Can My Boss Do That?

We received a press release from the good folks at Interfaith Worker Justice in Chicago. They had a conference call on this today that we weren’t able to listen in on, but it sounds like a really great project. For more info contact: Cynthia Brooke (773) 728-8400, ext. 40; cbrooke–at–iwj .org. Or just visit the site.

Can My Boss Do That?
New website with vital information on rights and protections during a job loss responds to overwhelming need.

The numbers are staggering: 3.6 million jobs lost between December 2007 and January 2009. The February unemployment figures, due out this week, will continue to be grim. When workers face job loss, they often don’t know where to turn for answers. They may be improperly denied their last paycheck, money due when their plant closes, or told by their employer that they cannot collect unemployment benefits.

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) has created a website, Can My Boss Do That? (, which enables workers to understand their rights and protections and advocate for themselves. It offers state-specific information geared to help real life situations:

  • A teacher is trying to find out if her student can collect unemployment after quitting because she was groped by her boss.
  • An upscale grocery store closes, with no notice. Workers are told to take their final pay in food and wine.
  • A worker doesn’t file for unemployment after his boss tells him that he isn’t eligible because he’s a part-time worker. He regularly worked 35 hours a week and was eligible.

“The need for clear, usable information for people who are facing unemployment is overwhelming,” said Anne Janks, worker advocate and website creator. “We’re seeing more bosses cutting corners and breaking employment laws. This website is one way workers can make sure they understand how best to protect themselves.”

One thought on “Can My Boss Do That?”

  1. My boss was instructed by the owner to have me work overtime ” off the books” in cash so they wouldn’t have to pay me the time and half required by law. I work at an independently owned hotel as the sole maintenance engineer there. I am also subjected to phone calls at all hours of the day and night even on my days off. With no compensation. I am not a manager. Do I have grounds to resign. And would I be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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