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New York Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Employment Law, Business Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: Racial exclusion by business owner legal?

When I own a business (e.g. bakery, coffeeshop etc.) am I LEGALLY allowed to deny service to people of a specific ethnicity (e.g. african-american), sexuality, gender etc. and/or deny them employment? I mean after all it is MY business and I can decide, whom I offer my service or who can enter my... Read more »

Brian Greben
PREMIUM
Brian Greben
answered on Jan 4, 2023

No, you cannot legally discriminate against patrons or employees. Yes, you can get sued.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Intellectual Property and Copyright for New York on
Q: I work at a cookie company and it is not my job to create cookie inventions but I made one on a slow day and they stole

Selling my cookie I invented in stores without paying me. They also didn’t let me name it and are asking customers online to compete in naming the cookie and winner gets creator rights on the cookie. I was basically thrown to the side after I made them a delicious cookie they liked and they... Read more »

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Jan 2, 2023

By itself, a recipe is not protected by copyright law because it is only a list of ingredients. See U.S. Copyright Office, Circular 33, Works Not Protected By Copyright.

However, a recipe embedded in detailed instructions on how to combine the ingredients, especially when written in your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law and Civil Litigation for New York on
Q: Can a company unilaterally withhold 100% commission due from a 1099 employee?

I made a mistake on a spreadsheet which caused pricing to be off by a few percent. I submitted the pricing sheet to the company. The company uploaded into their system and then approved all Purchase Orders from customers with the mistaken pricing (I did not approve any PO's). The company is... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Dec 27, 2022

It depends on your agreement, which it appears in itself might be hard to prove.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Small Claims for New York on
Q: What is the difference between filing a small claims with a county court in NYC vs a complaint form with the NYS DOL?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Dec 26, 2022

This is something that an employment law attorney should advise on, but your question remains open for three weeks. Small Claims Court is a court of limited jurisdiction, in terms of money caps and the scope of matters handled. It is often for straightforward disputes involving money damages up to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Are client lists still trade secrets if there is no written employment agreement that says so? Can you use the list?

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Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Dec 18, 2022

In New York, a trade secret has three parts: (1) information (2) economic value from not being generally known by others, and (3) reasonable efforts have been taken to protect the trade secret. In New York, courts look at six factors to determine if information should be considered a trade secret:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Copyright, Business Formation and Business Law for New York on
Q: If there is no written employment agreement, is the work for hire doctrine still valid? Is the employer still the author

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Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Dec 18, 2022

If you were an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, the work for hire doctrine wouldn’t apply absent a signed writing to that effect executed by both parties to the contract. However, whether you would be considered an “employee” for the purposes of copyright law is not as simple... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Labor Law - Worked at energy service company becaus of bullying and manipulative practices by my Boss. Do i have a case?

I am a known for being a hard-worker and respected in the industry as at top energy service professional. Working over 70 hrs in a week. Sometimes my boss wants us to work more. One time i had to decline because i was too worn out. After i declined i became a target for my boss. He made my job... Read more »

Brian Greben
PREMIUM
Brian Greben
answered on Dec 13, 2022

There are too many variables that aren't addressed in your question to give an answer in this forum. You should reach out to an employment/labor attorney; many of us provide free consultations.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can an employer sue me for quitting without notice while not having a written employment contract?
Christopher Marlborough
Christopher Marlborough PRO label
answered on Dec 8, 2022

Generally, no. Employees in New York State are presumed to be “at-will,” meaning that the employment relationship can be terminated at any time for any reason, by either the employee or the employer, unless there is a law or contractual agreement to the contrary.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I'm an independent contractor working with an agency. They claim that if I drop out of a shoot, they can charge me for

the money they would have made for the session but now lost due to my absence. Is that legal?

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Dec 3, 2022

It depends on the exact wording of your contract, if any, and/or any verbal agreements they can prove. An evaluation can only be based on a detailed confidential legal review of your particular situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law and Construction Law for New York on
Q: Hello and thank-you for this service... I have a question about employment law... Does employer's liability insurance.

Hello and thank-you for this service... I have a question about employment law... Does employer's liability insurance cover injuries or incidents that might occur when employee's arrive at work before or after their scheduled work hours? I'm asking because there's a few... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Dec 2, 2022

This is something you may want to sit down and discuss with your insurance broker. In terms of employer's coverage, if you mean insurance for workplace accidents, that would be your workers' comp policy. That covers injuries arising in the course of employment. You may also have a policy... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Does my employer have the right to listen to my conversations when he is away from the establishment. I live in ny state
Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Nov 8, 2022

That depends. Under U.S. Supreme Court precedent you do have some expectation of privacy at your place of employment, though not to the same degree as in your home. You can also waive these rights to varying degrees if you agreed to any terms of service when logging in to your work computer system... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for New York on
Q: I a am contractor and the contract expired but business still pays me and I still provide service what obligations exist

The contract had a Termination clause that explicitly noted that it ended on a specific date last year. Under the contract IP I created during the period of the agreement would belong to the company. The contract also guarantees a profit share as part of the compensation. The contract is governed... Read more »

Giselle Ayala Mateus
Giselle Ayala Mateus
answered on Nov 7, 2022

If the contract expired but you are still performing services, there maybe an argument that this is a contract agreed to by the conduct of the parties. The problem is that account to the Statute of Frauds can enforce the terms of this non-written agreement if you ask more than $500.

That...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I was suspended and terminated without ANY investigation, plus a false police report was added;what can I do.
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Nov 6, 2022

I'm sorry your question went unnoticed under the Civil Rights and Constitutional Law headings for four weeks. One option is to repost under the Employment Law category. Some questions do go unanswered. If still no response, another option is to look into the cost of a brief consult with an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I started a job and quit after two shifts do they still have to pay me? the didn't send me paperwork until last night

I started Monday I worked Monday and Tuesday total of 16hours and they didn't send me my w-2 or paperwork until last night today I decided the job was too much on my body so I quit do they still have to pay me for the hours I put in even though I didn't get to fill out the paperwork?

Christopher Marlborough
Christopher Marlborough PRO label
answered on Nov 2, 2022

You are entitled to be paid for all hours that you worked, even if you had not completed your paperwork when you performed the work.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for New York on
Q: I got fired for not being vaccinated. The Supreme Court rescinded the mandate. Official November 1st 2022. Can I sue?

There was a private business vaccine mandate on 27th December 2021. My company forced me to use my remaining sick, and vacation days. Then when they were all depleted. They fired me January 10th 2022. Today they announced that The Supreme Court rescinded the mandate effective November 1st, 2022.

Giselle Ayala Mateus
Giselle Ayala Mateus
answered on Oct 25, 2022

This seems to be the question about employment law. Whether the decision to fire you is legal depends on many aspects including, whether you had a contract in writing specifically saying you should be fired for cause.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Personal Injury for New York on
Q: I have a swollen knee. I asked my boss if I can work from home and he said “he prefers me to come to the office”

Am I able to sue my employer for this? I have a picture of my knee with a date on it. Also I am not getting overtime paid for 3 years.

Brian Greben
PREMIUM
Brian Greben
answered on Oct 6, 2022

You quite possibly have a disability discrimination case, depending upon how "reasonable" your request to work from home was. Probably more important, however, is the fact that you haven't been paid OT in 3 years. If you are a nonexempt employee, and are therefore entitled to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: In NEW YORK, can my restaurant employer withhold my check and tips to pay for a window I accidentally cracked?

I accidentally crack said window while on the clock, moving chairs around.

Brian Greben
PREMIUM
Brian Greben
answered on Oct 3, 2022

The short answer is no, they cannot. If they dock your compensation to pay for the cracked window they are making an unlawful deduction.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: If I only work 6 hours a day why do I have to work 6.5 for a break?

I am a contracted employee, hired to work 6 hours a day. My assigned schedule is for 6.5 hours. The half-hour is for a break I don't care to take or need.

As stated in my contract: Teacher Aides - The length of the work day for teacher aides shall be as follows: for aides... Read more »

Christopher Marlborough
Christopher Marlborough PRO label
answered on Oct 1, 2022

New York law requires employers to provide most employees a thirty-minute meal break when working more than six hours a day. See https://dol.ny.gov/day-rest-and-meal-periods. Since you state that you are working no more than six hours a day (and if you are not occasionally working over six hours a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: What are the minimum hours an employer must provide in NYS
Christopher Marlborough
Christopher Marlborough PRO label
answered on Sep 22, 2022

There are no minimum hour requirements.

Some employees can be paid premium pay when they are subject to scheduling changes on short notice.

New York State recognizes a right to "call-in pay," but only if the worker is required to report to work. Usually, restaurant or...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law, Employment Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Education Law for New York on
Q: Question about working and visa status

I’m remaining in F1 status (student visa-nonimmigration), I have far- relative lives in New York, he is owning a restaurant. I live with him and his family. I volunteer to help him with his restaurant during my free time just about 2-3 hours per week. No income received, no salary, no tips, no... Read more »

Moses Apsan
Moses Apsan
answered on Sep 21, 2022

If you are merely helping out without pay the I would not consider it employment.

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