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New York Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can my employer charge me for some favors which was done voluntarily?

I have worked for a company for 2 weeks. They only paid half of my wages but they helped me with accommodation and transportation from house to work place. We did not make any contract, I did not sign anything but working hours and pay rate were written on an application. I had to leave the country... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Sep 17, 2020

Everyone in New York State is entitled to be paid no less than minimum wage for all labor which an employer permits an employee to suffer. However, an employer is also entitled to recover any loans or advances to which employer and employee agreed. Some lawyer will need to review all documentation,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Do I have legal standing to sue my SUNY school if I contract coronavirus while working as an RA?

https://www.allotsego.com/suny-oneonta-ras-threaten-strike/

I have not received test results and I have been working in biohazardous conditions that were not outlined in my contract. I also cannot return home yet since my father is battling a 9/11 related cancer and is extremely... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 12, 2020

An employment attorney should advise on your matter, but you await a response for a week. In addition to reaching out to an employment law attorney, you could also consider consulting with a workers' comp attorney to learn about whether the nature of your job duties might possibly be relevant... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for New York on
Q: Hey, I'm thinking filing an arbitration case with AAA. If I lose, am I obliged to pay legal bills for the employer?

I have a separation agreement, where if I disagree with the regulatory filing that my previous employer filed, which I do, I can file an arbitration case. My question is if I lose at the arbitration, can I be forced to pay the legal bill for the other party? Also when filing at American Arbitration... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 11, 2020

It would be best for an employment law attorney to advise you, but you await a response for two weeks. As a GENERAL matter with American Arbitration Association arbitrations for property & casualty insurance claims NOT INVOLVING employment matters, my experience has been that claimants are not... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: My supervisor told me over text that he will begin to pay me $20 an hour. A jump from $17 an hour.

I recently just checked to see if he was consistant with that and it went back to $17. Is this something that is legal in NYC? August 19th it was was increased. Now im back to 17 without anyone telling me.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Sep 10, 2020

New York State's Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) mandates that employers provide employees with written notices of pay rates and changes.

Contact the New York State Department of Labor regarding failure to provide notices. They should investigate that issue. Penalties might be...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: State said it has information detecting that my friend is currently working when he stopped. What should he do?

My friend has been working for a 4-week internship during the summer. He worked for 5 days a week, however he claimed for three days. The state is now asking him to provide information regarding my employer offering me internship, and asking which days of the week he worked for. What should he do... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Sep 7, 2020

The state, meaning the DOL, can detect the specific IP address where any claimant logs in to certify for benefits. The DOL also warns claimants to never disclose their login credentials to anyone else. When someone other than the claimant certifies for benefits the DOL discovers that as well. It is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: I started a new job and found out everyone in department has had covid19. To protect myself I wear masks

started a new job and found out everyone in department has had covid19. To protect myself I wear surgical masks my supervisor called me to her office to tell me she's not comfortable with me wearing a mask. In my interview i was told They practice all cdc guidelines which i found out is a... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Sep 5, 2020

Sorry to read that.

Most of us continue to wear masks because the studies show that masks protect other people from contracting any disease which we ourselves might carry unknowingly. I myself also feel better breathing through a mask although I know that if someone near me is not wearing...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can a job let me go because they couldn't follow the doctor restriction on my doctor's note?

They let me go do to my attendance and that they couldn't follow the restriction the doctor put on my note. My attendance was only messed up due to the fact of my injury. My injury had happened at my job. I had injured my knee cap

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Sep 1, 2020

Short response is that an employer must make reasonable accommodations for employees capable of performing the essential functions of their jobs with or without accommodation.

However if the necessary accommodation causes an undue hardship for an employer no employer has to incur same. What...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Can you get fired for a PERSONSAL email accidentally sent to a coworker?

I am a govt worker in NY. On the weekend, I was sending a personal email to a friend. I playfully made a sexual remark about a female coworker. But at that very moment, I was in a personal email back-and-forth with another female coworker.

I accidentally sent the email about the female... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Aug 31, 2020

It's hard to say because we don't know exactly what the email said and you don't want to post that on a public forum.

The problem with offensive comments is that none of us truly knows what some other person might find offensive. And what the person finds non-offensive today...
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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Employment Law for New York on
Q: My company paid me advances using PPP money and now are clawing it back. is this legal?

I work in solar sales, paid commission. Normally I get 25% when job is started and 75% of my pay when it is installed (typically 2-3 months later but covid made that 4-6 months). My company took the PPP money and paid all the salespeople on all their jobs the full amount with those funds. However,... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 25, 2020

Not only is it "right" and "legal" it is required by the CARES Act that your employer used to get the PPP money in the first place.

Without spending forever educating you on the CARES Act and explaining how the Payroll Protection Program works all I will tell you is...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Banking for New York on
Q: Can an employer threaten to fire you for using a phone during work hours?

My supervisor said he was sent an email stating my employer wanted to fire me for using a phone during work hours, which I have done previously for over a year. I and another employee, both women of color, were told we were acting suspicious and how they were afraid we were planning a robbery at... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Aug 22, 2020

Maybe? Are you working in a hostile workplace? What evidence is there that black and/or Hispanic or other minority employees are being targeted? Have similar threats been made against other employees who may not be protected? Have you suffered an adverse employment action?

One threat may...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for New York on
Q: Can you be denied employment due to positive TB test?

Previously had been diagnosed and treated for LTBI (Latent TB infection) and informed HR/Manager of my previous history as a negative TB test is required for employment. Due to LTBI I will never have a negative test. Now the employer is revoking the job offer.

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Aug 21, 2020

Call 518-474-7000 the New York State Deprtment of Health. It oversees TB testing and treatment regimens. If you work in one of the many industries where it is necessary to prove that you are not infectious you may have to show a particular treatment regimen. Once you comply with whatever New York... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: Is my employer supposed to ask me for documentation to support the reason why I can not return to work physically?

My children are going to be attending school remotely and my employer wants me to supply them with documentation that proves this point. Is it legal for them to ask me for documentation when the whole world is affected by COVID-19, it's not like I do not want to return to work physically but... Read more »

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

The documentation is to try to protect your job. Many employees are losing their jobs. You have a duty to cooperate with reasonable requests by your employer. For example, if you had vacationed in a COVID-19 hotspot state the employer could require you to quarantine and undergo tests to prove that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Education Law for New York on
Q: I'm an Occupational therapist working in the schools in NYS. Should the district provide PPE if we return to school?

If I provide my own do I risk liability? Or what if I become sick would that void district's liability?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 14, 2020

It would be best if an employment attorney took your question, but it remains open for four weeks. Until you are able to get the input of someone with expertise in this area (or if you are not able to ultimately get a response), one measure you could consider would be to present your proposed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for New York on
Q: can you go on vacation in US while on unemployment in NY, can it still be considered ready willing and able to work?

It seems that the NYS dept of labor asks you to notify them if you travel outside of the country. So common sense says that while traveling in the US, you can still collect unemployment

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Aug 10, 2020

Doesn't matter where you travel. When you log into your DOL portal and if the person logging in is not you or you are logging in from a location which is not your residence or home base (easy for DOL to track that) you better be able to explain why.

If you tell DOL that you are...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for New York on
Q: Can I sue my company?

I work for a home heath care agency and they sent me to a patients house who had bed bugs, I got covered severely in bed bug bites and had to go to the emergency room to get treated for them. My job covered the hospital visit and put me on worker’s compensation. Can I sue my job or the patient... Read more »

V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba answered on Aug 9, 2020

You are asking a workers compensation question. The reason employers carry workers compensation insurance is because coverage is exclusive. What that means is that if the employer/insurance company determines that the injury, illness, or occupational disease was caused by or because of or related... Read more »

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...
Read more »

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,...
Read more »

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...
Read more »

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.

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