War in The Workplace – Combating the Predatory Employer Forward

Now retired, the I have, over the course of a career been an educator a university administrator, a business owner, and an employee of organizations in the private sector. Before being laid off in a mass Reduction in Force (RIF), I was employed as a Senior Data Analyst. Yet, there was something very odd as I attempted to perform the tasks specified in the job description provided at hire. An analyst, after all, is expected to provide answers to complex questions. Achieving this goal demands not only technical skills, but the ability to assist clients in framing useful questions from which data can provide reliable and valid answers. Unfortunately, a series of ignorant (unknowing, lacking knowledge) managers found the job description so threatening, I was barred from conducting these powerful and useful analyses, unless specifically requested by a client. Since they didn’t know what to ask, such requests were almost never made. Instead I was reduced to acquiring data from one source, formatting the findings in Excel – all totally routine robotic, clerical work. Aside from the boredom, and constant confrontations with my managers, some will, perhaps, recognize that changing the tasks set out in my Job Description, requiring the skills of a qualified professional worker, to what was essentially, the work of a clerical worker, entitled me to overtime pay. A full year before being laid off, I brought this matter (in writing) to the attention of management going all the way to the top of my reporting chain. Any response? Absolute, total, zero. For them, disregarding that they did not wish to hear, was the strategy of choice. Then came a mass RIF. I, along with some 3,00 other workers, nationwide, was laid off. Even then, there was a hook. In order to receive severance benefits, I was required to sign a Waiver and Release. In essence, this document eliminated my rights to take legal action in or form, against the employer,. This was pure bluff, since, in California, as is the case in many states, an employee cannot give up his rights to sue for back wages due. It took me a little over two years to get full payment of the overtime wages that were due. This book is designed to assist you in determining your rights, and even more importantly, providing you with strategies to negotiate the very long, often frustrating path, to receiving the wages you are owed.

Table of Contents I - What will you learn from reading this book?
6 Are you an employee paid on a fixed salary, working many hours of overtime, for which you are never paid? Are you consistently deprived of short rest periods, or even a lunch, uninterrupted by demands that you respond to text messages, or even return to your workplace without completing lunch? As the economic horizon darkens, thousands of workers in California have either been laid off, received notice of an impending reduction of their employer’s workforce, or wonder every day, if they soon will become victims of the spreading end to the work they have done for many years.

Having won a large judgment against a former employer, the author of this booklet will tell you how you can determine whether you are entitled to back overtime wages, and if you are, give you a step by step process to collect these wages from your current or past employer.

II. How do employers rip you off? III. How do I know if I am a non-exempt employee?
A. Executive Exemption B. Administrative Exemption C. The Computer Exemption

6 7 8 9 10 12 14 14 14 16 16 17 18

IV. So, how do I collect? V. Is all this work worth it?
A. Lunch and Rest Breaks B. A Recovery Scenario C. Overtime Pay D. The Independent Contractor Scam E. Determining Qualification for Independent Contractor Status

VI. On your own, or with others?

A. Do it Yourself B. Retain Legal Counsel C. The Class Action Lawsuit VII. Obtaining the Wage Award A. Filling out the Wage Claim B. When to File VIII. The Informal Conference A. Finding an Attorney B. Preparing for the Formal Hearing C. Selecting witnesses D. The Exhibits E. The Hearing Brief F. Putting it all together

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IX. At Long Last – It’s Hearing Day!
A. The Hearing Room B. What to expect C. The written finding

X. Two other Possible Issues
A. Extending the Statute of Limitations to four years B. The Waiting Time Penalty

XI. Other Claims
A. Discrimination B. Harassment C. Physical and mental disabilities D. Safety in the workplace E. Layoffs and wrongful termination

Appendix A - Waiver and Release (Redacted) Appendix B - Plaintiff’s Hearing Brief (Redacted) Appendix C – Witness Interrupted Lunch Declaration Appendix D – Points and Authorities
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