Archives for March 2011

My job was eliminated. What are my rights?

Additional Information: Back in August, my position as an Inside Sales rep for a Framingham MA company was eliminated.  I was moved over to the marketing department. I was never given a new title and did not sign any paperwork. I was told that I would not be receiving commissions anymore but that my new salary would compensate for the loss in commissions. I do not have this in writing however. Fast forward to today: I still have not received a new title, although I am supporting all the of senior management. I am paid out of the marketing payroll. My salary is what my base salary was when I was doing inside sales. My workplace is using me I feel. I am doing things that are required of top paid executives, but I am making less than I was. What are my rights and can I collect unemployment if I quit due to these circumstances? (i.e. reduced pay) Thanks. [Read more…]

Sometimes, It Takes Only A Word

There are a few words in the English language that most of us won’t utter in any venue, let alone at work. They are so highly charged and potentially offensive that any use of them, in almost any context, utterly fails any version of risk/reward analysis.

But not everyone, of course, understands this rather obvious point, and those who don’t have a penchant for landing their employers in extremely hot legal waters. Take, for example, the supervisor who calls his subordinate a “fucking nigger.” Though racially offensive language uttered only once would not  normally constitute illegal discrimination, a word like “nigger” is different, as the state’s Court of Appeals recently concluded. “That term inflicts such cruel injury by its very utterance. It is degrading, it is humiliating, and it is freighted with a long and shameful history of humiliation, the ugly effects of whcih continue to haunt us all. The words have no legitimate place in the working environment — indeed, they have no legitimate place — and there is no conceivable justification for their use by a workplace supervisor,” the court wrote ealier this month.

The court suggested that, although it may be among the most offensive words in the English language, “nigger” is not be the only one that, once uttered, might expose employers to substantial liability. Similar words are readily identifiable by all. Employers should make certain that all employees, particularly their supervisors, are aware that none of them may be used in the workplace under penalty of severe discipline. These and related race and sex issues should be part of the thorough anti-discrmination and anti-sexual harassment training programs that all employers are wise to implement.

What are my legal risks for breaking my employment contract?

Additional Information:

I work in the IT department of a school in the Greater Boston area (Wakefield to be exact). As part of my terms of employment, I have to sign a contract yearly. Part of this contract states that I must give a whopping 90 days notice if I plan to terminate my position.

My question is, how realistic is it to expect to abide by this particular rule? Can they do anything to me if I just give normal 2 weeks notice? Even if they can, is it common that they will? I would like to search for a new job but having to give 90 days notice will likely ruin any prospective job. After all, who is going to wait that long?

Basically, I’m trying to get a reasonable analysis on the risks that I take by only giving 2 weeks notice. Vague question probably, and I apologize for that. [Read more…]