“Short Answers on Saturdays”

Since so many blog visitors submit Questions, we’ve decided to devote Saturdays to answering several Questions at once, and have chosen those that call for “shorter” Answers.
We hope and expect this will serve our blog visitors to our very best ability, which is our Guiding Purpose.
We invite and request your Feedback and Support.

Question 1: I note that your lawyer referral section only includes lawyers in the U.S. I live in the U.S., but am considering an offer in Canada, and would like to have a lawyer look over the agreement. Do you have advice for finding a good employee-side labor lawyer in Ontario. Thanks.

Washington, D.C.

The Short Answer is “We do now.” Dan, we try to improve every day. After getting your email, we researched the topic, made some calls, and have now included employment attorneys in Toronto, Ontario.

If you’re interested in obtaining that info, return to our lawyer referral section. Or simply [click here].

Good luck in your decision,
Al Sklover


Question 2: I was laid off from a school less than a year ago. I am first on the list to be called back full-time when a full-time job comes open. I have accepted a part-time position at the same school in the meantime. The second person on the list to be called back for a full-time position was offered a part-time position at the school that has more hours than my position does. She declined the position, it was then offered to me, but then she changed her mind and accepted it, and it was given to her. Is that legal?

Newark, Ohio

The Short Answer is “Yes.” You and the school had an agreement regarding your entitlement to the next full-time job to become available, but no agreement about the part-time jobs. While the procedure used by the school in filling the next part-time job was clumsy, it wasn’t illegal.

Hope full time opens up soon,
Al Sklover


Question 3: I quit my job four months ago because my boss, who owns the company, didn’t pay me for six weeks, but expected me to keep working. He didn’t pay me because the company’s computers had a software problem, and would not accept data I had assembled, so he felt I didn’t deserve to get paid. Well, now that – four months after I quit – they fixed their software problem, he insists I come back and work for him. He calls me constantly, has other people call me so I won’t recognize the phone number, and texts me constantly, even at 7:45 am on Saturday. It’s freaking me out that he won’t leave me alone. What should I do?

Stressed Out
San Diego, California

The Short Answer is “Call the police, and file a complaint.” The behavior you describe is not tolerable – by anyone – including a former boss. I don’t have a license to practice law in California, but in New York, where I am licensed, what you describe is a criminal offense called “aggravated harassment.” I think it’s probably a criminal offense in most states, including California. If he is acting this crazy now, he might just act even crazier tomorrow or next week. I urge you to go to your nearest police precinct, and seek their protection. They are experienced at handling things like this.

Hope that relieves some anxiety,
Al Sklover


Question 4: It seems inappropriate for a non-HR manager to have access to an employee’s Performance Development Plan (or Performance Improvement Plan). Isn’t it a conflict of interest for a manager to see the PDP (or PIP) of his or her employees?

Concerned Employee,
Los Angeles, California

The Short Answer is “No.” First, it is up to an employer to decide what is appropriate or inappropriate for how a PDP (or PIP) is administered. Second, in my experience, it is more often than not that a manager is part of the Performance Development Plan (or PIP) process. Third, it is often the manager who guides the employee through the PDP, and hopefully mentors the employee to success.

Hope that helps,
Al Sklover


Question 5: Can a former employer type “FIRED” all over my W-2 tax forms, even though I won unemployment?

Petersburg, Michigan

The Short Answer is “Yes, But…” this probably makes him or her deserve the “Idiot Boss of the Year Award.” It is a sign of immaturity and childishness, to use nice words. If it helps, remember that you won the right to collect unemployment, and he or she is probably “stewing in his or her own juices.” Ignore it, or enjoy it, but don’t let it bother you.

Smile each time you receive
an Unemployment Check,
Al Sklover


Question 6: I have been working in Canada nearly six years working for the same company. I have just found out that my LMO (official Labour Market Opinion) and Work Permit ran out, and I’m looking at being deported. My employer says he wants me to resign, and has given me only a few days to do so, and said that they won’t help me. Should I resign?

Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada

The Short Answer is “Please, Do Not.” James, I am neither licensed to practice law in Canada, nor experienced in Immigration Law. However my quick review of Canadian Immigration Law suggests that your employer has substantial legal obligations in your situation, and your resigning may make it easy for them – and difficult for you – to remedy your situation.

I strongly urge you to do two things, as soon as possible: (1) Sign nothing, until you have spoken with an experienced Canadian Immigration Attorney. (2) I discovered that your home town, Fort Saskatchewan, is near Edmonton. In Edmonton, you can call the Edmonton Lawyer Referral service at (780) 414-1400 in order to locate an experienced Canadian Immigration Attorney.

Now get on that phone,
Al Sklover


Question 7: I live in Pennsylvania half the year, and in Florida half the year. My employer’s health insurance covers me in Pennsylvania, but if I see a doctor in Florida it’s considered “out of network” and a lot more expensive. Can I get a separate policy for when I am in Florida?

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Short Answer is “I believe so.” I cannot give you legal advice as to the law in either Pennsylvania or Florida, but in several situations like yours, my clients have always found that: (a) there is no prohibition against having two (or more) health insurance policies at the same time, but (b) you cannot be dishonest if you are asked about that on an application or other document, and (c) you cannot collect twice for the same expense.

Good health to you,
Al Sklover


© 2011 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved. Commercial Use Prohibited.