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Employment Law/Wrongful termination?


QUESTION: I have been employed at large manufacturer since 2001.  In 2011, I was moved from an hourly position to a salaried position.  We are currently going thru a major layoff with approx. 300 of 500 employees being let go.  The manner in which the layoffs are being determined is by seniority within the hourly employees. Company is saying I lost my seniority when I accepted the salaried position.  This was never discussed with me as I wouldn't have accepted position if I would have known I was losing this.  I would be in the top 25 based on hire date.

ANSWER: You should not have lost senority when you went from hourly to salaried, that makes no sense to me. When you started with the company is the same no matter which job you are in.

That being said it would not qualify for a wrongful termination. It is a layoff not a termination. A termination is when you are fired through no fault of yours. A layoff is for lack of work.

You will be allowed to draw unemployment.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Shirley-

Thank you for the reply.  With the company laying off only a portion of the workforce and basing the decision SOLELY on seniority what would be my re-course if they insist I have lost my seniority?  Like I stated in first question, I would be in the TOP 25 based on hire date and the company is going to keep up to 150 employees.   Thank you for your advice.

Mike S.

You could argue the point with the company. If you are wanting to stay in any compacity find out if you go back to hourly status do you regain your senority. This is a company policy and there are no labor laws based on senority. The only discrimination claims from being dismissed or layed off illegally would be race, sex, national origin, age, or gender. These are really hard to prove unless a great number in one category are layed off at once , for example in a workforce of 50 and 25 are layed off all over 50 that might be suspicious.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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