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The Power of Expertise: How Employment Lawyers Leverage Employment Laws to Safeguard Your Professional Journey

what is employment law

Employment laws serve as the essential mechanisms that shield employees from exploitation, discrimination, and unsafe working conditions. By establishing clear guidance and standards, employment laws create a level playing field where employees can assert their rights and thrive without fear of unjust treatment.

Unfortunately, despite the strong legal protections in place for employees at the state as well as federal levels, many employers tend to discriminate against employees and deprive them of their hard-earned wages.

If you are facing discrimination, harassment, wage theft, retaliation, or any other issue at work, you need effective legal representation to protect your rights and get justice. At Levine & Blit, we have decades of experience in representing employees in a diverse range of claims – from wage and hour claims to discrimination claims, sexual harassment claims, retaliation claims, and wrongful termination claims. We can hold your employer accountable for violating labor laws and help you get the compensation and other benefits that you might be entitled to.

Call us today to schedule a free evaluation with a top-rated New York employment law attorney at our firm.

👉Also Read: Navigating Big Company Policies: Why You Need a Lawyer for Employee Rights in New York

What Is Employment Law?

Employment law is a collective term that refers to the body of laws, regulations, legal principles, and legal precedents that regulate the relationship between employers and employees. It regulates a wide range of issues related to the workplace – including hiring, wages, working conditions, family and medical leave, discrimination, harassment, monetary and non-monetary benefits, workplace safety, and many more.

An Overview of Federal Employment Laws

Minimum Wage Laws

Federal minimum wage laws establish the lowest hourly rate that employers are legally required to pay their employees. The primary legislation governing the federal minimum wage is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In 2024, the federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour.

Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal labor law that provides eligible employees with unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. Under the FMLA, you can take up to 12 weeks of leave within 12 months for certain qualifying reasons without the risk of losing your job or health insurance benefits. These include:

  • To get treated for a serious health condition due to which you are unable to perform your job duties
  • The birth and care of a newborn child
  • The placement and care of an adopted or foster child
  • To care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Under Title VII, it is unlawful for covered employers to discriminate against job applicants as well as employees based on the aforementioned protected characteristics in any aspect of employment – from hiring to promotions, compensation, job assignments, training opportunities, and firing.

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment and various other areas of public life. The law also requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities to enable them to perform the essential functions of their jobs.

New York Employment Laws

New York has the distinction of being a worker-friendly state and its employment laws are broader in scope and more comprehensive than most federal employment laws. The most notable New York employment laws include:

New York Minimum Wage Law

The New York Minimum Wage Law establishes the lowest hourly rate that employers are required to pay covered employees. In 2024, the New York State minimum wage is set at $15 per hour and New York City minimum wage is set at $16 per hour.

New York State Human Rights Law

The New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) is a comprehensive state law that prohibits discrimination and harassment in employment and other areas based on various protected characteristics. The law is much broader in scope compared to federal employment laws and covers a wide range of characteristics – ranging from race to sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, and more.

New York City Human Rights Law

The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) provides comprehensive protections to individuals against discrimination and harassment in employment and other aspects of life in New York City. It’s broader in scope compared to the NYSHRL and most federal employment laws and covers several protected characteristics including citizenship status, partnership status, caregiver status, status as a victim of domestic violence or sexual violence, and more.

New York State Labor Law

The New York State Labor Law encompasses a wide range of statutes and regulations governing various aspects of employment relationships and labor practices within the state. These include wage and hour regulations, workplace safety, minimum wage, overtime wage, employment discrimination, and workers’ compensation.

Why You Need Legal Representation to Take On Your Employer for Violating Labor Laws

Taking on your employer for labor law violations without having legal representation can be a daunting challenge for various reasons. These include:

Complexity of Labor Laws: Labor laws can be incredibly complex with numerous regulations, statutes, and legal precedents that govern employment relationships. Without a deep understanding of these laws, you might struggle to assert your rights and hold your employer accountable for their actions.

Power Imbalance: Generally, employers hold significantly more power and resources than individual employees. This power imbalance can make it difficult for you to challenge your employer, as you might fear retaliation, termination, or other adverse consequences.

Legal Procedures and Deadlines: Legal proceedings involving labor law violations often have strict deadlines and specific procedural requirements. Missing a deadline or failing to follow proper procedures can jeopardize your case and affect your ability to seek remedies.

Burden of Proof: In legal proceedings, the burden of proof typically falls on the party alleging the violation. You need to gather evidence, present persuasive arguments, and substantiate your claims to prove your employer’s violations. Without legal expertise, you might struggle to meet this burden of proof effectively.

Complex Negotiations: Employers tend to have strong legal teams to represent their interests at the negotiation table. Without legal representation of your own, you might be at a disadvantage during negotiations and might be forced to accept unfavorable terms or settlements.

Compensation and Remedies: Without an experienced New York employment lawyer, you might not be able to assess the full extent of damages and remedies available to you under state and federal labor laws. As a result, you might end up accepting less than what you deserve.

How the New York Employment Lawyers at Levine & Blit Can Leverage Their Knowledge of Employment Laws to Help You Get Justice

The expertise of a New York employment lawyer can play a critical role in safeguarding your rights and helping you get justice. Here is how our New York employment lawyers can leverage their legal expertise to assist you:

Legal Advice and Guidance: We can provide legal advice and guidance to you on your rights and obligations under state and federal employment laws. We can help you understand your legal rights related to wages, hours, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace issues.

Review and Negotiation of Employment Contracts: We can review all your employment-related documents including offer letters, employment agreements, non-compete clauses, and severance agreements to make sure that the terms are fair and favorable to you. We can also negotiate with your employer to challenge unfair provisions and secure better terms.

Representation in Disputes and Litigation: If you are facing issues like discrimination, wage violations, or retaliation at work, we can take steps to protect your rights and represent you in negotiations, mediation, and litigation.

Investigation of Workplace Complaints: We can conduct thorough investigations into your complaints, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and analyze relevant documents to build a strong case on your behalf.

Negotiation of Settlements: We can negotiate settlements you’re your employer on your behalf to resolve disputes outside of court. We can work to obtain fair and just compensation for you – including monetary damages, reinstatement, or other remedies.

Filing Administrative Charges and Lawsuits: We can help you file administrative charges with government agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR). We can also file lawsuits on your behalf in state or federal court to seek remedies for unlawful employment practices.

👉Also Read: Maximizing Your Rights: Why Signing a Severance Agreement Matters in Employment Law Cases

Talk to Our Award-Winning New York Employment Law Attorneys Today!

Are you facing discrimination, harassment, or unfair treatment at the workplace? Do you believe that your employer is violating your rights as an employee? It is time to take action and seek justice with the help of a trusted New York employment attorney.

At Levine & Blit, we have a team of highly experienced employment lawyers who are dedicated to protecting employees from discrimination and exploitation. We have a deep understanding of state and federal laws and know how to hold employers accountable for their unlawful actions.

Whether you are dealing with wage theft, discrimination, sexual harassment, or wrongful termination, we will fight tirelessly to make sure you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Call us today at 646-461-6838 or use our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation by one of our seasoned New York employment lawyers.

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