"I was employed eight years for this company, working with the disabled and homeless in administration. I loved my job and really liked helping these people. But I had to make sure our 'clients' got their social security checks on time and it required a lot of overtime. There were only two of us in the office and the last week of every month we also worked overtime—usually putting in 60-hour weeks—for the past two years.
"My boss said I was I was terminated for poor performance, but I know it was because I refused to work any more 60-hour weeks and only get paid for 40-hour weeks""My employer said she would compensate us for working overtime by giving us a day off and getting paid for it, or we would get paid if we needed to take a few hours off to look after our children—we were both single moms. I went along with it for the entire eight years. There wasn't any compensation. She always said she would catch us the next pay period.
"If I confronted her I would have lost my job—I was afraid of retaliation. I know she would fire me because one time she hired an employee and he insisted on adding overtime to his timecards. We did the same. The boss sent back our timecards and told us to take off the overtime and if we do that again we will be fired. Needless to say, that new employee was terminated.
"I had two young kids. I just couldn't walk away and find another job the next day, and she knew it.
"Some other employees, mostly account managers, were working eight-hour days, so I started coming in at 7:45 am and leaving at 5 pm. She couldn't figure out why I wasn't coming in at 6:30 am and leaving at 8 pm like I used to. I didn't think she was going to fire me because other workers were working eight-hour days.
"I was fired on April 5. My boss said I was I was terminated for poor performance, but I know it was because I refused to work any more 60-hour weeks and only get paid for 40-hour weeks. I was shocked. She couldn't give me any examples of my 'poor performance' and nobody had complained about me. She accused me of telling clients how to become their own payee, in other words, how to get their checks from social security rather than us. We had a rule that this information was available to them so I wasn't doing anything wrong. We have always done that—for eight years. She just wanted me out because I wouldn't work 60-hour weeks any longer.
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"When I filed for unemployment I was found eligible but my employer appealed their decision, knowing it would take about 12 weeks to get a hearing. I'm still waiting to get a date for the hearing so I have been without a paycheck since the beginning of April.
What a vindictive woman. Thank god my attorney is working on contingency; I have used up all my savings so I couldn't come up with a retainer unless I sold my house.
"The money is going to be welcome but even more than that will be the gratification of knowing my former employer cannot violate the California labor code when it comes to overtime and taking advantage of single mothers who can't afford to quit."