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New York Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can I take legal action against a current employer when I expressed repeated unsafe workplace activities?

Good evening,

I have an ongoing concern at my current workplace that does not seem to be changing. And I am seeking legal advice.

I have written a statement to a current employer about harassment, unprofessional discriminatory comments, and unsafe distribution activities with heavy... Read more »

Jordan T. Newport
Jordan T. Newport answered on Jan 24, 2022

First of all, I would like to tell you that I'm sorry that you are having to go through these things at your workplace.

As for the harassment and the discriminatory comments, largely, these will be lumped together as to how they are treated in the legal context. To constitute either,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Will I be eligible for unemployment benefits in New york state?

I have had a bit of bad luck over the last year. First, I started working remotely from NYC for a nonprofit in Africa from 01/Feb/2021 till August 2021; I was let go on no fault of my own. Then I started working for a company in Austin, Texas as a full-time employee from November till yesterday and... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jan 24, 2022

You should qualify if you earned the minimum required gross income in two full quarters. They go back either 4 or 5 quarters for calculating earnings which applies for anyone performing services in New York. It's state law overseen by the NYS DOL.

Remember that all employers must...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can a sick note that my doctor wrote on his prescription pad with all his information on it be rejected by my employer?

I recently got over a relatively bad case of covid and provided my employer with a doctors note. My doctor wrote it out on his prescription pad and gave it to me to submit. I was told today that “payroll” won’t accept a doctors note written on a prescription pad, meanwhile his prescription... Read more »

Lisa I. Fried-Grodin
Lisa I. Fried-Grodin answered on Jan 18, 2022

If the note wasn't signed, that could be why the employer is questioning it. If that is not the case or your employer takes some adverse action due to you being out sick with Covid, you should talk with an employment lawyer.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Business Law for New York on
Q: I have a small cleaning business in NY and I want to send people out to clean.

At this point, I don't have a large clientele, so I would like to take on people as I get the jobs, like gigs. It seems like the best way to go would be to take them on as independent contractors instead of employees until I have more steady work for them. How would I go about this and what... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Jan 17, 2022

They will be your part-time or as needed employees. You will need to insure them as such and withhold taxes for them and comply with all DOL laws.

If they were independent they would have their own cleaning businesses, would advertise, would have their own business websites or bank accounts...
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3 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Contracts and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Settled a breach of employment contract. no payment till after I dismiss. Should i trust that? Shouldn’t i be paid firs?

I was due a 10k sign on bonus after a year of working with this company. They agreed to pay it but never did so I quit, they then used that as a excuse to not pay me. Now we’ve settled the lawsuit out of court & they want me to dismiss first then they would pay me. Shouldn’t I get paid... Read more »

Lisa I. Fried-Grodin
Lisa I. Fried-Grodin answered on Jan 17, 2022

I don't ever file a dismissal of an employment law claim brought by my client before the settlement is paid. The settlement agreement should have language discussing a procedure for you agreeing to withdraw within a certain amount of time after getting paid. If you did not have a lawyer when... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer told me that they be reaching out to NYS DOH licensing department after I said I quit

I recently quit my job through an email and my employer responded saying that they’ll be following up with nys doh licensing department on the matter. I guess my question is, what does that mean? By the way I’m a licensed registered nurse

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Dec 27, 2021

I believe New York State's Department of Education licenses nurses. Check your licensure status, make sure you have complied with all continuing education requirements and reporting if there are any incidents which require your disclosure or reporting to the licensure Board.

Review any...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Personal Injury for New York on
Q: Can my employer lower my wage as a result of me getting a hernia injury when part of my job duties are heavy lifting.

I have a medical history and had this same injury before at the same job. They are aware of my medical conditions and have been for 6 years. It never was a problem until it went under new ownership this last year.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Dec 26, 2021

An employment attorney could advise most meaningfully on the element of your wages; as to the Personal Injury category you posted under, this may be something closer to workers' comp than personal injury. If your injury took place within the course of your employment, you may want to consider... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: Physician Noncompete agreements: How enforceable are they? What are the consequences for breaking them?

I signed a noncompete that says I can’t work for 2.5 years and 15mi from the office location in Nassau county. I want to work for another group.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Dec 6, 2021

About 5 years ago I conferenced with a physician who had worked for an organization for approximately 25 years. The physician was very highly compensated. This physician appeared "burned-out" and simply wanted a change of pace. The unfortunate part was that the employer had invested... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for New York on
Q: My employer gave us a project that superseded our job description & paygrade, but won't pay us more. Is this bad faith?

My company promotes itself widely and publicly as "living its values," which include accountability, respect and trust and of course DEI. After not getting a bonus, I sought equal pay for the work -- touting those values. I was rebuffed and told it was "skill-building." When I... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Nov 9, 2021

Are you referring to a collective bargaining agreement? Such agreements should protect all covered employees. And those agreements must be followed as drafted, reasonably interpreted and fairly applied to all covered employees. A breach of a duty of fair representation aka a DFR claim might be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: the company can fire me because my health condition (cold allergy) ??

it's been 1 month that I'm in this new job. it's a warehouse and they have 3 zones there: ambient, chilled and frozen.

everybody needs to stay 2 hours in the frozen zone (they provide special clothes)

but I have cold allergy ( it's kind of rare urticaria, and... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Nov 2, 2021

A suggestion might be to launch the interactive process.

What's that? You request a reasonable accommodation based on your "disability" which does not cause your employer an undue hardship. Remember that you must be able to perform the essential functions of your job with or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Cannabis & Marijuana Law, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: How does the process for pre-employment drug screening work with marijuana for remote work positions?

I received a offer from United Health Group and the preemployment process has a standard drug screening which includes marijuana. I reside in NYS. Would my offer be rescinded if the drug test comes back with positive marijuana if the employer resides outsides of NYS?

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Oct 31, 2021

No more Cannabis testing in New York except in special circumstances. See this link:

https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2021/10/22/new-york-employers-are-banned-from-testing-most-workers-for-weed

Apply for the job honestly. Complete all questionnaires, etc... honestly....
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I tested positive for covid. I have to miss work for 10 days. Does my employer have to pay me?
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Oct 26, 2021

Maybe. Depends on your employer. See this link:

https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-paid-sick-leave

If you work in any of New York City's Boroughs see this link:

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/about/paid-sick-leave-law.page

Generally, smaller employers (fewer...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: How to look up Equitable Estoppel Employment Cases that was successful in relation to plaintiff mental illness

Statue of limitations ran out but knew evidence has surface and plaintiffs want to file action against former employer, to reopen retirement pension fund

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Oct 17, 2021

A retirement pension fund issue appears to fall under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, also known as "ERISA". Some of us have successfully fought on behalf of employees facing reduced severance pay. Employers sometimes allege breaks in continuous services by employees.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can a school district put you on unpaid leave without it being in contract for refusing Covid-19 weekly testing

We were given a letter this week to submit for weekly Covid-19 testing starting next week in we are unvaccinated. A few of us bus drivers are refusing for various reasons and concerns. We were told they would put us on unpaid leave for refusing. I read that they cannot do this if it's not in... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Oct 15, 2021

It's a public safety issue like wearing seat belts although you can't see the potentially deadly nature of the virus.

If you have a strongly held religious belief from a recognized religious group or organization speak with those authorities about an exemption. If your physician...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: fmla expired I am still disabled and cannot return to work & my co. Is not giving me accurate info on next steps for ext

ASKED FOR EXT LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND THEY TOLD ME TO SPEAK TO MY DOCTOR & REQUEST ADA IS THIS ACCURATE

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Oct 8, 2021

You must be able to perform your job duties with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Extending your FMLA leave might be a reasonable accommodation depending on the circumstances. Have you kept your employer informed of a date certain for when you will return? An open-ended date rarely...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: My manager changed my schedule while I was on vacation, which resulted in my termination. Is there anything I can do?

A couple years back I worked for wal-mart. I took a week long vacation with one of my friends/coworkers to another state. We both put in for the week off and we both got it approved. When we got back I noticed my manager changed my schedule so I would be a no call no show. I worked for the company... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Sep 29, 2021

While this situation sounds very unfair, it is not unlawful for your employer to change your schedule at any time for any reason, even if this results in your termination. However, I imagine you would have been entitled to unemployment benefits if you could demonstrate that you had already been... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: My boss hasn’t enforced a provision regarding promotions in over 25 years. They now r. It hurts women. Discrimination?

My school district hasn’t enforced a provision on teacher advancement in terms of salary in over 25 years. A new HR director is making it a point to enforce it, and is denying salary differentials for teachers who have more than a Masters degree coming in. Furthermore HR has decided teachers... Read more »

Derek John Soltis
Derek John Soltis answered on Sep 27, 2021

You should talk with an employment lawyer. It sounds like discrimination to me. If the only people it has been enforced on are two black woman that is insane.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I work in HR, and I have an employee who is on intermittent FMLA. They mentioned quitting, what else should we do?

The EE received their rights and responsibilities under FMLA. However, this EE likes to "play chess" in a sense that they may potentially come after us even though they voluntarily resigned and we have followed the law and rules to a T. We informed them of what their leave is allowed... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Sep 27, 2021

Have you requested the employee to sign a general release and waiver of their right to sue you? Of course you would offer them some adequate consideration in return, which may be almost anything of value. And remember, every employee now has at least 21 days by law to sleep on, consider your offer.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Constitutional Law, Education Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: I submitted a religious exemption that was neither approved nor denied. My job refuses to provide any accommodations

Even though it's a department of education school and the department of Ed is accommodating teachers, my job is not taking my request seriously nor are they willing to make any accommodation for my religious practice. I was told I would be placed on unpaid leave with no regard to my request... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Sep 22, 2021

Your question does not indicate what your religious accommodation request is. Whether your employer's decision to place you on an unpaid leave is unlawful depends on your accommodation request, whether your request eliminates one of the essential functions of your job, and/or causes your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Hello , my employer refuse to pay me over 10000$ in commission

I provided every proof that i wasnt paid for certain jobs , dozens of emails and promises , lately i have been harassed with iron strong evidence that is directly correlated to the fact i asked for my money , is it wise to persue a lawsuit or big employers always win in such cases and it takes... Read more »

Brian Greben
Brian Greben answered on Sep 20, 2021

You're asking excellent questions, but they can't be answered without knowing the specifics of your case. You should contact an employment attorney.

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