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New York Employment Law Questions & Answers
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 sue my employer for using offensive language

Chipotle mexican grill

George E. Patsis
George E. Patsis answered on May 30, 2020

Depending on the language used, you may be able to bring a Human Rights claim.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
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?

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 27, 2020

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can my employer legally create a policy that docks my pay based on activity percentages in a tracking app?

As per my offer letter, I am non-exempt salaried employee in the state of NY. My employer has me using this app called “Hubstaff” since we’ve been working from home during the pandemic, which tracks clicks and mouse movements and reports an “activity percentage” based on those actions.... Read more »

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson answered on May 14, 2020

Typically, deductions from pay are permissible when an exempt employee is absent from work for one or more full days. That does not sound like the case here. If your employer follows through with the deductions and they occur more than a few times, I would reach out to an employment law attorney in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Do I have to go back to work or am I entitled to unemployment?

I received a call back to work letter. It states I will return back at my previous position and pay. But when I returned they have me doing another job, at the same hourly pay (minimum wage) but no potential for commission. commission makes up for at least 30% of my pay. Can I refuse and collect... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on May 12, 2020

Unfortunately, you are not eligible for unemployment if there is work available that has been offered to you (regardless of whether it is a different position).

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 Law for New York on
Q: Can a job force you to take pto but have you on call 24/7 so they don't have to pay you overtime.

Your schedule is 9 to 5. Mon -fri They make you stay home but you have to check in and be on standby. If you get paged out after hours or the weekend they say we don't have to pay you anything for that because we are paying 40 hours pto for the week. I am a non exempt employee and I receive... Read more »

Brian Greben
Brian Greben answered on May 8, 2020

If you are a non-exempt employee (and therefore entitled to overtime if you work over 40 hours per week), what you are describing is unlawful. More information is needed about your employment to determine if you are exempt.

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 Consumer Law and Employment Law for New York on
Q: NY CPLR 3217(b) - Do I need to Do Anything? I would like to keep the plaintiffs from coming back later and filing

I have been involved in a bogus lawsuit with a former employer. The main defendant died of cancer in 2019. They originally filed a motion to remove him; then COVID-19 happened and everything was put on hold. Now they have filed a Motion of Order pursuant to CPLR 3217(b) permitting a voluntary... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 6, 2020

Too many pronouns and not enough information. Are you a plaintiff or defendant? If a defendant, do you have counterclaims or crossclaims? There is a usual form for this, and in general, it is in your favor to have this happen. A lawyer could review everything for a few hundred dollars.

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for New York on
Q: Pls help with e- 9 verification details. My job gonna terminate me

I have been granted asylum with an I 94 that says asylum granted indefinitely. My work permit is expiring and I couldnt renew it because of the pandemic. My employer said that I need to submit new e9 employee verification to continue working. Uscis website say I dont need work permit coz of asylee... Read more »

Ian M. Seruelo
Ian M. Seruelo answered on May 5, 2020

An employee can present a List A document OR a combination of List B and C documents. Your EAD card is a List A document. Without it you can present a combination of List B and C documents. So you can present you Drivers License (List B document) and your Social Security Card (List C document).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Immigration Law for New York on
Q: Should I can cancel my unemployment weekly benefits , because it can affect getting a new 0-1 visa or a green card ?

how do I cancel my unemployment weekly benefits? Do I need to call ? Or stopping claim?

Sorry for some many questions!

Thank you

Robert Roy Klein
Robert Roy Klein answered on May 3, 2020

Unemployment is not considered under the public charge rule and has no effect on a green card.

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.

Ronald Joseph Kim
Ronald Joseph Kim answered on May 2, 2020

If you can effectively work from home and your employer instructs you to return to work and you reasonably believe that this places your health in jeopardy, I would recommend that you request the reasonable accommodation of continued work at home or telecommunting.

Whether your employer...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Immigration Law for New York on
Q: I’m here with 0-1 visa ! I applied for an unemployment weekly benefits!! And I got my first payment!

Getting the payment and apply for an unemployment can affect me getting a new working visa in the future??

Thank you

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer answered on Apr 30, 2020

Yes, that could negatively affect your obtaining a work visa.

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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

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 27, 2020

Is it illegal? No. Is it sketchy? Yes. Can you be fired for not doing it? Maybe. It would be hard to prove improper conduct by the employer.

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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

George E. Patsis
George E. Patsis answered on Apr 26, 2020

New York is an employment at will state, meaning that an employer can fire an employee without any notice at any time for any reason or even no reason at all. There are some exceptions to this rule, the details of which I recommend you discuss with an attorney as they can be very fact specific.

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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?

Adan Vega
Adan Vega answered on Apr 26, 2020

In general, you must have a valid work permit or any immigration status that allows you to work to request unemployment benefits.

You must be authorized to work at the time you apply for the benefit, throughout the time you receive the benefit, and also during the “base period” prior...
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