Employee Rights Attorneys in New York | Bantle & Levy LLP

New York Employment Rights Lawyers

Overview

Bantle & Levy LLP Fights For Your Employee Rights

Every employee has rights in the workplace. As an employee in the United States, you are entitled to moral and legal privileges that safeguard you against exploitation and ensure you are treated fairly. Employers who do not respect these rights may face hefty punitive actions, such as fines and other penalties. 

Generally speaking, employee rights are grouped under the following categories:

  • Protection against discrimination of all types (age, race, sex, ethnicity, and so on)
  • Ability to complain without fear of retaliation or harassment
  • Safety and health 
  • Family and medical leave
  • Privacy in the workplace
  • Receiving minimum pay
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Working in a safe, hazard-free workplace

From the entry-level worker to C-suite executive, your need for protected and secured employee rights is fundamental. However, we know that these New York employee rights issues may present themselves in different ways. Our skilled New York employment rights lawyers will work with you to ensure that at the end of the day, you are safe and secure.

At Bantle & Levy LLP, we represent New Yorkers in the following cases:

Hostile Work Environment

A New York hostile work environment is one form of employment discrimination based on actions that negatively affect an individual’s work performance. A hostile work environment differs from other forms of discrimination as it involves conduct that occurs in the actual employment context. A hostile work environment is created when an employee is subjected to bullying, insults, or unwelcome physical contact.

In this regard, it is worth mentioning that a workplace must meet certain legal criteria to qualify as hostile. A colleague can show signs of rude or obnoxious behavior, like talking loudly over the phone or littering around the office, but it may not necessarily be legally defined as a ‘hostile environment’.

Alternatively, a co-worker who repeatedly invades your personal space, tells sexually explicit jokes, makes you uncomfortable, or berates you about your religion, gender, or race is guilty of prompting hostility in the workplace. Their actions must be pervasive, severe, and disruptive enough to interfere with your ability to work efficiently.

Being in a hostile work environment is difficult–and when you face lengthy court battles, it may be unbearable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t seek relief–At Bantle & Levy, our employee rights lawyers in New York will help you seek compensation for the harms you have faced to ensure that it never happens again–to you or another employee.

Retaliation

Unfortunately, retaliation can become complicated in the workplace when it is not so obvious that it’s even occurring. Workplace retaliation occurs when you get punished by your employer because you exercised your legal rights or because you engaged in a lawful activity.

It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for:

  • Reporting or filing a discrimination claim;
  • Reporting or filing a sexual harassment claim;
  • Participating in an investigation or a lawsuit about a claim; or
  • Reporting that your employer is doing something illegal

As mentioned, retaliation can be both evident and subtle. Obvious retaliatory measures include demotions, terminations, or a salary reduction. However, sometimes an employer’s negative actions may not be clear right out the gate. For example, a change in shift timings may not affect some employees, but it can be extremely problematic for those working on a tight schedule. 

If you suspect foul play and retaliation at your New York job, don’t hesitate to reach out to an employee rights attorney in New York. The lawyers at Bantle & Levy will examine your case and tell you what damages you may recover.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a grave problem across workplaces in the US. In fact, nearly 6,587 sexual harassment claims were filed with the EEOC in 2020.

The term ‘sexual harassment’ refers to inappropriate sexual remarks or advances directed at employees. Bear in mind that the act will only qualify as sexual harassment if the recipient finds it unwelcome.

According to most New York employment rights attorneys, sexual harassment occurs when:

  • The perpetrator’s conduct affects the victim’s job performance.
  • A promotion is made contingent upon sexual requests.
  • A person’s refusal to accept sexual requests is used against them.

Under state law, New York employers must provide written copies of sexual harassment prevention policies. Policies must include at a minimum:

  • Prohibit sexual harassment as per the Department of Labor
  • Provide examples of prohibited conduct
  • Include information on the remedies available to victims
  • Include a complaint form
  • Include the procedure for the investigation of complaints
  • Inform employees of their rights and responsibilities

However, when your employer fails to adequately protect employees against sexual harassment or does nothing to stop ongoing sexual harassment, you likely have a claim. The NY sexual harassment attorneys at Bantle & Levy will fight for your rights, ensuring a safe, harassment-free workplace for you and everyone else.

Breach of Contract

In New York, a breach of contract occurs when a party does not perform its contractually agreed-upon obligations. Disputes and litigation may occur when one party is involved in the contract:

  • Fails to provide
  • Fails to issue payment
  • Does not meet deadlines
  • Misinterprets the contract’s terms and conditions

Elements that signal a cause of action for breach of contract are the formation of a contract between plaintiff and defendant, performance by the plaintiff, defendant’s failure to perform, and the resulting damage.

A contract between an employer and employee is a legally binding document that establishes a formal agreement. In case any of its terms are broken, it is considered a breach. Let’s look at a few examples for better clarity.

  • An employer pays you a lower salary than what was promised.
  • An employer fires you without a good cause. Although New York is an at-will employment state, you can still sue your boss under certain circumstances.

In the case that your employer is in breach of your contract, you have to act quickly. And, the New York employment rights lawyers at Bantle & Levy can help you do just that. We’ll go over your contract and determine if the breach is valid. Next, we’ll work with you to build your case and claim your rightful losses. We won’t stop till you get what you deserve.

Employee Contracts

Employee contracts, also known as employment contracts or job contracts, are written documents that list the rights, terms, and responsibilities of employers and employees. Usually, they include:

  • The duration of the employment
  • The responsibilities of the employee
  • Employee benefits, if any
  • Medical and paid vacation policies
  • Reasons for termination
  • Non-competing and non-disclosure agreements
  • Ownership agreements
  • Assignment clauses
  • Conflict resolution processes
  • Commissions and bonuses
  • Stock options

Note that employment contracts are created by employers for potential workers. Hence, it’s reasonable to believe that it will contain terms that favor the employer’s interests. Before signing any employment contract, you should understand exactly what the contract means. This will help you protect your rights effectively. 

But we know that starting a new job can make you nervous and miss out on the details that can be detrimental to your future. Or, if you have entered a high-level position, you may wonder if you’ll be limited in your future career prospects should you decide to move on.

At Bantle & Levy, our employee rights lawyers in New York will negotiate, draft, and review employment contracts to ensure you earn what you are worth.

Non-Compete Agreement

A non-compete agreement is a contract where the employee agrees to refuse employment at rival companies after their term is over. The agreement restricts an employee’s prospects within their industry for as long as it is in effect.

At present, New York courts will enforce a non-compete agreement only if it seeks to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests. Contracts that inflict undue hardship, injure the public, or are unduly long are prohibited.

As executives and professionals, it’s no surprise that you may have to enter into non-compete and/or non-solicit agreements. Unfortunately, sometimes these non-compete agreements will restrict future business opportunities. 

Before signing on the dotted line, you need to negotiate the terms of your non-compete. This may include timelines of restricted employment opportunities, location, etc. This is a complicated process, but the New York employment rights attorneys at Bantle & Levy can help. For instance, we can help you spot some things that make a non-compete unenforceable, such as:

  • Broad terms that do not specify a timeframe, geographical area, or scope of work
  • Restrictions that keep you from making a living
  • Unrealistic expectations

 

Employee Discipline

Employee discipline can be a very confusing aspect of labor and employment law, especially as it varies by employment sector. There are specific rules and laws employers must follow when disciplining employees. Whether it is suspension, transfer, demotion, or even termination, the appropriate laws must be adhered to.

While each employer will differ, there are certain elements all effective discipline programs will recognize and adhere to as part of the employee discipline process.

Nonpayment of Wages

When you go to work each day, you expect to be paid for the work you do for your employer. You and your family depend on this income to get by, but what happens if your employer doesn’t pay you what you deserve? Withholding money that employees worked for is inexcusable and illegal, and if this has happened to you, something needs to be done.

Bantle & Levy will work hard if you have a nonpayment of wages claim to help you receive the compensation you’re owed.

Requests for Reasonable Accommodation

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides people with special needs the right to reasonable accommodations that help them do their jobs. Examples of these accommodations include:

  • Renovating existing facilities to ensure they’re usable by disabled employees
  • Restructuring job hours
  • Modifying examination and training programs 
  • Hiring readers and interpreters for non-verbal and non-hearing employees
  • Transferring an employee to a different location with a better medical care program

When you have a disability–even if it’s short-term, you have a legal right to request reasonable accommodation. However, when your employer isn’t working with you, you need a legal team who can negotiate your request.

Whether you have a mental or physical disability, long-term or short-term illness, should you need an accommodation to continue working, you have a right to request it.

If your employer denies your request without any valid reason, or if the employer does not disclose their reasons for denying the request, you can take several legal steps to appeal their decision. Bantle & Levy’s New York employment rights lawyers can analyze your case and recommend a suitable course of action.

Why Do You Need a New York Employee Rights Attorney?

Employment laws are complicated. Most of the time, employees don’t even realize that their rights are being violated. And, when they do, they’re unsure about how to navigate the situation. This is where a New York employment rights attorney can help.

There’s a clear power imbalance between you and your employer. After all, your boss will have more money and resources, and they’ll do everything they can to deny your allegations. 

In such a scenario, a competent employee rights attorney can step up and hold employers/insurance companies accountable for their actions. Because they know the ins and outs of the legal world, they’re the best people to consult about harassment claims and hostile environments. Plus, they understand the manipulative tactics big companies use against their employees and will ensure you don’t fall into a trap.

At Bantle & Levy, we’ve helped numerous clients claim their rightful compensation and overcome their hardships. If you need to consult an employee rights attorney, contact us today.

Employee Rights FAQs

  1.     What Type of Compensation am I Eligible For?

In most civil cases, a plaintiff can receive money as a settlement for incurred losses. This amount is known as compensatory damages, or compensation for short. To receive the compensation, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered damages due to the defendant’s faults. 

The type of compensation you can receive will vary based on the specifics of your case. A few types of compensatory damages include:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Medical treatments
  • Nursing home expenses
  • Property repair and replacement 
  • Increased living costs

So, if you were injured on the job because of your employer’s negligence, you can sue them to pay for your hospital visits and medical care. An employment rights attorney in New York will analyze your case and let you know what you can recover.

  1.     In What Cases Do I Need a NY Employee Rights Attorney?

Simply put, you need to contact a New York employee rights attorney anytime an employer’s actions threaten your well-being. Let’s look at some examples. 

  • You have faced harassment–sexual or otherwise–in the workplace
  • Your employer discriminates against you due to your race, gender, or age
  • You were wrongfully terminated
  • You were persecuted for exposing a superior’s wrongdoings
  • You were forced to sign an agreement that waives your rights
  • You did not receive the benefits you were promised before joining the company

Be sure to get in touch with an employment rights attorney as soon as you face a problem. Waiting for too long can hurt your case and prevent you from receiving your settlement.

  1.     How Do I Find the Right Employee Rights Attorney in New York?

Dealing with a hostile workplace is stressful. In times like these, you need an employee rights attorney to defend your rights and bring the lawbreakers to justice. Here’s how you can find the right attorney for your case.

  • Speak to your friends or other lawyers for referrals. Word-of-mouth is always a good start. Plus, you’ll get to know about the advocate’s strengths and weaknesses firsthand.
  • Check with local bar associations or legal aid clinics that connect lawyers with clients.

Or, you can contact Bantle & Levy, an experienced New York employee rights law firm. Our team of veteran lawyers handles employee rights cases daily, so you can trust our experience without worries. Call us to discuss your case today.

Quick facts about Employee Rights

Fact 1: Right to a Discrimination Free Workplace

A variety of federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws provide employees the right to a workplace from discriminatory bias and treatment. These laws give you the right to pursue a remedy if you are subject to an adverse employment action or a hostile work environment for a discriminatory reason. Whether an employer’s conduct is motivated by a discriminatory motive is fact-intensive inquiry that requires analyzing each unique set of circumstances pursuant to judicial interpretation of these laws.

Fact 2: Right to Be Free From Retaliation

Anti-discrimination laws make it unlawful for a company to subject you to an adverse employment in response to raising a good faith concern about discrimination in the workplace with your employer. However, how you raise your concern, including the words you use and who you bring it may be determinative of whether these laws apply to you. Accordingly, it may be wise to consult with counsel prior to raising your concerns to try to ensure your activity is protected under these statutes.

Fact 3: Right to Full and Fair Wages

The Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York State Labor Law provide rights and protections for New York employees aimed at ensuring that you are fully paid by your employer, including establishing minimum wages, overtime pay and protections against wage deductions for many employees. Both of these laws provide a variety of statutory remedies if the employer unlawfully withholds an employee’s pay or underpays an employee.

Blogs About Employee Rights

retaliation in the workplace

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You and your coworkers deserve a workplace where you feel safe, comfortable, and receive fair treatment. When you experience wrongdoings that can affect this, it’s important that you report it...

Bantle & Levy April 2022

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99 Park Avenue, Suite 1510
New York, 10016
(On Park Avenue between 39th Street and 40th Street)