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Questions Answered by V. Jonas Urba
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: HQ is in NJ I work in NYC office Got laid off Unused vacation days Should be paid? Which state law will be used?

I was laid off from my job. The company HQ is in NJ, but I worked out of the NYC office. I had unused vacation days. It looks like in NY employers are required to pay employees for their unused time but in NJ they are not. I’m curious as to which jurisdiction this situation lands in?

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

I am not licensed in New Jersey. If you live in New Jersey word has it that unemployment benefits are higher there.

The place of your work generally governs the laws that apply to employers. The place of your residence may qualify you for state benefits since you pay taxes one way or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I had a question about unemployment and 401k
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 12, 2020

Apply honestly for unemployment benefits. If your employer is not insisting that all employees and customers cover their faces tell DOL that. If you qualify honestly for $1 of state unemployment you should recover $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits but only until atbvb the latest July 26,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: Do y’all help people that having problem filing unemployment?

I have tried filling out unemployment back feb 2,,2020 because that is the day I got fired from Walmart and I have worked there since of April 2, 2019

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 12, 2020

Keep trying. Tens of thousands are applying.

Office staff told me they tried every day for a week and finally got through on a Friday morning at 7:30 AM exactly when the lines opened for the day. You will know all the answers to all questions by then and should be able to beat the thousands...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can an employer demand that their employee not work as a firefighter because of COVID-19 concerns?

My sister lives in a small town in upstate NY. She works at a bank and has been a volunteer firefighter (most of the department is volunteer) for years (long before she got the job at the bank). Her boss at the bank has said she is not allowed to go on fire calls anymore because of fears she may... Read more »

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

Sounds ridiculous. I hope the bank demands that everyone including customers and employees wear masks. I believe that is now mandatory in retail establishments. And even if it were not any reasonable employer would require employees and customers to wear face covering today.

If the bank...
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Q: My religion says I cannot cover my face. Am I obligated to wear a face mask? I work for a mental health agency?

I work in a house with 3 individuals who reside there. I work overnight so they are sleeping in there rooms. Head nurse wants all staff to wear masks. Due to my religious believes I cannot wear one. What do I do?

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

I don't know. If I were a patient and you refused to wear a mask and I got sick there would probably be a big lawsuit. If you are not staying at least 6 feet away FROM EVERYONE except those you live with you are endangering other people's lives. Does your religion allow you to do that and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Terminated & received 3 extra wks pay, employer demanding repay, but i lost 3 wks of unemploy benefits > than overpay
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Apr 7, 2020

If your unemployment is related to COVID-19 you should eventually receive benefits from the day you lost your job. The new unemployment laws are being amended almost daily. Almost everyone now qualifies for some type of unemployment unless they receive paid leave or can work from home and get paid.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Civil Rights and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: Can an employer require employees who return to work following a COVID-19 Diagnosis to wear a mask?

I am a Civil Service Employee in NYS, which is a represented by a Union. The Chief Administrative officer has stated that once the Dept of Health Clears an employee to return to work after a COVID-19 Infection, that the employee must wear a mask for 7 additional days. The act of being forced to... Read more »

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

Everyone should be wearing masks with or without a diagnosis. Medical experts recommend that.

I had an emergency need to venture out today. The people with masks are the ones we respect most because they respect us and our well being.

You should be held in high esteem and continue...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: I feel as though I been discriminated against at my job where as my supervisor denied me overtime for years threatens me

Tried to terminate me on my vacation I have a case with the eeoc I can request the letter to sue but I need a lawyer to explain to me abt this

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

Were you discriminated against because of your race, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, etc....

Being denied overtime because your supervisor does not like you is NOT illegal.

Being denied overtime because you are black, Hispanic, female or disabled MIGHT be...
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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... 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 »

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