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Questions Answered by V. Jonas Urba
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Looking for help in differentiating between independent contractors and employees.

Hello -- I am a startup founder in NYC looking for an employment lawyer who can answer a few clarification questions about our hiring. We are an app-based cleaning company hiring independent contractors as cleaners that will be matched to customers on our platform. The contractors choose their own... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 24, 2021

This link may answer most of your questions:

https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/dande/ic.shtm

I recall litigating this issue years ago on appeal. My client, who was paid 4 figures a day, had a written contract establishing them as an independent contractor. Both the employer and employee...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Tax Law and Business Law for New York on
Q: Im 17, not old enough to start my online buisness. So im starting it in my girlfriends name. Need help

So I am wondering, will she be legally in trouble for having my buisness under her name and filing for unemployment? We live in the New York area. I am doing all the work and stuff just under her name so the buisness can be made

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 16, 2021

Unemployment requires that everyone who intends to be self-employed discloses that fact to the DOL when they first apply for benefits.

It does not matter if someone earned no money from their business while unemployed. The key factor is disclosing an applicant's intent up front. DOL...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: What are the requirements for hiring a healthcare worker example “ecg technicians” for a Telehealth company?

Does a Telehealth company need to meet particular requirements to contract a 1099 ecg technician to service a medical primary care providers patient population on the behalf of the primary care physician?

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 10, 2021

Regardless of what the parties call themselves, an employee is an employee. Many employers misclassify employees as 1099 independent contractors. Maybe the following example will help.

When most people hire plumbers, the hiring persons are not in the plumbing business. A licensed plumber,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I'm a 1099 contractor and I'm owed over $4000 but the employer won't pay. What do I do?

I've worked for this company for nearly 7 years and their payment history is very uneven.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Feb 10, 2021

The following link from the New York State Office of Courts should help:

http://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/SmallClaims/index.shtml

Are you sure that you are a 1099 contractor and not an employee? Even if employees and employers agree, in writing, that someone is a 1099 contractor...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can my salaried exempt position be changed to hourly because the employer does not want to meet the NYS requirement

I am a salaried exempt director for a NFP. am being told that my position must be moved to an hourly rate because they cannot afford to meet the State minimum required salary for exempt salaried employees. I have held this salaried exempt position since accepting in 2013. In addition, I may not... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jan 29, 2021

Call employment lawyers immediately to discuss. Smart employers pay hourly plus overtime for any employee who the employer suspects may not be exempt.

Remember that salaried employees have to meet the job duties test as well as the minimal salary requirements. Under federal laws the salary...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: can i request salary information of my peers at a private university in new york? what are the pay transparency laws?

have salary inequity concerns at a private university in NY. i would like to request information on my peer's salary to assure indeed i am paid equitably. what are the wage transparency laws? can i legally request this information from my employer? my employer is a federal contractor

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jan 26, 2021

Under New York State Laws only civil service employees have access to their own and colleagues' personnel files. Private organizations don't even have to provide access to employees' own personnel files under New York Labor Laws.

You ask a very timely and valid question. We...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Hi. I have non compete question. What are the chances employer would sue me for breaching non compete in nyc?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jan 26, 2021

No lawyer can answer your question without reviewing your agreement. We speak with you first to get an idea about the work you do, the industry you are in, and what you plan to do. Sometimes you may be required to place both your current employer and your future employer on notice of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: Do I have a right to file suit against my employer if he continually lies to me about overtime?

He told me that he had to watch the budget, then gave 1 person 82 hours and another 84.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jan 19, 2021

Is your employer motivated by an improper purpose to give others overtime which you are denied? For example, race, religion, color, gender, etc... are factors used by your employer when he decides who gets overtime? He cannot deny you overtime because you are a woman (just guessing) but he could... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for New York on
Q: I signed a contract stating I must give my employer 90 day notice. What are the legal repercussions if I leave before?

My employer made me sign a contract stating I must give them 90 day notice before leaving. I find it excessive and I want to know what would I happen if I leave before. Also, that even if I give them the 90 notice but I take days off between the time I hand in my notice and my last day, I must work... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jan 13, 2021

Maybe. You need to have an employment lawyer review the agreement you signed. Contracts are contracts although there are circumstances where they are not enforceable. Don't take chances. A little investment now can save you big bucks in the future. Retainers for entering appearances in federal... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for New York on
Q: Question about PUA

Hello! Would one of the following be enough proof of self employment to qualify for PUA (pandemic unemployment assistance) ? : a check I received for a private lesson I taught in November 2020, check I reveived for a photo session I did in December 2020. I am a self employed actor and photographer.... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jan 10, 2021

The Department of Labor determines what proof you must provide. They can request more if it's not clear.

If you are denied benefits make sure to TIMELY request an administrative hearing before an ALJ. I think all hearings are telephonic. You can then compare your claim file with any...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and Gov & Administrative Law for New York on
Q: Maximum lawyer fees for federal (government agency) discrimination ( title V) cases?

Is there a maximum amount or percentage a lawyer can charge for title V cases against a government agency settled at the EEOC level? I was told by a friend who practices family law out of State that the fees they can charge are capped similar to what disability lawyers can charge. Another piece of... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Dec 16, 2020

Apparently, you may be situated in a state outside of New York. I limit my active practice to New York State. Each state enacts laws regarding ethical behavior and conduct of lawyers. Many adopt the model rules but there are exceptions.

In New York State lawyers fees are determined by the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: can i be fired if i don’t want a job that i wasn’t originally hired for?

i was hired as a cook in a kitchen and i was involved in a car accident (Not Job Related) which caused me to be out of work for six months.Upon my return to work i sent them all my doctors notes and letters with a date of return i was informed that their are no more positions in the kitchen and... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Dec 9, 2020

If you were "at will" they needed no reason to terminate you.

It looks like you may have been disabled. At least temporarily. The FMLA would have protected your job for at least 12 weeks. You would have completed FMLA paperwork if your employer had more than 50 employees and if...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: i receive severance pay for 9 weeks. Ami eligible to receive unemployment starting week 10 or

or my eligibility is based on the amount of severance package i received divided by $504 and then i can apply? Severance is paid in lump sum

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Nov 17, 2020

Will severance, dismissal or termination pay be made prior to 30 days after your termination or severance date? If yes, you will need to disclose this pay to the DOL and your unemployment benefits will begin after your severance pay is "exhausted" based on your earnings. An employment... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Hi What legally can happen if I choose to treat my ADD and I need accommodations?

I have had ADD many years. I have a expired IEP. I have had bad years of lack of focus. I want to go back to treat it with medication. However I have seen ADD is not on the list of disabilities a company has to offer accommodations for and can not penalized you for .

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

Generally, if you have no employment contract, you are not union represented, nor do you work for the government, you are considered "at will." The overwhelming majority of employees across the entire United States are "at will." That means that they can be fired for a good... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Cannabis & Marijuana Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: offered a job at a big box retailer. They were aware of medical marjuana use. Now offer taken back from employer.

Medical marihuana use was divulged during interview, they still offered a position. Now they say - will not hire you unless a drug test can be passed.

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

Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are different. I can not vouch for the legitimacy or accuracy of the below link but it sounds basically correct:

https://www.cannamd.com/whats-the-difference-between-medical-recreational-marijuana/

If you do not undergo the testing then...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Hi, I have a no compete w/ a severance clause included. How hard/costly would be to get this voided so I can work ?

The parent company recently bought a similar company to the one I work for now and they are taking over all areas and top mgmt is being filled with their people. Many people are being fired. No communication is being shared as to how the team is being selected. It is supposed to be a merger but a... Read more »

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

Your question deals with employee choice doctrine. If you accept money then you are bound by the non-compete terms no matter how severe or possibly illegal.

If you choose not to accept the severance pay and are being fired through no fault of your own then the non-compete itself might be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Rights violation

At my work I put in for paid family leave of absence and the only one I told about it was human resources. A few days after some of my fellow coworkers we’re coming up to me saying I heard you were taking a leave soon? Do I have any recourse against the company I work for being that human... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Oct 16, 2020

What are your damages? It's one of the first questions an employment lawyer is trying to answer when they speak with you in an initial telephone conference.

Was there an adverse employment action? You were not terminated nor were you demoted with a loss in pay or passed over for a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Is it legal for a company to avoid NYC minimum overtime exempt salary requirements by having an out of state address?

The company has an address in CT and rents office space in Manhattan where their NYC employees report to. Salaried employees get paid $25-$40K per year and do not get paid overtime. Employer rationale is that they are not a NYC employer because they're based in CT.

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

Sounds ridiculous.

Every employer who does business in New York State must comply with New York State's Labor Laws. Any employer who does business in New York City must comply with both New York State's and New York City's Labor Laws.

No full time employee earns less...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: As a job seeker, can I sue an employer who posts a discriminatory job posting?

I've encountered over a dozen so far. They ask for female _____ or a black or latinx _____ directly, for example. Some just say "preference for African American".

How the hell is this legal?

Is there no legal way to stop this blatant discrimination.

If I can... Read more »

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

There certainly is. You copy the posting everywhere you find it. Then you apply for the position. If you meet the posted qualifications and you are not hired you have a claim.

FYI. There are professional plaintiffs out there who look for discriminatory postings around the country and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I’m a gay male. My yearly salary is $3-6K (5-10%) less than my 2 female counterparts. Do I have a potential EPA case?

The company I work at is majority female run. My department head is female, my manager is female, and my counterparts are female. All HR personal are female. My title is the same as my female counter parts, as are my roles and responsibilities. My effort and performance is on par or better, and I... Read more »

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

Maybe. Your sexual orientation or identity makes no difference regarding the application of federal or state laws. You should discuss this issue with some employment lawyers in confidence. There are many different ways to approach it. Skilled employment lawyers may be able to help you.

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