The workplace is ever-changing, and with these changes come a set of laws to protect people from exploitation. As an employee, you need to be aware of your rights and the laws that can help protect you.
There are numerous reasons why New York employees may find themselves in need of legal representation related to their employment contracts. A qualified New York City labor attorney can help employees ensure their rights are protected and fight for the maximum settlement if there has been any misconduct on the employer’s part.
From wage disputes to discrimination cases, it is important for any employee working in NYC or in any other area in New York state to understand what type of evidence they should have in order to pursue justice under local state laws and regulations.
Read on to learn more about why you may need a labor lawyer and how they can help protect your rights.
Why is a Labor Lawyer Needed in New York?
Labor laws in New York are designed to protect the rights of employees and ensure that they are treated fairly in the workplace.
When a company is accused of violating these laws, it may be required to pay damages or make other changes to its practices. An experienced labor attorney can help an employee navigate the legal process and seek justice in cases of discrimination, harassment, unpaid wages, or other violations.
They can also guide how to handle negotiations with the employer or advise on filing a lawsuit if necessary. In short, a labor lawyer can be a valuable resource for employees in New York who are facing any type of workplace-related issue.
What Kinds of Cases Does a NY Labor Lawyer Handle?
A New York labor lawyer handles a variety of cases related to employment and labor laws in New York state. These cases can include:
Wage & Hour Disputes
Wage and hour disputes are a common type of case handled by a labor lawyer. These disputes involve an employee’s claim that they have not been properly compensated for the hours they have worked in accordance with state and federal laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law are the main wage and hour laws that supports it.
Wage and hour disputes can occur for various reasons, such as not paying at least minimum wage, not paying overtime, not providing a meal or rest breaks, misclassifying employees as independent contractors, and not paying employees for all hours worked.
For example, an employee may claim that they have been working off the clock and not getting paid for it or that they have been misclassified as an exempt employee and not receiving overtime pay.
A labor lawyer can help employees in these disputes by reviewing their employment agreements, payroll records, and other relevant documents to determine if there has been a violation of the law.
They can assist employees in filing complaints, negotiating settlements, and pursuing legal action to recover unpaid wages. They also help employers understand the laws and regulations to avoid such disputes and to ensure compliance with the same.
» More: Why Labor Law Attorney Is Key in Overtime Disputes
Employment discrimination refers to the practice of treating an individual differently in the workplace based on protected characteristics, such as race, gender, age, national origin, religion, and others. This is prohibited under federal law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) , and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
An example of employment discrimination could be an employer refusing to hire a qualified candidate because of their race or gender. It could also be an employer giving them poor performance evaluations because of their gender.
A New York labor law firm like Levine & Blit can assist employees who believe they have been a victim of discrimination by advising them on their rights and options, such as filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR) and representing them in court.
They can also assist employers in reviewing and updating their policies and practices to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws.
» More: Direct Vs. Indirect Workplace Discrimination: Everything You Should Know
Wrongful termination refers to an employee being fired or let go from their job for illegal or unjust reasons. This can include being fired for discriminatory reasons or exercising protected rights, such as reporting a safety violation or taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The law that supports wrongful termination is the federal and state employment laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as state laws.
An example of wrongful termination would be an employee being fired for complaining about discrimination or harassment at the workplace or for refusing to participate in illegal activity.
A labor lawyer can help the employees who have been wrongfully terminated by reviewing the facts of the case, identifying any potential legal violations, and helping the employee pursue a claim for damages, such as lost wages and benefits, as well as emotional distress. They will also help the employee negotiate a settlement or represent them in court if the case goes to trial.
» More: 4 Ways to Prove Wrongful Termination
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that occurs when an individual is subject to unwanted sexual advances, comments, or conduct in the workplace. It is illegal under both federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York State Human Rights Law.
Sexual harassment can take many forms, including verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as unwanted sexual advances, comments, gestures, or touching. It can also include nonverbal conduct, such as the display of sexually explicit or offensive materials in the workplace that creates a hostile or offensive work environment.
An example of sexual harassment could be if a manager repeatedly makes sexual comments or gestures toward an employee or if a co-worker sends sexually explicit emails or engage in unwanted physical touching.
A labor lawyer can help employees who have experienced sexual harassment by providing legal advice and representation. They can assist in filing complaints with the appropriate government agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights. They can also help negotiate settlements and represent the employee in court, if necessary, in order to hold the employer accountable for their actions.
» More: Sexual Harassment: Receive the Justice You Deserve
A severance agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of an employee’s separation from a company, typically in the event of a layoff, termination, or retirement. The agreement may include details such as the amount of severance pay, any benefits the employee will continue to receive, and any restrictions on the employee’s future employment.
Severance agreements are governed by state and federal employment laws such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) in the United States.
Severance agreements typically happen when an employee is terminated from their job or when there is a mutual agreement between the employer and employee to end the employment relationship.
For example, an employee who is let go as part of a company’s downsizing may be offered a severance package in exchange for agreeing not to sue the company or speak negatively about it.
A labor lawyer can assist employees understand the terms of a severance agreement and evaluating whether it is fair and in the employee’s best interest. They can also help employees negotiate better terms or push back on any provisions they find to be problematic. Additionally, they can review the severance agreements to ensure that it complies with state and federal laws.
» More: Top 6 Steps to Take if Your Employer Has Offered You a Severance
Hostile Work Environment
A hostile work environment is a type of workplace discrimination that occurs when an employee is subjected to offensive, intimidating, or abusive behavior based on protected characteristics, such as race, sex, age, or disability.
This behavior creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment and interferes with the employee’s ability to do their job. The behavior can be physical, verbal, or nonverbal and can be directed at the employee or directed at others in their presence.
The New York State Human Rights Law and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
A hostile work environment can happen in a variety of ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Verbal or physical harassment, such as racist or sexist jokes, name-calling, or unwanted touching.
- Bullying or intimidation by colleagues or superiors.
- Retaliation for complaining about discrimination.
- Refusal to accommodate an employee’s disability or religious beliefs.
An example of a hostile work environment would be an employee who is repeatedly subjected to racist jokes and slurs by their colleagues, and their supervisor does nothing to stop it. This creates an intimidating and offensive environment and makes it difficult for the employee to do their job.
A labor lawyer can help an employee who is experiencing a hostile work environment by providing advice and guidance on the legal options available. This can include filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR), pursuing a private lawsuit, and negotiating a settlement. They can also assist employees in gathering evidence and building a strong case to support their claim of a hostile work environment.
» More: Things That May Indicate a Hostile Work Environment
Employer retaliation is a situation where an employer takes adverse action against an employee or employees for engaging in a protected activity. Such activities may include things like filing a complaint or charge, participating in an proceeding or investigation, or opposing any practice made unlawful under the laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), such as discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.
Employer retaliation can take many forms, such as termination, demotion, reduction in pay or hours, reassignment to a less desirable position, and others.
An example of retaliation is an employee who files a complaint of discrimination and is subsequently demoted or terminated.
A labor lawyer can help employees who have experienced retaliation by reviewing their case, identifying the legal issues involved, and helping them to file complaints and pursue legal action to seek remedies such as back pay, reinstatement and damages. They can also help employees understand their rights under the law and guide them through the legal process.
» More: 6 Warning Signs Your Boss is Retaliating
Whistleblower protection refers to laws and policies that protect employees from retaliation by their employer for reporting misconduct, fraud, or other illegal activity within the workplace. The purpose of whistleblower protection is to encourage employees to report such activities without fear of losing their job, facing demotion or harassment, or suffering other forms of retaliation.
Several laws provide protection for whistleblowers, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the New York False Claims Act.
An example of whistleblower protection is an employee working at a financial institution discovers evidence of insider trading and fraudulent reporting of financial information by the company. They are concerned that reporting this information to the authorities will result in retaliation from the company.
A labor lawyer can assist whistleblowers by advising on relevant whistleblower protection laws, preparing a complaint, representing the employee in any legal proceedings, negotiating a settlement with the employer, and protecting the employee’s anonymity throughout the complaint process.
» More: What is a Whistleblower? Everything You Need to Know
Personal injury refers to physical or emotional harm suffered by an individual as a result of another person or entity’s negligence or wrongdoing. This can include injuries sustained in a workplace accident or as a result of a dangerous or defective product.
Personal injury law is supported by both state and federal laws, including the New York State Labor Law, which provides specific protections for workers injured on the job. Personal injury cases are governed by the law of torts, which allows individuals to seek compensation for their losses.
For example, if an employee is injured in a fall at a construction site due to the lack of proper safety equipment or training provided by their employer, they may have a claim for personal injury under the New York State Labor Law.
In a personal injury case, an individual may suffer physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial losses as a result of the accident, and they may seek compensation for these damages through a legal claim.
A labor lawyer may help an employee who has been injured on the job and wish to file for workers compensation. They can also negotiate with insurance companies and defendants to reach a settlement or represent the client in court if necessary.
» More: Personal Injuries Over the Christmas Period
Finding it difficult to deal with employment-related disputes? A labor lawyer in New York can help make things easy! At Levine & Blit, we can assist you with the legal help and guidance you need to resolve labor disputes. Call us at 866-351-0116 for a free case evaluation and know what actions you can take against your employer for violating the laws.
What Are The Time Limits For Filing a Complaint or Lawsuit Related to Labor Law Issues in NY?
The time limit for filing a complaint or lawsuit related to labor law issues in New York varies based on the specific issue, but here are some general guidelines:
- Discrimination: 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination to file a complaint with the NYS Division of Human Rights.
- Wage & Hour Claims: 6 years for wage and hour claims, including overtime violations and wage theft.
- Retaliation Claims: 3 years to file from the retaliatory act.
- Worker’s Compensation: 2 years from the date of the accident or illness to file a claim.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Claims: 2 years to file from the violation.
It’s important to note that these time limits can be different depending on the specific claim, and it’s important to consult a NY labor lawyer as soon as possible to understand your rights, the deadline, and the process of a complaint or lawsuit.
Looking for the Best New York Employment Attorneys? Contact Levine & Blit Today!
If you are facing wage and hour disputes, discrimination or harassment in the workplace, or other labor and employment law issues, Levine & Blit have the knowledge and expertise to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
If you need legal assistance, call us today at 866-351-0116 to schedule a consultation with our professional employment lawyers. They can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process of the state and federal courts.
Whether you want to negotiate with your employer or file a complaint against them, our employment attorneys will be by your side until you get justice.