Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home

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In a new low for management side, the Wall Street Journal exposed the ugly practice of intern noncompetes. That’s right. Intern. Noncompetes. Let me get this straight. A college or high school student goes to work for little or no pay, and they are handed a bunch of papers to sign. They’re so thrilled at the opportunity to work for this company, they don’t read. They just sign. They never get a copy of what…
Every once in awhile a worker comes to me after having been fired right after a court issues a garnishment order against them for child support (or another debt). This is a violation of both federal and many state’s laws. It is absolutely illegal in Florida. Here are some laws that protect employees from firing due to garnishment: Consumer Credit Protection Act: This law limits the amounts that can be garnished and sets out the…
In light of the infamous Supreme Court decision of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., most corporations are “persons” under the U.S. Constitution. Regarding the noncompete statute, corporations should thus be treated as a “person” for purposes of constitutional analysis.  If corporate people have equal rights with those of individuals for purposes of free speech and religious liberty, so do human people have equal rights with corporate persons for purposes of equal protection under the…
I’m on vacation, and so are many Americans. You shouldn’t have to worry about your job while you’re on vacation. Or should you? You’ve earned two weeks of vacation, and wow, did you work for it. You put in for your two weeks, got it approved, and planned your trip. You have non-refundable tickets to fly to your dream all-inclusive resort. A week before you leave, you mention that Bob will be covering for you…
I’m always surprised how many employers try to impose English-only policies or ban speaking a particular language when there are so few circumstances where such a policy would be legal. Most English-only policies at work violate the laws against national origin discrimination. Yet some companies like Albertsons and Forever 21 have ended up in hot water for banning the use of any language other than English. In the case of Albertsons, EEOC sued them for…
Montana remains the only state in the nation that does not have at-will employment. At-will means you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Boss in a bad mood? That’s a firing? Doesn’t like your shirt? You’re outta there.  Sure, there are exceptions like discrimination and whistleblower laws, but otherwise you’re at the mercy of your boss. So why haven’t American workers risen up and said it’s time to terminate at-will…
I see offer letters that make a specific job offer and then say, by the way, this isn’t a contract. Guess what? Offer plus acceptance equals contract. I don’t care what that disclaimer says, it’s still a contract. Now, what the contract means is another thing. It may say you’re at-will, which means they can fire you for any reason or no reason at all. Some states have exceptions to the at-will doctrine. In all…
For some reason, lately I’m running into employers that are firing employees because they are doing business with a competitor or a merchant they don’t like. In Florida, and I’m guessing in some other states, this is flatly illegal. An employer in Florida cannot demand that an employee buy from them or deal with them. Nor can an employer demand an employee not do business with any other company. Fla. Stat. Sec. 448.03 provides:  Threat…
Don’t get too excited. It will probably pass in the House, fail in the Senate, and be vetoed even if it does pass. But still, the “BE HEARD in the Workplace” Act (short for “Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination in the Workplace Act”) just introduced would be a major step in the right direction on sexual harassment law. The bill would fix some major issues with existing sexual harassment…
It’s not unusual that people are duped into giving notice at their job, only to have the offer pulled or find out the job is nonexistent. Some folks get lured into a job with promises of higher pay, better title, specific hours or location, and it turns out that the representations made to lure them in weren’t true. If this happens, you might have a case for fraud. There are two types of fraud that…