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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
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Is it ok to get fired with no severance pay What are my rights

Resolved Question:

Is it ok to get fired with no severance pay? What are my rights with regard to being worked practically to death with no overtime pay? I have all my timesheets. I am a paralegal in Houston.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for contacting our JA team for guidance.

Were you a salaried employee? What was the employer's reason for terminating your employment.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes, I was a salaried employee, but worked much more than 40 hrs a week with no overtime pay. Joel Nass, my ex-employer, claims that I misrepresented my experience which is total "crap" (excuse my language please) Everything on my resume is true and he was fully aware that I had only been in Texas for one year after moving home from Florida. He has already advised me that he will contest any attempt at unemployment, no severance pay and basicallly dropped me like a hot potato. I just don't think he liked me for some reason. All the clients loved me and so did my co-workers. My last employer in Florida I worked for 7 years with him in family law litigation. He is 64 years old and says I am the best he ever had as far as assistants go and will tell that to anyone that asks, and the employer before him, and the employer before him. My ex-employer never even took the time to call him to check my reference. He only called the people in Houston I had worked for. I have lost 3 jobs in the past year for no good reason at all. I want the overtime pay he owes me as he gave me no severance and need to send my timesheets to someone so you can see how hard I worked to please this man. Also, there were 2 people doing the job I was hired for and I took over both of their files as one was fired and one also quit. He has a very large turnover as he treats the paralegals like a "sweatshop" employee. No verbal interaction with his staff
Expert:  Tina replied 8 years ago.

I see. The employer probably will challenge your application for unemployment, so be prepared to present your side of the case as you have above to the unemployment agency.


The employer is not required to pay any severance pay, but if it has a policy to offer such pay, must carry out its policy in a non-discriminatory manner.


The most glaring issue from the facts you have presented is that you probably should have been treated as a non-exempt hourly employee and would be owed substantial overtime wages. See the following link for more information regarding the test for determining whether someone is exempt or non-exempt:


If under the test you should have been paid hourly, you should report the employer to the DOL and the IRS. You will also need to retain an employment law attorney familiar with FLSA violations to file suit against the employer. Look for one that offers free consultations and takes contingency fee cases.

Please let me know if you need additional information.


Best regards,




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