unfair unemployment decisions
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1 3 years 25 weeks ago
by kevinjamescerce...
13 weeks 2 days ago
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Termination of At Will Employee, working remotely, and Payment of final paycheck
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1 14 weeks 2 days ago
by Serafina
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1 13 weeks 3 days ago
by jesamel
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by Alan D. Meyerson
constract law
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0 14 weeks 3 hours ago
by ralph slavik
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Not paid overtime for training?
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0 14 weeks 6 days ago
by HELP123
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Refusing to pay mileage reimbursement due to late paperwork
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0 15 weeks 6 hours ago
by jillmac500
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payroll
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0 15 weeks 2 days ago
by Catlib
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job requirement
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0 16 weeks 6 days ago
by note4ash
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Suspended for 3days without pay while on vacation
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0 17 weeks 14 hours ago
by Crystal
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Labor/paid time off
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0 17 weeks 1 day ago
by Anfstp
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Worker Responsibility to divluge infection
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0 17 weeks 1 day ago
by sutekh22
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secretly recorded by employee
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0 17 weeks 2 days ago
by AmiRoi
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Employment Laws
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0 18 weeks 6 days ago
by Justme47
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Vacation Plan Change
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0 18 weeks 6 days ago
by lfdal54
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Sick Call
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0 20 weeks 4 days ago
by Dilligaf0430
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alternate job
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0 20 weeks 6 days ago
by note4ash
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Per diem work during maternity leave
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0 21 weeks 1 day ago
by ranauruguaya
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Pay employer upon leaving for required course, travel & lodging
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0 21 weeks 1 day ago
by slee446
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personal information requested by employer
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0 21 weeks 2 days ago
by inquisitive
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Foced union membership
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0 21 weeks 5 days ago
by nook6633
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Benefits Notice/Letter
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0 22 weeks 21 hours ago
by needhammba
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Consumption of Food/Drinks
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0 22 weeks 1 day ago
by Eallen
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Change in job requirements to include mandatory on call days
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0 22 weeks 5 days ago
by Gillway
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Conditions of receiving vacation pay?
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0 23 weeks 5 days ago
by Lampshade
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Previous employer disclosing my pregnancy status falsely as reason I quit
Please help! My former employer, a school, (job I quit in November with written notice stating leaving due to lack of communication and poor organiz...
0 23 weeks 6 days ago
by JBradS
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Vacation Pay
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0 24 weeks 1 day ago
by holdingvacation...
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employment law
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1 35 weeks 6 days ago
by yankees24770
24 weeks 1 day ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
uniform on to work
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1 25 weeks 3 days ago
by vokey
24 weeks 2 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Can I be fired due to my daughters illness
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1 33 weeks 5 days ago
by Momif3wahs
24 weeks 2 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
interview question
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1 26 weeks 1 day ago
by lckennedy
24 weeks 2 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Recommendation
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1 24 weeks 3 days ago
by Josephine
24 weeks 2 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Lunch break
My daughter works for a restaurant where she is required to work 8-10 hours with no lunch break if they are busy. She is afraid if she complains, she ...
0 24 weeks 3 days ago
by Suegorm
n/a
Paying for required training and use of earned time
Hi I work for a company with a history of poor understanding of labor laws. A few years ago they were successfully sued for requiring unpaid overti...
0 25 weeks 13 hours ago
by mitchmcc
n/a
Age Discrimination
I left my last job retail job several months ago. I had worked there over 4 years. Part time and full time. As an employee with ver 30 years of ret...
1 25 weeks 5 days ago
by Flip64
25 weeks 3 days ago
by Kevin M. Kinne
Denied appointment
I have an appointment to USCIS, my employer denied my day off request. That is legal? What can I do?
0 27 weeks 20 hours ago
by DmitriyP
n/a
Unemployment benefits
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0 28 weeks 1 day ago
by TerryM
n/a
review gone bad time for new job but what could I be looking at before I find one
Please take the time to read as i am probably going to ramble but a bad way to end the work week kinda bummed and could use some advice so it is very...
0 28 weeks 5 days ago
by seanleo28
n/a
Cutting HOurs
I currently work full time , I put in my two weeks very advance (about 6weeks) just to give them time to look for proper coverage for when I leave. My...
1 28 weeks 6 days ago
by starsmith33
28 weeks 6 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
pay for employees when company closes due to snow storm on your scheduled workday
Is it legal for an employer to not pay employees when the company closes due to a snow storm on your scheduled work day?
0 29 weeks 2 days ago
by genny924
n/a
Returning from layoff on benefits
Does the employer have to return all of the workers benefits they had when they were laid off or do they only have to up to a certain time period? ...
0 29 weeks 4 days ago
by Fran45
n/a
Is it legal to work 24+ hours straight?
I am a residential counselor at a group home located in worcester county massachusetts. On 01/26 I went into work due to a storm coming the following ...
0 30 weeks 21 hours ago
by paradise09
n/a
salary employment/ sick leave
I am currently employed as a salary/exempt employee and over the summer I was involved in an accident which kept me out of work for 3 months and I jus...
0 30 weeks 1 day ago
by jburton
n/a
Personal vehicle
I am an office worker who has had a desk job with an insurance company for over 10 years. Can my employer require me to make deliveries for the compan...
0 32 weeks 18 hours ago
by danisbister@live.com
n/a
Per diem laws
I have been working for a local hospital for a year. I was hired as a per diem employee. I was given 40 hrs during three month training and then given...
0 32 weeks 1 day ago
by Mkc1024
n/a
wrongful termination
I was hired full time as dealer service manager from after-market automotive service manager. After about 3.5 months I was told they hired a service m...
0 33 weeks 1 day ago
by munley1
n/a
Reduction in hours for FTE
Hi, I have been employed by my company as a full time employee with benefits in good standing since starting at my job a year ago. My offer of employm...
0 33 weeks 3 days ago
by chloe
n/a
employment law
Can a owner take tips and distribute later?
1 33 weeks 4 days ago
by tackettgreg0
33 weeks 3 days ago
by Kevin M. Kinne
Sick call
Is it legal for a supervisor to ask questions about your sickness and then make you feel guilty for calling out sick?
0 33 weeks 5 days ago
by Ditzie
n/a
holiday pay
I work for a property management co. There are over 200 employees in our home office in MA. All the home office has the day after Christmas of with pa...
1 35 weeks 1 day ago
by Aspen emp
34 weeks 1 day ago
by BlitzGraybeard
Prevailing wage and travel
I work for a tech company that we travel to different towns and work in schools installing projectors and cabling. Some are prevailing and some are no...
1 34 weeks 5 days ago
by EBvikings
34 weeks 3 days ago
by Kevin M. Kinne
Former Employer Paying Current Employees Overtime Retroactively for past 5 Years. Am I entitled?
Hello, I am looking for some advice, and hope I can gain some knowledge here. I left my former employer about 5 months ago for a new job oppor...
1 35 weeks 3 days ago
by hardwork
35 weeks 2 days ago
by Kevin M. Kinne
Last Paycheck Upon Termination/Discussing Wages
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0 36 weeks 5 days ago
by drivingfaster
n/a
Overtime: Mass. vs Fed. rate
Based on my research on overtime pay for restaurant employees, Massachusetts restaurant employees are not entitled to overtime pay under State law but...
1 42 weeks 6 days ago
by umakemekissu
36 weeks 6 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Old Employment Records for Belchertown State School
Advice concerning to whom I should turn in government in order to get verification of my 3 years employment at Belchertown State School in the 1970's ...
0 36 weeks 6 days ago
by JAllen
n/a
Confidentiality
I recently filed a claim for unemployment via my old company, I was told by a friend and current employee at the company that a member of human resour...
0 37 weeks 1 day ago
by Jbrown788
n/a
Employee quits with a negative vacation balance
We are a small dental practice in Massachusetts. Our front desk manager quit with no notice and had taken 5 more days of vacation than she was entitl...
0 37 weeks 3 days ago
by bbjornson55
n/a
Am I entitled to accrued vacation time if i resign in MA
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1 45 weeks 4 days ago
by melissa1989
37 weeks 5 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Colelcting UI with a severance
I was laid off this week and offered a bi-weekly severance payment, payable over time into 2014, in exchange for signing a release of claims waiving m...
0 37 weeks 6 days ago
by ykdmma
n/a
workplace day schedule being changed
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0 38 weeks 1 hour ago
by pmbell
n/a
Can employer deny an early return from maternity leave?
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0 38 weeks 19 hours ago
by xmaystarx
n/a
Refused Unemployment
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0 38 weeks 5 days ago
by clairebear724
n/a
Employer slander?
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0 39 weeks 6 days ago
by jazzman2
n/a
flat rate pay questions
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1 42 weeks 3 days ago
by jamesjanusz
40 weeks 1 day ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
PLEASE ANSWER - Can I be terminated for calling out sick with a doctors note? (Retail Holiday Work)
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1 40 weeks 1 day ago
by Sick with a note
40 weeks 1 day ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Hourly rate for vacation
My workplace has an accrual vacation time system (1.5 days per month) - I recently received a raise. I was told that my vacation time earned prior to ...
0 40 weeks 6 days ago
by draughtash
n/a
Standard practice for lunch break
It is standard practice at my place of employment to take a hour lunch break even though technically the policy is 30 minutes unpaid. I just returned ...
0 41 weeks 5 days ago
by Kimberlylynn
n/a
days off from work after 42 hours in 5 days
can my boss make me work on saturday or sunday if i worked 40 hours monday through friday already?
1 41 weeks 6 days ago
by joesmo
41 weeks 6 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Salon owner cuts hours no notice
The owner of my salon has had multiple claims of harassment, which have never gone through because those stylists were under contract not to work with...
0 42 weeks 1 day ago
by Devieluc
n/a
WORK WEEK
I work on a swing shift seven days on two days off. we run 24/7,we were told that the law changed and we can only work six days two off did the law ch...
0 42 weeks 1 day ago
by daniel mcgrath
n/a
Must MA employers give paid sick time?
I'm new to the job market after graduating from high school in MA. I'm surprised to find that many employers do not have any paid sick time for emplo...
3 1 year 31 weeks ago
by SueNT
42 weeks 1 day ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Overtime Pay Rules
I work as a Data Analyst temp at the Dept of Health and Human Services. Recently our department has experienced an increase in the volume of work and ...
3 44 weeks 1 day ago
by JD02121
43 weeks 5 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Tardiness
Is it legal for my employer to dock an hour pay for being 1 minute late? I get paid by hour. For example I'm scheduled for 7 am come in at 7:01 am. I ...
2 43 weeks 5 days ago
by anthony413
43 weeks 5 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
"Day pay" for salaried employee.
I am a line cook working over 50 hours a week on average. I am on salary. Working 5 days a week, my pay is always the same, as it should be on salary....
0 43 weeks 6 days ago
by hbrady
n/a

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