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Terminated/Laid off for questioning abuse of authority

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by Duanejones625, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. Duanejones625

    Duanejones625 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    My manager(s) made it his own policy of withholding paychecks to manipulate or punish crew for not meeting expected output. Paychecks arrive by Fedex at 10 am on Fridays. On this particular Friday Cody and myself were working out of town hoping to complete 4 jobs. We were in the process of completing the third job, when manager called at 4:00 checking status. I told her we had another hour of work due to being delayed an hour to start. She asked if we were going to be able to get the last job done, and I told her it didn’t seem possible that we wouldn’t get to the job site for 2 and a half hours. To which she replied “Oh by the way, checks won’t be in until 10 am in the morning.”
    Cody and I finished at 6:00 and found that everyone else got their checks as normal.

    The next day we got our checks, and I started asking questions...Manager got belligerent on the phone and said “you’re fired’...on second thought, we don’t have enough work for you so you’re laid off.””

    Is this legal ??

    I have witnesses to all stated events and conversations.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Sorry, it's legal. The manager is a moron, but it's legal. File for unemployment and look for another job.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Active Member

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    You were out of town working on a job and didn't get back until 6:00pm. You got your check the next day. How was the employer supposed to pay you any earlier?

    According to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries employees must be paid "on regular established paydays at least once a month." If the employer did that then it met its obligations to pay you on time. But even if the pay was required that Friday, you were out of town and were able to pick up your check the next day. I'm not seeing any harm to you as a result of it. So I'm not seeing any civil claim over the late payment as being successful here.

    As for the possible retaliation over your complaint about the one day difference in pay, I'm not seeing anything in Washington law that gives you a right to sue over this. Washington law does provide that employer retaliation over certain complaints about pay is a misdemeanor offense, though from what I see a literal reading of that provision would not cover this. It appears to cover only complaints about pay that fails to meet minimum wage requirements. There might be court decisions or other law that extends this provision to a complaint about late pay. In any event, you are free to go to the police or prosecutor and make a criminal complaint about it. They are unlikely to be aware that Washington law has a criminal provision covering wage complaints, so you'd refer them to Revised Code of Washington section 49.46.100(2).

    You may also consult a Washington state employment law attorney about the alleged retaliation too to see if there is some remedy I missed.

    I think, though, it is likely that all you can really do here is apply for unemployment and look for a new job. And next time when there is just one instance where you might be paid a day late, I suggest not making a big deal of that to your employer. Complaining about truly minor things is a great way to get a bull's eye on your back for termination.
     

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