What are my rights if I was fired from an “off the books” job?

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What are my rights if I was fired from an “off the books” job?

I am 16 years old. My job hired me about 2 mounths ago as a bus boy at a restruant. I work 6-7 hours a day usally Friday-Monday; I make $25 a day + 8% of waitresses tips. I never filled out a W2 form or anything, they just pay me and the waiters off the books (cold hard cash). They recently fired me for taking Easter off because I had stomach problems. Can my parents sue? Is there anything that we can do?

Asked on April 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require employers to let employees have time off from work for sickness, unless and only when the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act or a similar state law is invoked. Since those laws generally only apply if you worked at least 12 months, worked at least 25 hours per week, and/or your employer had at least 50 employees, it's highly unlikely you would be covered. If you were not covered, then unless the employer either 1) gave you sick days, which you used to "cover" the illness, or 2) specifically told you in advance (before you took the time off) that you could take the time, the employer may fire you for missing work due to an illness or stomach problems.


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