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Tom Spiggle

I am an employment attorney, and founder of the Spiggle Law Firm
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November 15, 2018
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I am employment attorney Tom Spiggle of The Spiggle Law Firm. In my opinion, the current government shutdown is causing an employment crisis across the country, and holding the American people hostage. The furloughed government workers deserve their rights.

Here is my proof, a Washington Post article on my topic, and my blog page.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this Ask Me Anything is to discuss the government shutdown. My responses should not be taken as legal advice.

(I'll be live again between 1:00 PM EST and 2:00 PM EST to answer questions)


Hello, my mother is a government employee and currently isn't being compensated for the work she is doing.

She was going to file for unemployment but her agency within the government is refusing to allow them the proper paperwork necessary to get furlough.

Does she have any options?

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Original Poster1 point · 8 days ago

Is she working as an essential/excepted employee? If so, she likely cannot get unemployment benefits as she is working even though without pay. (Of course, she could still try. The worst that would happen is that her claim would be denied.) If she if furloughed, she should not need anything from her agency. She can filed directly with her state's unemployment commission.

Most people impacted are contractors. There are far more federal contractors than civil servants. What are the legal options here? It seems like a class action lawsuit due to gross negligence of duty is in order, but in the end, that won’t pay our rent.

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Original Poster1 point · 8 days ago

As the class-action lawyer below mentioned, probably not the best route. However, contractors forced to work without pay, or delayed pay, could still bring a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act. And for workers working for the same employer could join together and bring a collective action (similar to a class action) against that employer.

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I am Tom Spiggle, an employment attorney and former federal prosecutor. I founded the Spiggle Law Firm to help fight against discrimination and workplace harassment. I think how these very issues are being handled in the workforce, especially at big tech companies like Google, is counterproductive and harmful to employees. I want to help workers, of any gender, find out how to best deal with harassment, of themselves or others, and how to think about their own behavior. Here is my proof , my website , a CNN Article on my topic, and my blog page

20 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Hi. What is your advice for reporting sexual harassment at a very small company with no real HR department? I didn’t want to burn any bridges, as I didn’t have much work experience and needed a good reference from my boss when I moved on. But I was the 4th woman in her early twenties to quit in the last year. In a company of 11 people, that was very noticeable.

The VP of Sales (male, late 40s) would make creepy comments and touch my thighs, arms, and hands, and try to hug me at least once a week. I loudly told him he needed to back off multiple times, and he wouldn’t.

I was afraid to go to my boss, who had only known me a few months but had known the VP of sales for 5+ years. I was afraid I would be fired and not given a reference, be labeled as a troublemaker and a liar. I lived in a small town at the time, so that would have been very damaging to my ability to get another job.

Luckily I got out to a big city across the state. But what could I have done? Is there anything I could do now to warn other young women?

Edit: typo

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Original Poster3 points · 2 months ago

Ug, what a terrible thing to have to go through. Thanks for asking this question because it raises a very important issue: for federal sexual harassment law to apply (Title VII) a company must have 15 or more employees. So, this company with 11 people is not even covered by that law. Crazy, right? However, some states have state laws that fill in the gap. For instance, the DC Human Rights Act in Washington, D.C. applies to all employers and makes sexual harassment illegal. Some counties have ordinances that will cover smaller employers. For example, in Norther Virginia, Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax all have local laws that cover smaller employers. Unfortunately, these ordinances do not have the teeth of federal law and laws like the D.C. Human Rights Act. Important to remember, though, that unwanted touching, as occurred here, is always illegal. All states have assault and battery laws that allow for criminal and civil penalties. Not the best option to defend yourself as they are more difficult claims to bring for reasons I won't get into here. Sounds like you did the best thing and that is to find another job.

Comment deleted by user2 months ago
Original Poster1 point · 2 months ago


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