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I have been wrongfully terminated because I inquired about a…

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I have been wrongfully terminated...
I have been wrongfully terminated because I inquired about a full time position and my boss fired me for going above his head
Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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11/15/2017
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,877
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Good evening and welcome. I am very sorry to hear about this. What specifically is your question regarding this matter? Are you asking if you can sue?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I want to sue for back pay because I have worked full time hours for twelve years with part time pay
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Are you there
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I am responding to you...

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ok sorry, the popups are confusing me
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Thank you. I know it's not what you want to here, but it's actually not against the law to terminate an employee for inquiring about a full time position and being perceived as going over your boss's head. Employment is "at will" absent an agreement to the contrary and as such can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). Inquiring about a full time position is not a form of "protected activity." This is to say, as an at will employee it is something you can be terminated for, even if that is completely unfair and unjustified.

As for working full time hours for part time pay, it depends what you mean by that. If you mean you weren't getting paid at least minimum wage plus applicable overtime, that would be illegal. However, if you simply mean that you think you should have been paid more because you deserved higher pay, that would not be illegal. If you want to provide clarification as to what you mean, I would be happy to provide a more precise answer to this part of your question. Just let me know.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I was a Math adjunct which means I should only teach three classes. I have been teaching five to eight classes, which is considered a full time instructor, but I was paid a third of the pay due to being labeled adjunct, so they were saving money by doing this for years
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Thank you. If it is the rate that you agreed to work for, then you probably do not have any claim. Further, if you were being paid a salary of at least $455 per week, you would quality for the professional exemption from minimum wage and overtime, which means you would not have any claim for minimum wage or overtime regardless of the number of hours you worked. Again I wish I could provide better news, but I do trust you will appreciate me being honest and direct with you so as not to waste your time.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
That's the problem I was supposed to be paid a set salary when working a certain amount of classes, but they were paying me hourly. They even specified this when I first started working. They initially got permission, then they started doing it without permission and I just never complained because I wanted to be full time and didn't want to lose my job
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

It is never illegal to pay hourly. Again, this just comes down to the employment relationship that you agreed to. By continuing to work on these terms, the law presumes you agreed since you were free to stop working if the terms of employment were not satisfactory to you.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
My aunt just one a case for back pay and she just had to prove she worked the time and wasn't paid the correct amount and mine is the same. I wasn't paid the correct salary.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I have already filed with the EEOC I was just trying to see what I need to show
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

If you had a specific agreement that you would be paid at a higher rate and your employer failed ot pay you at that rate, you would have a claim for back pay. However, that doesn't appear to be what happened. It seems that what happened is you believe you should have been paid more because that was fair under the circumstances. That does not give rise to a claim.

As for the EEOC, they only hear matters relating to discrimination on the basis of legally protected traits, such as race or religion. You have not stated facts which suggest that a legally protected trait is your employer's motivation for treating you unfairly, so the EEOC probably will not be able to help you.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
As a college instructor it is law to only teach a certain amount of classes before your considered full time, just like when I worked at any other hourly job in the past. You were not allowed to work forty hours per week unless you were full time or got management approval. Why is this not the same as any other job where there are full-time rules
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago

If you were part of a union and the union contract said that full time work had to be paid at a certain rate, you would likely have a claim for breach of your union contract which you could pursue by way of a grievance through your union rep. Otherwise, though, the college's payscales are just guidelines. Ultimately, it is up to you to negotiate pay that is acceptable to you. You cannot agree to work at one rate and then later sue claiming you were entitled to more.

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