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Old 05-20-2009, 10:57 PM
1 posts, read 3,481 times
Reputation: 10


A few months ago, my employer decided to take advantage of the current economic downturn and told us that we were now required to work Saturdays--which would put us over 40 hours--but since he couldn’t pay us for these hours we weren't to write them on our timesheets, but keep a separate log of "banked" hours that he would pay us sometime in the future (at the standard rate). He also said that if any of us didn't like it, he had people calling everyday looking for a job and we could easily be replaced.

I was upset, but since I had school that usually kept me from working 40 hours anyway (although on occasion I did work overtime), I didn't make a big deal out of it. Then when school ended a couple of weeks ago so I would have to start working 6 days, I went to my employer and said I was uncomfortable with doing something illegal (falsifying time sheets, not paying time & 1/2). He said he knew it was wrong but since all his competitors were doing the same thing he had no choice. I told him that I could not work for an unethical employer and quit.

Then I filed for unemployment benefits stating that I quit because I was asked to falsify my time sheets and I talked to my employer but he wouldn’t change the policy. I thought this would be a clear case of “justifiable cause” for quitting. But the workforce services case worker said that since I never a filed a complaint with the Labor Commission before I quit and since I worked few over-time hours in the past, he was going to deny my claim.

The problem I have, is even though I could easily find employees to confirm my accusations, I can’t find any Utah labor laws that address “just cause” for quitting. For example, the Unemployment Law Project based out of Washington State explains that: “What constitutes “good cause” for quitting a job is defined by [Washington State] law. Under a recent Court of Appeals decision (Starr v. ESD), the law states that you can establish “good cause” for quitting your job ONLY if you fall into one of ten set categories…If you quit your job because of illegal activities taking place at your workplace, you may be able to establish “good cause” to quit by showing the following: (1) You notified your employer of the illegal activity. (2) You gave your employer a reasonable period of time to fix the problem or situation.”

Does Utah have anything like this? I spent hours on the Utah Labor Commission website and found nothing that addresses this issue. What are Workforce Services case workers basing their decisions on? Sorry this post is so long, I just can’t believe that in Utah you can quit because you refuse to do something illegal and then you aren’t entitled to Unemployment benefits!
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:29 AM
159 posts, read 591,658 times
Reputation: 78
Name your ex-employer. The market will take it from there. If employers want to skimp on employee pay, maybe the customers should know how much investment is placed in retaining happy employees.
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:46 PM
Location: Michigan
32 posts, read 103,557 times
Reputation: 20
Contact a bunch of media outlets with an investigative team and try to expose your old boss.
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