RE: Overtime rules

Subject: RE: Overtime rules
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: "'Keith Hansen'" <KRH -at- weiland-wfg -dot- com>, <gmel999 -at- bluefrog -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 13:27:30 -0800

> From: Keith Hansen

> This raises a question I have. Assume the following:
> * Employee is salaried, exempt worker.
> * Employer demands that employee work 60, 70, or 80 hours per week
> consistently--no overtime or additional compensation of any kind.
> * Employee refuses.
> * Employer accuses employee of insubordination and terminates him/her.
> * Employee files claim for unemployment benefits.
> * Employer contests claim, stating that employee was insubordinate and
> justifiably terminated for failure to perform his/her job adequately.
>
> I am assuming, of course, that this takes place in an
> employment-at-will
> state. What position would most state unemployment review
> boards take on
> this?

First off, you seem to have contradicted yourself. If this is an "at-will"
state, then a termination based on performance ("failing to perform [...]
adequately") should not be a reason to deny unemployment benefits. Also,
denial of benefits usually occurs when an employee quits a job without a
justifiable reason or when an employee's job is terminated because the
employee committed some form of overt act against the employer, like theft
or assault (or gross misconduct, as Gene discussed).

My understanding about Federal Labor Law is that employers cannot demand
that employees work more than 40 hours per week, except for certain types of
jobs, but that employees can agree to work longer hours. If it takes more
than 40 hours per week to complete the job, then an employer may elect to
fire an employee for not getting the job done. The termination would be
based in failing to complete work, rather than failing to work long hours.
If an employee accepted an "exempt" position, then that employee has agreed
to work longer hours. If the employee is not exempt, then that employee can
file a claim with the labor board for overtime hours. Unemployment benefits
should not be denied.

Also, in states like California, unemployment benefits and labor issues,
like compensation for hours worked, are handled by different agencies. The
Employment Development Department (EDD) handles issues related to unemployed
workers and the Department of Labor (the Labor Commissioner) handles issues
related to compensation for hours worked. Working condition and work
environment issues are also handled by different agencies.

Lauren

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RE: Overtime rules: From: Keith Hansen

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