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New York Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: Laid off due to COVID & now the company is rehiring.

Hello! I was furloughed from my employer in March. There was no communication during this process or news from my director. Eventually they have brought almost all employees back & I was told they don’t have much info on when I will be allowed back. A week later I was sent an automated email... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Aug 4, 2020

Many feel your frustration. Not to make excuses but employers are dealing with a new set of circumstances every day. Some are closing for good.

I assume that you received unemployment benefits. Those require you to look for work. Also every employment discrimination complaint requires...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Are independent contractors entitled to the same four hours of "call-in pay" when a portion of their shift is cancelled?

This applies to fees received for umpiring baseball games. In this instance, umpires were promised payment for two games (which would collectively last no more than four hours). A lightening storm resulted in the second game being cancelled shortly after it was due to begin. The employer states... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Aug 4, 2020

An employment lawyer needs to review whatever contract or contracts govern the services.

Many independent contractors are actually employees. That may not apply to you but the only way a true independent is compensated is:

1) According to the agreed upon terms, usually in writing,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Heart issue fall under ADA? Employer requires filling reasonable accommodation form when I asked continue work remotely.

Does a heart issue qualify under the ADA Act of 1990? My company has asked its employees to return to the physical office. I asked to continue working remotely due to being in a high risk covid group. HR sent me a reasonable accommodation request form requiring me to describe my disability,... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 31, 2020

IMO your heart issue, standing alone, probably constitutes a Qualified Physical Disability entitling you to some kind of reasonable accommodation under the ADA . You should also be aware that many states, possibly NY, have their own ADA laws which are even more protective than the Federal ADA. In... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Is it legal to make workers to work multiple ghost kitchens without asking a member

I work at a small company restaurant it gets really busy sometimes and we are severely underpaid and overworked they have less than 20 locations open and are opening multiple ghost kitchens out of a store on multiple platforms we have in house restaurant delivery for a store in 6 platforms along... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jul 25, 2020

Forced labor would be slavery. That is illegal.

Few food service workers belong to unions. But that might change. Contact the NLRB if you wish to organize. Otherwise you are "at will."

"At will" employees can find new jobs and leave. Their employers can replace...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I'm a teacher, paid over 12 months. Being told there's no money for last 2 checks, so being "furloughed". Any recourse?
Brian Greben
Brian Greben answered on Jul 20, 2020

I would have to read your contract before I could give an opinion. Call me at 516.304.5357 or email me at brian@grebenlegal.com if you would like to discuss your situation.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: can an employer hold my check if i broke something on accident in the store and not tell me until 2 weeks later?

I work at dominoes as a delivery driver. So i guess i might've broke the glass door by exiting by using my foot to push the door open causing it to crack. Anyways whether I actually broke it or not I don't know, say i did break the door, no one actually saw me do it. My boss just says... Read more »

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis answered on Jul 20, 2020

New York doesn't allow an employer to deduct pay for losses related to breakage or even cash shortages. Withholding your paycheck is a big no-no.

Look up this document:

https://labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/wp/cr195.pdf

Section 195-2.1

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: Trying to understand the pros/cons to filing employment complaints at the City or State level (new york).

I live and work in NYC. Have numerous documented wage/hour issues, first year I was incorrectly paid as an independent contractor due to tax issues (employer put that in writing, lol) , and numerous discrimination type issues. Its'a very small employer, so I don' think it would be... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jul 19, 2020

Wage and hour issues are separate from discrimination claims. The state DOL oversees pay practices of employers statewide. You may have to file a small claims court complaint to collect unpaid wages if the employer has the means or incentive to pay. If they refuse to pay after you secure a court... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Can a lawyer represent employer in two separate cases from same individual while one is under investigation is it legal

It's a open case for division of human rights/eeoc charge and a seperate unemployment hearing where same lawyer during ui hearing asked about reasonable accommodation and other questions pertaining to opposite case

Jacob David Verchereau
Jacob David Verchereau answered on Jul 15, 2020

The question you are asking is whether it is a conflict of interest for the Employer's attorney to represent the Employer in two separate proceedings, both of which involve the same Employee. This is relatively common in my experience. Without more, it would seem to me that this would not be a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: In NY, if the employee handbook says "there will be no payout for unused vacation time for terminations," could I

theoretically be entitled to unused vacation time if I voluntarily resigned (i.e., I quit on my own volition to take another position elsewhere)?

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jul 13, 2020

Employee handbooks are rarely contracts. And most can be changed at any time with or without notice.

Is the employer applying its earned leave policy uniformly for all those who have been or are similarly situated to the facts surrounding your departure?

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: I was terminated on the day that I was supposed to start due to me refusing to go to work with COVID like symptoms.

I told them I would get tested tomorrow and they called me today and told me not to bother coming back. I believe this is extremely negligent because If I went to work and turned out to have COVID I could infect numerous amounts of people. So how can I get punished for protecting me and others. I... Read more »

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

Did you recently travel outside New York? Was it to a state which is out of control with COVID? You might have a claim if you did not potentially increase risks of contracting it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Will I still be elegible for the extra $600 unemployment assistance if I work 4 days a week?

I’ve been told that if I work 4 days and makes less than $504 I am elegible for the $600 but not the regular unemployment. I am able to cut my days down to 3 if that allows me to still file.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jul 2, 2020

If you earn more than $504 per week or work more than 3 days per week, even 5 minutes on the 4th day, you will not qualify in New York. You must qualify for some partial benefits in New York unless you have no other income from any other source, in which case you may qualify for pandemic alone. But... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Employment Discrimination and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: Our supervisor told us when and when we cannot use the bathroom. Is this illegal?
Gary Lane
Gary Lane answered on Jul 2, 2020

Yes, that is quite illegal and should be reported.

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law and Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer refused me to return to work due to my school schedule. They told me to resign when I did not wan to

What impact will this have on my filing for unemployment benefits?

Jacob David Verchereau
Jacob David Verchereau answered on Jun 29, 2020

Generally, when you resign voluntarily you do not qualify for unemployment insurance. However, under these circumstances, you could still file a claim. If your employer does not contest your claim, you will likely receive unemployment benefits. If the employer does contest your claim, you could... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can I apply for unemployment if I can’t get to work due to covid related issues?

My employee will not compensate and is saying I’m refusing to work. I have been with the company for 4 years. My normal service of commute isn’t working due to covid and I can’t afford to spend more then my normal commute budget to get there. Is unemployment an option ?

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

What does "can't get to work" mean? Transportation is almost never the employer's responsibility. Neither is child care. But if you have a medical condition which the employer refuses to accommodate those facts should be explored with an employment lawyer. Do you have another... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I am getting temporary disability through my job, well they just terminated me today. Can they do that ?
Jacob David Verchereau
Jacob David Verchereau answered on Jun 22, 2020

Whether or not your employer can legally terminate you while you are on a temporary disability leave depends on several factors. If you believe you have been fired in retaliation for exercising your right to disability leave, then you should consult with an attorney immediately. A couple of factors... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Re: NYS Unemployment Insurance PUA (federal funded "Pandemic Unemployment Insurance" CARES Act) eligibility..

I am on extended travel outside the United States due to COVID-19 & I was approved for NYS Unemployment Insurance (UI) under the new CARES Act.

According to the NYS UI Manual, I can't claim for weekly unemployment benefits while I am travelling in a foreign country besides Canada.... Read more »

Sarah Elena Gold
Sarah Elena Gold answered on Jun 17, 2020

Given that NYS oversees the claims even in this federal instance, to affirm that you are ready and willing to work within the country each time you would be claiming is fraud. If you can suspend the claim and start it back up once you're able to be in the country, that might work, but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Am I eligible for unemployment insurance?

I am a teacher who was laid off. I have a ten month contract paid over 12 months. The contract stipulates the last day of employment is 6/16/20, but I will receive my last paycheck on 8/21/20. The principal has said the summer paychecks are technically money owed to us for services rendered, and... Read more »

Sarah Elena Gold
Sarah Elena Gold answered on Jun 17, 2020

It is my understanding that the claim will be denied until the dismissal pay period ends, and you will be then forced into creating a new claim. You will be considered unemployed when you no longer receive that paycheck. This would be a similar instance if you were receiving severance pay.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Immigration Law for New York on
Q: can DACA file for unemployment in NY if furloughed? Will this affect the chances of applying for a green card?
Ify Princess Ikeakanam
Ify Princess Ikeakanam answered on Jun 17, 2020

Hi, Unemployment benefits are not Public benefits if you are worried about passing the Public Charge test in the future.

**This is not legal advise. I will be happy to discuss with you in detail about your concerns.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer didn't keep the promise to raise my pay so I resigned.

I have been negotiating a new salary with my employer for some time now. Two weeks ago, May 25, he finally proposed a new pay rate and a bonus structure. I took the offer and was told that it would go in effect that very same day. Then a week later, he came with a different pay rate, which was... Read more »

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

How would you do that?

If your pay was substantially cut that would be a different scenario and you could argue constructive discharge.

I am not familiar with any cases which hold that not getting a promotion or a raise was good cause to resign. You may want to return to that job or...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can I sue my employer for violating my employee rights and retaliation for my compliant?

I work with an NYC agency. I had applied for a senior position a while back and the rules/ regulations mandated my employer to prefer internal candidates. However, senior staff decided to hire an external candidate, without even considering my case (protected class?). This seriously impacted my... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Jun 3, 2020

A violation of your employer's workplace rules/policies regarding internal vs. external hiring - ALONE - does not violate the law. However, if your employer is choosing not to hire you because of your membership in a protected class (i.e., your age, race, ethnicity, gender, etc.), that... Read more »

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