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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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does a past practice have any legal standing

Customer Question

does a past practice have any legal standing
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. Please allow me to assist you.

A past practice, by itself, has no legal standing. But, it can be used as evidence of 'custom' or the industry standard, for example, in issues such as contractual disputes. For example if in the industry parties tended to not have bills of lading but would instead perform agreements based on 'handshake deals', this past practice could be used to invalidate or validate terms, but it would still be up to the judge to find that the past practice was the understanding of both parties. If not, and if one of the parties in that example used a bill of lading, then the written agreement would be deemed to be controlling.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for your info. my initial question was this: if a past practice was in place when i was hired 12 years ago. and i was not asked to do it, but some of my male coworkers have a problem with the practice today, can they now try to hold us to the contract.example: the men were dumping large dumpsters, we women were not asked to do this.their argument is that we make the same rate of pay. the reason for the practice is because it was a courtesy bestowed on us by the men at that time.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Ellen,

Thank you for your follow-up. My apologies but past practices can be changed at any time. Just because a courtesy was extended to some employees at some point, that courtesy no longer must be legally extended going forward. In addition it may even be considered potentially discriminatory to treat one gender of individuals differently from others if both genders are equally able to perform the task. So no, an employer can now compel females to do exactly the same work as the males.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you again kind sir, but what can be done about a past practice.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Ellen,

My apologies but the only thing you could potentially pursue would be a contractual modification recognizing the past terms. Otherwise whatever changes employers will implement become binding upon all current employees.

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