Archives for July 2012

Review of Attorney Jack Merrill

“I and several of my peers had an issue with a large area employer and we sought separate lawyers. I found Jack from an employment law website. The attorneys for these other employees told them there was really nothing they could do. Jack was the only attorney that found a path due to his knowledge of employment laws at both the state and federal level. He brought my issue to a fair resolution. It’s not fun challenging a goliath of a firm, but we really found a friend with Jack, and if you are ever in an unfortunate circumstance like that I hope you consider him.”

a Employment client

What is defamation of character?

Additional Information:

I am an executive with a small local bank. One of the associates claimed I was drunk at a recent branch visit.   My peers and direct reports all heard this false accusation.  Futhermore, I feel my reputation is being tarnished in our small community, Wellesley.  To document my adamant denial, I sent an email to my boss to state that I don’t drink and certainly wasn’t drunk at said branch visit.   He replied that HR is going to “investigate the matter.”  I’d like the associate to be disciplined for trying to damage my reputation.   What are my rights? [Read more…]

I’ve been paid late for about 6 months. What are my rights?

Additional Information:

I’ve been paid late every pay period for six months. Not a day or two, but days or weeks late. We rent an apartment in Natick, and because of getting paid late, I’ve paid our rent late, sometimes with late fees and once we had to pay a $600 fee to avoid eviction.  What
are my rights? Is the company liable for any late fees we incur because they don’t pay us?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

Your situation presents substantive legal issues that are complicated by practical realities. Though it’s true that employers are required to pay workers their wages without delays like these, forcing them to do so through a legal action takes time and can be very costly.

Massachusetts law on employee wage payments is clear and well-established. Under what is called the state’s Wage Act, employers must pay earned wages to their employees within specified time limits, normally weekly. Wages include a worker’s earned pay, whether calculated by salary, hours worked, or otherwise. Wages also include commissions when they are definitely determined and due. Employers who fail to comply with the Wage Act face stiff penalties that include triple damages for improperly withheld pay and reimbursement of any costs or legal fees a worker incurs enforcing his/her rights. Employees can bring claims for unpaid wages in court, but must first file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.  [Read more…]

Superior Court Judge Holds LLC Managers Can be Liable under Wage Act

Refusing to follow the lead of a fellow jurist, a Suffolk Superior Court judge ruled in June that managers of Massachusetts limited liability companies cannot escape personal liability under the state’s Wage Act by virtue of the corporate structure through which they may work. While agreeing that the Act’s presumption making corporate presidents liable as employers does not apply to LLC managers, the judge nonetheless refused to dismiss an individual liability suit for failure to pay wages to an employee. The Act, the court concluded, imposes liability on any “person” who violates it, and LLC managers can thereby be liable parties if they qualify as as employers who fail to pay wages due.  [Read more…]