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Questions Answered by V. Jonas Urba
2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: I was terminated on the day that I was supposed to start due to me refusing to go to work with COVID like symptoms.

I told them I would get tested tomorrow and they called me today and told me not to bother coming back. I believe this is extremely negligent because If I went to work and turned out to have COVID I could infect numerous amounts of people. So how can I get punished for protecting me and others. I... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jul 8, 2020

Did you recently travel outside New York? Was it to a state which is out of control with COVID? You might have a claim if you did not potentially increase risks of contracting it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Will I still be elegible for the extra $600 unemployment assistance if I work 4 days a week?

I’ve been told that if I work 4 days and makes less than $504 I am elegible for the $600 but not the regular unemployment. I am able to cut my days down to 3 if that allows me to still file.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jul 2, 2020

If you earn more than $504 per week or work more than 3 days per week, even 5 minutes on the 4th day, you will not qualify in New York. You must qualify for some partial benefits in New York unless you have no other income from any other source, in which case you may qualify for pandemic alone. But... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can I apply for unemployment if I can’t get to work due to covid related issues?

My employee will not compensate and is saying I’m refusing to work. I have been with the company for 4 years. My normal service of commute isn’t working due to covid and I can’t afford to spend more then my normal commute budget to get there. Is unemployment an option ?

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jun 23, 2020

What does "can't get to work" mean? Transportation is almost never the employer's responsibility. Neither is child care. But if you have a medical condition which the employer refuses to accommodate those facts should be explored with an employment lawyer. Do you have another... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I am getting temporary disability through my job, well they just terminated me today. Can they do that ?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jun 22, 2020

What was the reason for your termination? Re-organization, mass layoff, reduction in force, etc...? Were you able to perform your essential job duties with or without a reasonable accommodation?

Was your temporary disability the reason that you were terminated?

Are you covered by...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Immigration Law for New York on
Q: can DACA file for unemployment in NY if furloughed? Will this affect the chances of applying for a green card?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jun 17, 2020

What was the status of the employee during their base period or alternate base period on which DOL will calculate the employee's earnings?

If the employee possessed documents to work (whatever those might be?) during that base or alternate base period their actual status should not...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer didn't keep the promise to raise my pay so I resigned.

I have been negotiating a new salary with my employer for some time now. Two weeks ago, May 25, he finally proposed a new pay rate and a bonus structure. I took the offer and was told that it would go in effect that very same day. Then a week later, he came with a different pay rate, which was... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jun 8, 2020

How would you do that?

If your pay was substantially cut that would be a different scenario and you could argue constructive discharge.

I am not familiar with any cases which hold that not getting a promotion or a raise was good cause to resign. You may want to return to that job or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Work place closed due to coronavirus pandemic. I was on an unpaid leave when this happened. Am I eligible for UI?

Work place closed due to coronavirus pandemic. I was on an unpaid leave (family related situation, employer agreed that I can come back to work anytime my situation resolved) when this happened. I was going to start working again at the end of March when the statewide (NY) coronavirus lockdown... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jun 2, 2020

Apply honestly for benefits from the date that you were actually available for work. Certify for benefits honestly. Report all earnings whether paid or medical leave or other to the DOL.

If you are denied benefits timely ask for a hearing and testify credibly at the hearing.

Many...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can I lose my unemployment benefits refusing a job while nyc (downstate) is on pause and still on lockdown?

My current job furloughed me due to the covid-19 outbreak and at present we are still under the lockdown/pause order. My current job offered me my job back but with the order still in place and we have a very small windowless work shop with up to 10 people in the office at a time (3 in my current... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on May 10, 2020

Is everyone provided PPE and wearing it and the workplace redesigned for social distancing? And testing in place? Look at the EEOC and OSHA websites which define safe workplaces and the duty of employers to provide one. Then report for work and take photos if not against company policy or take... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Is it legal for an employer to dock my pay for not meeting quota? I am a salaried social worker.
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on May 7, 2020

When a salaried employee's pay is cut without advance notice the employer violates New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act and the employer converts the salaried employee to one paid on an hourly basis who qualifies for overtime pay plus. Call an employment lawyer ASAP for additional information.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: As The state opens, am I legally obligated to hold a staff position if that staff member refuses to return to work ?

We cannot work from home

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on May 5, 2020

Maybe. Is your workplace safe? OSHA compliant? Everyone wearing face masks and social distancing? Are you in compliance with EEOC guidelines to protect everyone? Check their website. Consult with an employment lawyer.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I currently work from home as per employer instruction. Can they force me to return to work during the epidemic?

I'm 61 yrs old and I'm at contagion risk due to medical history (overweight, type 2 diabetic) if I have to commute since I would need to take a bus & subway to my job.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on May 2, 2020

Maybe. Wear a mask and make sure to maintain social distancing. Stay far away from anyone without face coverings.. If you arrive at the business and observe that either customers or coworkers are coming closer than 6 feet within each other or mandatory face covering is not being enforced for... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: i have a question on information i have received while i'm on furlough i'm getting demoted when we return w/o reason

I was called by my direct supervisor that they want her out of corporate dept so they offered her my management position without reason.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 30, 2020

See what happens after you return from furlough and gather as much information when that happens. If your pay stays the same, is that an adverse employment action? You will not know until you return and get all of the details. If they ask you to sign or agree to something speak with a lawyer before... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Energy, Oil and Gas and Libel & Slander for New York on
Q: Professional reputation damage control (Cease & desist letter? To who/what company? Better options?)

Terminated from contract role after weeks of increasingly hostile treatment from my supervisor (partner at the firm) & another project lead (new contract worker. Old friend of supervisor). I received entirely positive feedback for months until they botched a proposal and lost the client. The... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 29, 2020

It's also a huge city which is actually very small. Professionals rarely have time to ruin other professionals' lives. They also don't want to give some law firm ammunition for a lawsuit. Remember, it's a one-party consent state to record others so I assume that I am being... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Employment Law and Internet Law for New York on
Q: my job (a retail company) is requiring us to write online reviews on the products sold on the site. Is this illegal?

Can I refuse? We are still employed - my job has 50 and or less employees

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 28, 2020

If you are familiar with or use the products you can. If your employer buys products for you to try out you can if you rate them accordingly. If you have no idea regarding the quality or durability of products why would you do that? If you rate a crappy product highly a competing employer who read... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Is it legal for restaurant owner at shutdown to ask employees to file for benefits then ask them to volunteer to work?

They were promised a bonus when they would reopen for full service and a chance at a promotion.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 26, 2020

Volunteering during COVID is not legal especially if someone keeps working collecting benefits. That is unemployment fraud and it violates the minimum wage laws.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can an employee sue me for letting him go buisness is slow because of covid 19 and i cant afford to pay him

i have a small buisness and cant afford to pay my employee and hes telling me that if i let him go hes going to sue me. he is an illegal immgarnt

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 26, 2020

Unless you are breaking a contract of employment or discriminating against him there is no basis for a suit. He should recover unemployment benefits which can be as high as $1104 a week through July due to the extra $600 federal unemployment benefit as long as he qualifies under state law which it... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for New York on
Q: Work authorization was valid when I applied for benefits. It has been expired but I applied for new one. Claim benefits?

When I applied for my unemployment benefits my work authorization was valid. During the time when I was getting benefits my work authorization expired. I have applied for work authorization Renewal. Can I get my unemployment benefits after I applied for a new unemployment authorization?

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 26, 2020

That question would be better answered by an immigration lawyer. We generally believe that employees who were authorized to work during their base periods would be entitled to benefits. The problem you face is that each week when you certify for benefits you state that you are ready willing and... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for New York on
Q: Can I get my unemployment benefits if I just applied for work permit renewal?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 24, 2020

An immigration lawyer is probably the best person to address your question since those of us who do not practice immigration law are unaware of laws governing work permit expiration or at what point it is mandatory to renew your work permit, consequences for allowing a work permit to expire if that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: If the person is already on unemployment, then gets a settlement after 30 days. Can he continue the unemployment?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 18, 2020

If at least 30 days pass between an employee's date of separation and their first payment of severance or dismissal pay then the severance or dismissal pay should not affect unemployment benefits so long as the person otherwise qualifies for unemployment benefits. This is a general statement... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: Could a settlement affect ones unemployment benifits?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 18, 2020

In new York you might have to wait until the settlement proceeds are exhausted over time unless your settlement agreement is drafted in a manner to permit benefit payments immediately. No money for 30 days is generally what is required but paying an employment lawyer a few hundred bucks to get the... Read more »

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