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Is an employee handbook a contract in Oklahoma? I am not…

Is an employee handbook...

Is an employee handbook a contract in Oklahoma?

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

I am not sure to say "at will" since I don't understand what that means; however, I was full-time. Is this something that yu are asking me to kook up in the employee handbook?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes...just a second as I type the words to say...

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/20/2017
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,259
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
please, take your time to review my question. Thanks

Thank you very much for your patience. Generally, the employee handbook is going to be the contract int he absence of some other signed agreement. For instance, an employee may sign a contract stating that they will abide by the terms in the employee handbook. The handbook governs the terms of the employer-employee agreement. Other times, there may be an agreement that doesn't reference or otherwise excludes the employee from the terms listed in the handbook. In most all cases though, the handbook outlines the rules of the agreement so although it is not the contract itself, the parties are bound to follow its rules. Did you have other questions for me regarding this?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I have a question...

Go ahead.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Can I get my job back if my boss fires me for an assumption that I was crediting myself on payroll reports for time-paid but not worked? The other part of this was that my boss did fire me for this reason and after doing so he endorsed the fact that even though I was leaving early(at 2pm) he would credit my hours worked until 5:30pm. That's hypocrisy...so it trumps the notion that they actually care about time worked and paid...

Good question. Whether you want your job back is up to you; however, the main question is whether you can recover damages in the form of missed wages because of the termination.

This situation is a bit tricky, but there is something important to understand when situations like this occur. Under the rules of waiver, it is possible that the terms of the contract won’t be enforced. As far as waiver is concerned, there are several types of waivers. Generally, a waiver may be express (meaning that it was clear that a right by one party is being given up); implied (meaning their conduct clearly indicates a right won’t be enforced); or by silence (meaning that the other party learns of facts regarding their rights under the contract, but choose not to enforce the right). In this case, if they consented to the additional time being credited, then they waived their right to terminate you for that reason. This means that it may be a breach of contract.

There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because you can download the forms right after purchasing. Click here to get started.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I have mor questions.

Go ahead.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My boss did not fire me in the store. He fired me in a conversation outside the store in the mall shopping area. Is that proper? No off boarding paperwork employee termination paperwork was discussed. At the point that we reentered the store I asked if there was anything that I needed to do before I leave the store and he said no.

Yes, unfortunately, you don't have to be fired inside of a particular place or in a particular way unless the handbook specifically says that you must be terminated in a particular way. Most handbooks don't include something so specific in most cases.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
He was clearly uncomfortableuponentry into the store and suspicious somewhat: he went down a wild tangent about a drinking problem he has and was extremely pointed in saying in front of me and my staff. Defensive almost as if he may have had a drink before work as far as being suspicion goes. The behaviors that followed involved a conference call in the backroom of my store where he was in and out slamming the doors and blocking my exit in the process. That to me was passive aggressive and on par with domestic violence. I wonder what he might do next. Can I get a protective order to re-set the tone of "violence free workplace" after all I do want my job backand want to set the example that employees don't have to put up with the intimidations that were expressed in his scare-tactics. That was over the top and unnecessary and makes me wonder if my firing wasn't retaliatory in nature.

I can understand your concern. You could always request a protective order, but you'd have to convince a judge that you were under a serious threat of harm and must be protected. It sounds to me a bit that the manager was highly uncomfortable and botched the termination. It may also mean that he was acting hastily. This means that there may be a chance, but it depends on how you approach it going forward.

One little known, but very effective tool that lawyers use when there isn’t a law that they can rely on to support their position is called principled negotiation. All this means is that you are looking to get something done on the basis of principles, even if you can’t find a law to support you. It takes the anxiety out of dealing with the other side because you’re focused on the facts, not each other.

Here are some simple steps you can follow:

  1. Figure out what the other side’s interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  2. Think about what your interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  3. Come up with 2 to 3 reasonable and objective ways to solve the problem;

  4. Present it to the other side;

  5. If the other side rejects, ask them, “Is there a reason why you do not feel it is necessary to negotiate?”

Of course, these are just building blocks to get the other party to help solve the dispute. Believe me when I say that good lawyers use this technique all the time to keep things out of court. You’ll find that it is very effective even with the most stubborn of individuals.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
would this approach be as easy as just talking about it in this manner over the phone with HR? Should I include the previous detailing of the concern I just wrote for you?

I think that this approach helps out considerably, even in the most contentious situations. I would include those concerns, but most importantly coming up with creative options is going to be most important. Did you have other questions for me?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I have more questions...

Go ahead.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Is there anythingI should do about he phone call I wouldmake to HR? Recording it?

You could record it because OK is a "one party consent" state, meaning you don't need to tell them that you are recording. I think that preparing options and thinking about negotiation is going to be more important in your case because it is likely to get your job back.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
ok what if the phone call takes place in OK, but he HR offices are in Pennsylvania? I worked for GNC (General Nutrition Centers, headquarted in Pitssburgh, PA)? Still record?

I see what you mean. If the other callers are in PA, then you'll need their consent because PA is a two-party consent state. You can just ask them if it's okay to record the discussion. If they say no, don't record it. Otherwise, you certainly can.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
The review of the payroll report wasinterpetedand without acknowledging the imperfections in the clocking system as it doesn't reflect real-time: it rounds to the nears quarter of the hour (0:00,0:15, 0:30, 0:45) and givs the opportunity to delete and edit times..how accurate it is to begin with is questionable and therefore the basis of any decisions made about it are well lacking the integrity of a real-time representation. Is it justifiable to express that they are misrepresenting their wage-timeswith this clocking system. This is the root of the problem here that I would like to resolvewith HR. Is that a good approach?

It's tough to say because I'm not familiar with GNC's HR department; however, I would venture to guess that they spent a considerable amount of money on this clocking system for their thousands of stores and it's likely they'll believe it was accurate. My recommendation would be though to explain the inconsistencies with the program along the lines in that it leads managers to be misinformed through no fault of their own or something like that. It's hard to predict how they may react to anything, but if you take your time and think of options that may be satisfying to them and you, then you'll be a step ahead of them all of the time.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
is a phone call betterthan e-mail? My writing is far more easier to convey my points than to risk it being interrupted by spoken conversational dynamics...one-side-conversations, leading questions. One of the less integritous ways they influence there decision was by making me write a statement that was totally in their words rather than mine. I think that this was slanderous of them to make me use their words like "stolen" money for time-paid but not worked. This was not what I did the monies credited for time-paid and not worked happened without understanding the clocking system's fall-backs, such as misinforming managers about the manner in which to address these inconsistencies. Is that fair to tell them that this is less of a problem with me than it is with the innacuracies that were born of an imperfect system through no fault of my own?

I couldn't tell you if a phone call is better than email. I usually prefer to keep things in writing for a paper trail in my opinion. Plus, it gives me time to think about my responses as opposed to being on the phone. I think if you put the focus on the system rather than on you, and you can help them see that the imperfections may cost them more money down the road, you'll be in good shape. Without fully understanding all of the parties involved or the nature and character of everyone in the situation, I can't guide you perfectly on how to do this, but I would probably start in writing and get on the phone when necessary.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you. No as far as questions I may not have anymore. is there away to return to this conversation at a later?

The pleasure is all mine! Save this link if you have further questions in the future.

For now, unless you have additional questions, there’s just a few other things I’d like you to know before we wrap up this conversation:

  1. Could you look on your screen and provide me a star rating? 5-stars are always appreciated.

  2. For your benefit, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

  3. Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, you can always sign up for a membership with Just Answer and start asking more questions on the cheap.

  4. Don’t forget to tell your friends about justanswer.com!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Your help is much appreciated and valuable as it was. I would say its worth 5-stars. Thank you for your time and consideration.It just occurred to me is it at all allowable or okay with you to acknowledge that I sought out legal counsel on these matters with HR?

Yeah it's okay to say you sought out legal counsel. I'm not your attorney of course and the information we shared isn't privileged or specific advice; however, there's nothing wrong with saying, "I spoke with an attorney and this is what I learned..."

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Great, thanks for the guidance here on these matters. That's all I had.thanks.

Thanks so much! Please don't forget to rate. I sincerely ***** *****

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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