How New York Employment Lawyers Can Prosecute Your Employer’s Labor Violations, Or Defend Employers Against Unsupported Labor Claims
Admittedly, while it is true working conditions overall in New York City have seen tremendous improvements in the last several decades thanks to widespread compliance with New York labor and employment laws, it is a fact that sexual harassment, retaliation, failure to pay wages and other employer-sanctioned discrimination against employees remains an underworld of modern life.
Although such claims are not always truthful and worthy of being compensated for, it is often difficult for an outsider to determine which narrative is accurate, and not to fail to see when a fact or allegation is the product of an employee’s sleight perceived by the decision of the employer to end the employment relationship.
Learning about the slew of New York labor and employment protections affecting civil rights of employees and employers, makes it easier to adjust to the fast-changing society in which we live.
It is worthwhile to learn more about the various kinds of labor law disputes that arise in New York under labor and employment laws in New York below.
What Forms the Bulk of Employment Lawsuits Brought in the State of New York?
According to the New York State Department of Labor, despite being an “at-will” where employment is a privilege as opposed to a constitutional right, still some exceptions exist to serve as a safety net for the newly-hired employee. The exceptions are if:
- The employment agreement expressly provides for an agreement to the contrary.
- There is a public policy that limits the employer from terminating the employee for the employee’s refusal to commit an illegal act at the request of the employer. Others include:
- State or federal Title VII employment discrimination statutes protecting discharge based on race, color, religion or gender discrimination, or Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) statutes.
- Engaging in “protected activity” that prohibits retaliation against the employee.
- Filing claims reporting illegal working conditions to state and federal authorities.
- Military duty
- Jury duty
- Union activity
According to the New York State Department of Labor, “wrongful termination” is an exception to the at-will doctrine that gives free reign a NYC employer to make decisions as to continue, modify or end employment without any input of the employee. If the following applies to the employer’s decision to terminate the employee, then the at-will doctrine does not apply:
- Racially-motivated reasons, or those based on, sex, religious preference, ethnicity, national origin, age discrimination, or disability;
- Because you are pregnant;
- Because you will not submit to sexual advances;
- For complaining about your workers’ rights under employment laws such as minimum wage, overtime, medical leave, workplace discrimination, workers’ compensation, hostile work environment, workplace discrimination or safety laws, or other employment laws;
- For taking sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, time off to adopt a child, or time off to help take care of a seriously ill close family member (if you are covered by laws that allow time off for this reason);
- For refusing an order to do something illegal;
- For attending jury duty, or because you give testimony at a court or administrative hearing;
- For discussing your working conditions, pay or salary with co-workers, or for asking that coworkers’ terms and conditions of employment be improved;
- For joining or trying to form a union;
- When you have an offer for employment for a certain period of time, or have an employment contract specifying the reasons you can be fired;
- When you work for federal, state, or local government and are fired without the opportunity to dispute the reason for firing; or
- When certain other unlawful circumstances exist.
Unlike most other kinds of civil lawsuits, employees wishing to file a discrimination case, either on behalf of themselves or through a “class action” suit, for wrongful termination or ERISA violations, against their employer must first “exhaust their administrative remedies” before filing in New York state or federal court, exhaustion of administrative remedies takes place when an employee first files a claim (as opposed to a lawsuit) with the New York State Department of Labor or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or National Labor Relations Board within six months, or 180 days of the allegedly unlawful retaliatory or discriminatory act by the employer.
A knowledgeable employment lawyer will persuasively argue that a hiring and firing decision was not lawful; or in the case of a defense of a termination decision, find ways to justify the decisions as business-related.
Factors Making For A Large Verdict in Manhattan, or Attacking a Large Verdict Based on an Unworthy Claim
According to the New York City-based Phillips & Associates, it is not the easiest to establish a claim for wrongful termination given the presumption that the termination was not illegal. However, if the employee can prove the following elements, then the case may be able to be possibly reach a jury.
There must be:
- An employee engaging in protected activity (see above categories of protection)
- An employee who has suffered an adverse employment action.
- The employee challenging the termination as unlawful must demonstrate the motivation for the firing as being for an illegitimate reason; then the employer can propose the reason it stated was the basis for the firing; afterward, the employee has an opportunity show that such a reason is not the true reason but a pre-textual one to mask the true nature of the firing.
Harassment claims, either for racial or sexual harassment, or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, or for hostile work environments, often rely on another’s version of events, where credibility is an issue.
New York Employment Issues: Common Employment Cases In Tri-State Area, New Jersey, New York State
On the Phillips & Associates, PLLC’s blog, the following reasons are balanced against each other for what makes a termination of an employee “wrongful” and “legal.” They are:
The firm states that there are sometimes lawful reasons used by the company:
- Performance issues;
- Misconduct; or
- Conflict of personalities.
But there are also unlawful reasons including the following:
- Discrimination on the basis of a protected category like race or sex;
- Retaliation for reporting or opposing alleged unlawful conduct;
- Breach of contractual obligations; or
- Inconsistent application of internal employment policies.
As each case is different, with some factors weighing more strongly than others, regardless, a New York City labor and employment lawyer will walk you through the best route of prosecution or defense to unearth the actual motive from superficial pretexts, and defend the interest of the organization if requested.
Legal Advice Regarding Severance Agreements, Employment Contracts and Unpaid Wages: Why do I Need to Hire a New York Employment Lawyer?
Despite the pretty penny of a New York employment super lawyer of $122 to $485 per hour, per Clio.com’s 2021 statistics., the benefits outweigh the costs: A New York labor and employment lawyer’s knowledge of nuances of New York employment law, ability to decipher actual versus pretextual job termination reasons, while complying with administrative procedures and performing credibility assessments—are undoubtedly priceless.
Based on the skill and the number of years of experience of the New York employment lawyer handling the organization or other involved party’s case, a client can recover greater amounts if the lawyer stays up to date with the everchanging landscape of not only New York employment law. In terms of dollars and cents, personal injury related to the employment dispute can open up liability of an employer if the actions are malicious or beyond the bounds of being civilized.
Accessibility to Vital Information: Why Should I Hire a Skilled New York Employment Lawyer?
Given the fast-changing world of businesses, the hundreds and thousands of decisions made to expand and re-organize the business without direct input from every employee in the company, it is important to have a skilled lawyer who can distinguish him or herself from others in the field.
Whereas a many New York employment law offices may be generally knowledgeable about how to represent a business entity, a particularly skilled and incredibly talented New York employment attorney will be intimately familiar with the most recent decisions in employment law, ready and willing to use whatever tools at his or her arsenal to prosecute or defend the case.
Many top-rated employment law firms benefit from attorney advertising such as highly-visible New York City-based employment law firm Nisar Law Group, NYC-based Phillips & Associates, PLLC, among others in New York City, and surrounding areas, offer an initial free consultation to help strategize your best course of action during a time of stress and uncertainty about the future.
For such a New York law firm competent in New York employment law, a good law office in New York will be a specialist will ask you, the client, questions to maximize the value of your case or minimize liability in exploring your legal options.
In any case, you should be prepared to create a narrative of facts detailing everything that you remembered before, during and after the incident leading up to the dispute, including keeping meticulous records of expenses made during the employment litigation, arbitration or in the case of the responsible merchant, the costs to defend.
As a client whether for the organization or another party to a dispute, it is also imperative to share any business malpractice or personal insurance company policy maintained and investigate other potential actors responsible for the wrongful act. Also important is it that your attorney test the strength and validity of the rival claims made against the employer helpful at trial or in arbitration.
Forming an Attorney-Client Relationship: Call a New York City Employment Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case and Odds of Victory for the Company.
Whether defending employee rights, or employer rights against wrongful termination allegations, sexual harassment or unpaid wage, minimum wage violations, and overtime pay claims, having the right attorney on your side can navigate the vast and ever-changing landscape of New York employment law and ever evolving case precedent.
Whether you are looking for a New York City, Brooklyn, New York State or surrounding area-based labor and employment law office handling practice areas pertaining to sexual harassment or race discrimination, Lawsuit.org will help you pinpoint the right one by offering a free consultation to obtain the verdict that an employee or employer needs.