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Boston Employment Law Blog

Coach claims wrongful termination; arbitrator agrees

The justice system in the United States is complex. Most people feel the goal is to exonerate the innocent, punish the guilty and provide justice for victims. Unfortunately, one college coach claims that he was recently a victim of his employer's overreaction in the wake of the criminal actions of coaches of other colleges. As a result, he was fired after criminal accusations, even though a judge ruled that the charges against him were without merit, but he has recently won his wrongful termination against the college. People in Massachusetts who have found themselves in a similar situation also have the option of taking civil action.

In Aug. 2012, the man took the cell phone the school had issued him to a technician for repairs. The technician found videos of the man's children, in the nude and partly dressed, on the phone and reported them. The coach was arrested on child pornography charges soon afterward. Approximately four months later, a judge ruled that the videos were innocent footage of his children and did not fall under the definition of pornography. She threw out the charges.

David Copperfield accused of violating wage law

There are many employers in the United States who strive to ensure that their employees are happy and their rights are upheld. However, some employees are victims of their employer's tactics to prevent them from being paid their rightful wages. People in Massachusetts who are victims of overtime.aspx">wage law violations have the right to seek legal recourse in a civil court, just as stagehands working for David Copperfield have.

Court proceedings were actually initiated by representatives of Copperfield in January. In a lawsuit filed by Copperfield's entities, six stagehands were accused of disclosure of trade secrets and breach of contract. Seven stagehands filed another lawsuit in February, asserting that Copperfield's lawsuit was filed due to their complaints about overtime pay.

Former employee sues utility company for wrongful termination

For some people in Massachusetts, it is simply innate to try to do the right thing. For example, if they observe what they feel to be unethical or illegal behavior at their place of employment, they will report it. These people should be able to report their observations of such behavior without fear of retaliation. If they feel the company retaliates against them by ending their employment for making such reports, they have the option of filing a wrongful termination case in civil court.

One out-of-state man has done just that. He had been an employee for a utility worker for a long time when the events that led to his termination were initiated. The man claims that the company began targeting customers who live in low income areas with letters delivered by hand notifying the customer that their account was delinquent in 2008. The company can charge nine dollars for these notices.

Massachusetts police chief claims town violated wage law

Police officers have stressful jobs. Primarily, they work with the knowledge that a slight miscalculation on their part may result in jeopardizing their personal safety as well as the safety of fellow officers and innocent civilians. In addition to this, one former police chief in Massachusetts claims she was a victim of wrongful firing and that the town's Board of Selectman violated overtime.aspx">wage law in the handling of her termination.

The woman worked as the police chief of the town for 15 years. Records indicate that she was terminated in 2013 by the Board of Selectmen after the town's police officers gave a vote of no confidence. The town claims that an independent review showed issues with the turnover rate, training, procedures and the grant application process on the police force.

Teacher claims school district violated her employee rights

There have been many steps made toward equality in the workforce over the last several decades. Women today are now more likely to be fairly compensated than they were years ago. Unfortunately, some employers continue to violate the rights of female employees by refusing to pay them the same wages as men for completing the same work. Those in Massachusetts whose employee rights have been violated in such a manner have the option of seeking legal recourse in a civil court, just as one teacher has recently done.

The woman was a licensed art teacher in a different state. She had five years of teaching experience and was considered highly qualified, according to her state's standards. She claims the school district paid her $40,000 a year. On the other hand, she claims that a male teacher with no teaching experience or license was paid $44,000 a year.

Massachusetts company fined for violating wage law

Many employees have simple expectations of their employer. Everyone, for example, expects to be paid for the work that they have completed. However, some claim that one company based in Massachusetts has been a huge violator of their employees' rights by violating overtime.aspx">wage law. The company has recently been ordered to pay $1 million in back wages in addition to a civil fine.

The company is Ward's Cleaning Service Inc., a company that has been in business for just under 60 years. The company, which employs approximately 200 people, contracts cleaning personnel to restaurants and hotels in or near Boston. An investigation found that the company went to great lengths to avoid paying their employees overtime wages. These measures include changing time cards and paying in cash.

Construction worker wins wrongful termination case

There are times in life when people become engulfed by a moral dilemma. They must decide what is the right thing to do and consider the impact of following through with that action. However, employees should not worry that, by taking action to protect themselves from their coworkers, that they may be putting their job at risk. In fact, Massachusetts and federal laws provide protection to employees who are a victim of wrongful termination.

Recently, a jury awarded a former member of an excavation crew $56,000 as a result of his wrongful termination claims. The man, a former crew foreman, reportedly noticed safety violations with respect to the operator of a piece of heavy machinery. He claims that he was fired for going over his supervisor's head with his complaint.

EEOC claims company violated employee rights

It is amazing to think of the changes that have occurred in American society since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Becasue of Title VII of that Act, employees can now feel much more secure in their positions with the knowledge that they cannot be fired or treated differently in the workplace due to the religion, gender, race or origin. Despite these changes, employee rights are still violated. Thankfully, employees in Massachusetts who have had their rights violated can seek legal recourse in a civil court.

In a recent case against JPMorgan Chase, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claimed that the company discriminated against female mortgage bankers. It was alleged that a hostile work environment was created and maintained through the behavior, including comments, of supervisors and other mortgage brokers. Additional claims accused the company of seemingly retaliating against women who refused to participate in the sexually charged behavior. The case against the company asserted that these women were passed over for training opportunities and potential sales opportunities.

Lengthy severance agreements enlighten Massachusetts employees

When preparing to exit a job, it can be difficult to take the time to thoroughly examine all the information piled up in the separation paperwork; legal jargon and fine print only exacerbate the situation. Severance agreements are typically used to define the extension of employment benefits once an individual is no longer employed; whether retirement, lay-offs or termination has occurred. Companies in Massachusetts and other states are not obligated to provide severance packages. In most cases, these documents are implemented to avoid possible lawsuits or complications during an involuntary termination.

For CVS employees in one case, the severance package was comprised of five pages, allegedly scattered with corporate jargon, which recently became the focal point for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Reports imply that individuals were required to sign a severance agreement that supposedly restricted the employee's ability to reach outside of the company for help when discrimination was present. According to the EEOC, the agreement is in violation of the Civil Rights Act.

Woman claims her employee rights were violated

In a perfect world, everyone would behave appropriately toward one another -- there would be no sexual harassment or any form of discrimination. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and such actions do happen. At the very least, employees in Massachusetts and across the nation who have been the victim of such behavior should feel safe reporting such behavior without fear of retaliation. However, one woman claims her employee rights were violated after she complained about sexual harassment.

According to reports, the woman, an employee of Jiudicy Inc, claimed that her supervisor was making sexually harassing phone calls to her. In response, the company launched an internal investigation. Unfortunately, the woman who made the complaint was fired three days later. The company had her escorted off the property by police.

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