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Beth

W4 exception, fired because employer will not honor my except status

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27 minutes ago, Tax_Counsel said:

 

The employer didn't change the W-4. The employer ignored the exempt W-4 that the employee provided and instead withheld tax from the pay anyway. And there is nothing illegal about that. 

 

I dunno, according to the IRS an employer can refuse to accept a

W4, but if he does, he can only submit a single with no withholdings.

According to the OP he filed her at single with 2 withholdings -

which i would interpret as a violation since the IRS clearly has not

submitted a lock on her tax status.*

 

(* - not challenging his right to fire her, just questioning the legallity

of changing her tax status.)

 

"Invalid Form W-4

Any unauthorized change or addition to Form W-4 makes it invalid.

This includes taking out any language by which the employee

certifies that the form is correct, material defacing of the form,

or any writing on the form other than the entries requested. A

Form W-4 is also invalid if by the date an employee gives it to

you, he or she indicates in any way that it's false. When you get

an invalid Form W-4, don't use it to determine federal income tax

withholding. Tell the employee that it's invalid and ask for another

one. If the employee doesn't give you a valid one, withhold taxes

as if the employee is single and claiming no withholding

allowances. However, if you have an earlier Form W-4 for this

employee that's valid, withhold as you did before."

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8 minutes ago, cbg said:

 

What is your definition of a wrongful termination? Because from your statement above, I don't believe you actually know what that term means legally.

 

? - Legally, its a seperation of employment based on a breach of

agreed contract or violation of law. Subjectively, its any disagreement

between employee and employer over the merits of a termination.

Any discharge can be challenged in court, but unless its discriminatory,

or shows gross negligence, these cases almost always side on behalf

of the employer. 

 

Now your turn - what do believe wrongful termination is?

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5 hours ago, Auron said:

 

I dunno, according to the IRS an employer can refuse to accept a

W4, but if he does, he can only submit a single with no withholdings.

According to the OP he filed her at single with 2 withholdings -

which i would interpret as a violation since the IRS clearly has not

submitted a lock on her tax status.*

 

(* - not challenging his right to fire her, just questioning the legallity

of changing her tax status.)

 

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 3402 requires the employer to withhold income tax from employees based on tables provided by the IRS.  When the employer receives a Form W-4 from the employee that seems to be valid and the employer withholds based on that W-4 then the employer has met its responsibility. Otherwise, there is no W-4 submitted or the W-4 that is submitted is invalid then the employer is supposed to withhold using a filing status of single and using one exemption. There is nothing in the federal tax law, however, that penalizes an employer for withholding more than is required. It is only a problem if the employer withholds less than is required. The reason for this is that the whole goal of withholding is to ensure that the government gets at least the minimum amount of required tax withholding from the employer. In other words, if the government gets at least the minimum withholding that the law requires, it is happy. It has the money coming in.

 

Here, if the W-4 claiming exempt was valid, it would relieve the employer of the responsibility to withhold tax entirely. If the employer withholds tax anyway, then the employer has not violated the tax law because the employer didn't have an obligation to withhold in the first place. The employer is doing more than it has to do. Sure, the employee might be a bit upset that she has less in her paycheck and has to wait until next year to file the return and get it back, but the IRS is not concerned about that problem.

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5 hours ago, Auron said:

 

? - Legally, its a seperation of employment based on a breach of agreed contract or violation of law. Subjectively, its any disagreement

between employee and employer over the merits of a termination.

 

A wrongful termination is one that is in violation of the law. A termination that is a breach of contract is not a wrongful termination. It is simply a breach of contract. The distinction matters because the remedies and damages are different between wrongful termination claims and breach of contract claims.

 

A lot of employees think a wrongful termination is any firing that was done without a good reason or where the reason given was false (e.g. the employer fired the employee for doing something that the employee says he did not do). But of course legally that's not the case since an employer doesn't need a good reason to fire an employee. Just a reason that is not prohibited by law.

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(Just to be clear, im not being argumentive out of spite, im merely

bored and simply learning things tonight...)

 

I understand the rules for damages are different between an at-will

wrongful termination and a contractual termination, but the definitions

provided by the FINDLAW.COM website states:

 

"To be wrongfully terminated is to be fired for an illegal reason, which

may involve violation of federal anti-discrimination laws or a

contractual breach."

 

and

 

"When the breach of an employment contract is by the employer,

such as a wrongful termination, the typical remedy is compensatory

damages."

 

In researching my own case i have encountered numerious wrongful

termination cases citing breach (both written and implied) as reasoning.

Also the $4.1b California lawsuit in 2009 was a "Wrongful Breach

of Employment Contract" as defined by the court (though admittedly

the case was listed as a Breach of Contract in summary.) 

 

The way im reading it, if you have a written contract saying your job

is a roof painter, and the boss wants you to build a brick wall, then

fires you when you refuse, it would be a breach of an employement

contract, ergo a "wrongful dismissal."

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2 hours ago, Auron said:

The way im reading it, if you have a written contract saying your job

is a roof painter, and the boss wants you to build a brick wall, then

fires you when you refuse, it would be a breach of an employement

contract, ergo a "wrongful dismissal."

 

The trouble with that comment is that the majority of employment agreements are not actually contracts, they are merely confirmations of employment and don't meet the required elements of a contract.

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6 hours ago, Auron said:

The way im reading it, if you have a written contract saying your job is a roof painter, and the boss wants you to build a brick wall, then

fires you when you refuse, it would be a breach of an employement contract, ergo a "wrongful dismissal."

 

While some refer to a termination that results in a breach of contract as a wrongful termination or wrongful discharge, I don't see it that way. A breach of an employment contract simply gives you a breach of contract claim; calling it a wrongful termination does not change or add to the claim in any way.

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