Middle Island, NY asked in Employment Law for New York

Q: My employer laid me off and told me to collect unemployment. made me work from home, unpaid. Isnt this illegal?

I feared that if I didn't comply that he wouldn't take me back. After a month of working from home I put my foot down. Obviously he used covid as an excuse for his financial gain and now he is angry. How am I protected in this situation?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert

A: Under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), you must be paid for all hours worked. Your employer cannot tell you to collect unemployment in place of paying you for your time worked after you were laid off. Depending on how many unpaid hours you worked, your employer's refusal to pay you could be a violation of both the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA.

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