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Questions Answered by V. Jonas Urba
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer is in possible violation of the Governor Executive Order 202.6.

They did not shut down their workforce center as mandated by the order and still require all employees to report to work.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 1, 2020

I am not sure what your question is? Executive orders are unlike legislative acts. For example, when an employer violates a legislated act such as the Labor Law, there are sometimes provisions where a private attorney general action may be maintained by an attorney and their client with specified... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: With unemployment if i lost my job but my employer wants to pay me even though I’m making more with unemployment

Do i have to take the pay from my employer?

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Mar 31, 2020

If you are forced to take a pay cut; for example 50%, employees do not have to keep working in those situations. It's called constructive discharge and in those circumstances not the employee's fault. There is case law to support benefits for drastic pay cuts or not paying overtime or other... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Ny unemployment benefits eligibility

Im a service plumber in Westchester county ny working steady for the last 30 yrs, i have diabetes and hypertension which puts me in a high risk category for Coronavirus with my compromised immune system, i dont feel comfortable going house to house doing repairs and want to stay home , but my boss... Read more »

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

Can you think of a reasonable accommodation which your employer could make for you which would not cause an undue hardship or burden for it? Can you work from the shop? Have you discussed with your physician how the employer could possibly accommodate you? Doing inventory or other job set-up work?... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can my employer require me to wear a mask at work due to COVID I’m a veteran w/ ptsd and phobias about covering my mouth

I’ve been working there for 14 years and they suddenly are requiring us to wear a mask. I spoke to our EO who said they can’t make me but my boss is saying it’s manditory and if we don’t we have to use our time and take off from work. It’s a civil service position. Adding that only 2... Read more »

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

I think you have to examine the purpose for the requirement. It's to keep others, not you necessarily, safe.

Public safety almost always trumps (no pun intended) personal safety.

I guess wearing a hazmat suit might be another option but would not that be even worse? What other...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: When I told her employer about the family leave act that we would qualify for she fired us is this legal

We’ve been with her for 16 years there was no reason to fire us other than the fact she didn’t want to use the insurance

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

Maybe. Employment law cases all pivot on facts and timing. Chatting would be a waste of time for employment lawyers. It's much easier to spend 10 or 15 or even 30 minutes on the phone to determine whether there's a potential claim.

You know what the biggest mistake employees make? They dont...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Just been laid off. I have 12 unused vacation days from last year and should have 20 more starting next week .

Is my employer required to pay me upon receipt of my pink slip? My date of hire anniversary is 4/3/2002. I would just like to know if I am entitled to receive that compensation. Thank You.

PS I work(ed) in a Manhattan Hotel. Which at this still in operation during the pandemic.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Mar 24, 2020

Unless their policy or contract (i.e. union agreement) requires payment laws do not require such payment. If they offer you a severance package make sure the leave is spelled out there. Better yet have an employment lawyer review the agreement which can be done remotely from anywhere. No need to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: My gf works in a hospital in ny state.

My gf is African american and is called the "N" word on a daily basis. Shes reported it to her boss, and HR. Today her boss told her to stop sweating the small stuff and get along with everyone. They refuse to fire any of them or take disciplinary action.

She signed some contract that... Read more »

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

Hospital employees are in short supply today given the crisis we face. But that does not excuse discrimination.

She may have settled or resolved past claims with this employer. An employment lawyer needs to review whatever agreements she may have signed. But no agreement meaning none allows...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Law suit question

Worked Monday, took the week off because of the corona virus (I’m 6 months pregnant and have a 8 year old with respiratory issues). Received a phone call Thursday (while I was using my paid time off) that things are “happening fast” and they need to make changes so they “eliminated” my... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Mar 22, 2020

Unfortunately no one will be able to answer your question at the present time. It's much more complicated given the facts you state.

Apply for unemployment benefits immediately. You should recover them. If you don't that would not be good because it's so easy to recover them if you apply...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Education Law and Employment Law for New York on
Q: If I signed a contract from a school district to coach baseball and district closes b/c corona virus should I get paid

This is a contract for salary

not service. The school shut down the day of start of season

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Mar 20, 2020

Professional sports players and coaches have strong contracts. They often get paid no matter what.

Even if you had already begun performing your coaching duties, then it became impossible to continue performing them due to closure, unless your contract (union or private agreement) said...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I was terminated from a job and they mailed me my personal belongings, but a few items were missing.

They told me they would compensate me but they haven't contacted me nor have they sent me anything. What can I do?

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Mar 11, 2020

Maybe mail them a certified letter return receipt where you attach some prices of the actual receipts or comparable or identical items which you find on Amazon.com where more people shop every day. Then request in that letter that they pay you X dollars based on the current value of the items you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Is management cutting a union member’s pay due to a title change a violation of the collective bargaining agreement?

I’m a union member with a collective bargaining agreement in NY. My title within the union was changed in December and I was given a new rate of pay at the beginning of the year. My role was changed again and they moved me back to a position I previously held and now want me to take a significant... Read more »

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

That might violate the collective bargaining agreement. You should:

1) If you are covered by a private union, contact the National Labor Relations Board. Every union owes its members a Duty of Fair Representation (i.e. they are called DFR claims) and suing a union to prove those is often...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: We have a diversity hire. She is insubordinate w/ abysmal attendance, and does not do her job. MGMT and HR wont fire her

HR and MGMT basically told me she is a diversity hire.. We are a Chinese company and she is a Latin American. She had 40+ incidences of vacations, personal days, call outs, and leaving work early in 2019 (Our allotment is 10 vacation days/ 9 personal). She is insubordinate - does not listen to two... Read more »

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

Are you the person's manager? If not then even if your own manager was not performing you would be powerless.

You owe a duty of loyalty to your employer.

If you try to dismantle their disciplinary practices it might backfire on you.

Confidentially look for another job or...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I had to pay $4,400 or I get arrested for a scam that occurred to me while I was working as a cashier. What can I do?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 27, 2020

If you paid the money to keep your job then maybe that was OK. Employees are allowed to make such bargains.

If you paid the money to stay out of jail then call a criminal defense lawyer to ask whether that was OK?

There must have been a reason for you to pay the money to the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Is it possible to negotiate a severance package if dismissed without notice with only 1 wk of severance & 1yr of svc.

Need to sign document, but wondering if I can negotiate for more based on years of service.

Layoffs are being done due to cutbacks not discrimination.

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

Is discrimination playing a role in reduction or termination? Call some employment lawyers before signing anything.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Is it legal to terminate somebody from employment and not give them any letter about why they were terminated?

I was fired recently because I was told that I clocked out later than when I actually left. I work for a major Healthcare Company and I became ill for the first time ever with Flu A. My manager had contacted a week later & asked me if I had clocked out earlier, and I had told her that I did leave... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 24, 2020

If you are "at will" meaning no union, no contract, not working for the government no letters are required. They don't even need a reason.

So why do so many employees seem to recover at least something after being fired in New York City? Because "discrimination shall play no role in an...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: can you get fired for lying about your HIV status?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 19, 2020

The most important question is where, when, and why you were asked about that?

Then, whether that question was directly related to your job duties and how you would perform your duties with precautions, if any, as required by law.

Then, if the question were asked at the appropriate...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer terminated my employment and has not provided written notice of this after more than a week. Lawsuit?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 16, 2020

As long as you did not commit gross misconduct, applying for unemployment insurance benefits and looking for a new job is probably the way to go.

Unless there was discriminatory motive or a breach of contract, what would be the good faith basis for a lawsuit? Frivolous lawsuits can result...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer put me on paid suspension and have not been paying the hours scheduled and also didn’t pay me this week

I emailed the company HR , Store manager & area Director and nobody got back to me and I’m still employed what do I do next

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 14, 2020

They may have changed their mind which they can do.

Call them and ask them. If that does not work file for unemployment benefits after a week. If they have not responded in a week maybe they fired you? Good luck.

They dont have to give you notice or reasons for anything unless your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: I am currently employed however I obtained my position through a staffing co. The actual org. States they pay for lunch

And the staffing co. Says they deducted my lunch. Can you explain what the law says about this because I feel I am being robbed &its being jsustified.

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

New York Labor Law prohibits deductions from paychecks except as agreed to by the employee or by court order.

Employment agreements and benefits are always subject to change unless you have entered an employment contract or your union contract provides contractual rights. Employment...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Employment Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for New York on
Q: Will I be criminally charged?? What to do? Please help!!

I work as a cashier in a pharmacy, last week I had LP investigating me for theft and lost prevention.

Long story short, I used my non discount card for customers which accumulated coupons that I used for personal purchases. The amount estimated was $100. In my statement, I admitted the... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 6, 2020

An employment lawyer would carefully review your employee handbook before advising you. This could be completed remotely. You would call and discuss more details, you and the lawyer would agree to a flat fee for such review and legal advice regarding options, and everything including payment and... Read more »

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