What Can You Do About Wrongful Termination
If you are the victim of unlawful termination, federal and state laws protect your rights. You can file a wrongful discharge lawsuit to receive lost wages, lost benefits, and compensation for emotional distress.
Unlawful termination laws also protect from FMLA wrongful termination. A qualified wrongful termination lawyer can help.
In the New York City area, wrongful termination lawyer Charles Joseph offers free consultations to determine whether you can file an unlawful termination lawsuit.
Mandated Disability Benefits In New York
In New York, employers are required to provide disability benefits to partially replace lost wages due to off-the-job injuries or illness. These benefits should be in the form of weekly cash benefits.
Covered employers include any employer with at least one employee. However, that one employee must have worked for at least 30 days in any calendar year. After the 30th day, the employer becomes covered 4 weeks later.
An employer, if they choose to, may collect contributions from employees to offset the cost of providing disability benefits. However, this is not a common practice. Employers must also provide employees who have been disabled for more than 7 days with a Statement of Rights within 5 days of the employee notifying them of being disabled.
New York Payroll Deductions
The laws for payroll deductions in New York are relatively straightforward. Generally, employers are only able to deduct pay from an employees wage in the following instances:
- The deduction is related to the recovery of overpayment that is due to an employer error
- The employer is collecting money for repayment of advances
- The deduction is voluntarily authorized, in writing, by the employee
- Such deductions are limited to payments for:
- Insurance premiums
- Pension or health and welfare benefits
- Payments or dues to a labor organization
- Discounted parking or discounted passes that entitle the employee to use mass transit
There are relatively infinite other instances in which an employer is not allowed to deduct pay from an employee. However, there are some instances where employers commonly make the mistake of deducting pay, these include but are not limited to:
- The purchase of tools, equipment, and attire required for work
- Recouping of unauthorized expenses
- Repayment of employer losses, including for spoilage and breakage, cash shortages, and fines or penalties incurred by the employer through the conduct of the employee
- Fines or penalties for tardiness, excessive leave, misconduct, or quitting without notice
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Is A Wrongful Termination Settlement Taxable
Yes, employees must pay taxes on parts of wrongful firing settlements. This includes compensatory damages, punitive damages, and lost wages.
Any settlement amounts for back pay, lost wages, and future pay may also be subject to tax withholdings and payroll taxes.
However, some parts of the settlement are not subject to tax. Consult an attorney for additional wrongful termination legal advice.
New York State Human Rights Law
In order to prevent privileges of employment, under the New York State Human Rights Law, employment discrimination is illegal when it comes to certain suspect classes. Not all forms of discrimination are illegal, however. Only certain forms, called suspect classes, are illegal. These include age, creed, color, racial discrimination in New York, national origin discrimination, sexuality, gender, and religion.
New York and the federal government both prohibit the above discrimination both in the public and private sectors.
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Age 29 Health Coverage Continuation
In addition to the COBRA law, US citizens aged 29 or less can apply for the so-called Age 29 extension, which allows them to extend their health coverage under a parents policy by applying for the make available and young adult option.
Namely, young adults can use their parents policies if the parents or guardians decide to pay the premium fees and add them to their plan.
They can be a part of the make available option until they reach the age of 26 then they have to switch to the young adult option up until the age of 29.
New York State Sick Leave
Otherwise referred to as New York State Paid Sick and Safe Leave, New York States sick leave law is just one of three different sick leave laws in the state, with the other two being specific for New York City and Westchester County.
Employers in New York State are required to provide all employees in the state, regardless of industry, occupation, class, etc., with 40 to 56 hours of paid or unpaid leave each year depending on the size and income of their business. They must also reinstate employees to their former position, pay, and terms of employment following the conclusion of leave.
Any paid sick leave is compensated at the regular rate of pay for the employee. Employers may not take a tip allowance as a credit against minimum wage for leave time. Employers also are not required to payout employees for any unused sick time.
Employers with policies that meet or exceed the requirements of the sick leave law are not required to provide employees with additional leave.
New York Sick Leave Eligibility
Employers with less than five employees and an annual income of $1 million or less are required to provide a minimum of 40 unpaid hours of leave annually. Any employer of this size with an annual income of over $1 million is required to provide a minimum of 40 paid hours of leave annually.
When calculating the number of employees, employers must use the highest employee count at any point in the given year. Income should be pulled from the previous tax year.
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New York Whistleblower Laws
Under New York Whistleblower Laws, New York does protect employees in a broad range of industries, including health care. There are whistleblower laws that protect healthcare workers who report deficient patient care. The most common type of whistleblowing cases involve a providers submission of fraudulent claims for reimbursement to government healthcare programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare.
Under New York Whistleblower Laws, an employer is not supposed to take any retaliatory action against you for engaging in lawful whistleblowing. Such lawful whistleblowing steps include:
The statute of limitations for a whistleblower claim is one year and employees who successfully prove that they were retaliated against can recover back pay however, they cannot recover compensatory or punitive damages
New York Workplace Health & Safety Laws
In addition to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act , employers need to also be aware of the New York State Division of Safety and Health Standards. Generally, employers are obligated to:
- Provide their employees with a safe workplace
- Follow all relevant safety and health standards
- Find and correct safety and health problems in the workplace
- Inform employees about workplace hazards
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A Fair Day’s Pay For A Fair Day’s Work
The Division of Labor Standards protects all workers, including those that are undocumented or paid off the books, and ensures employers are following Labor Laws. Our goal is to ensure that all New York workers are being paid the proper wages, do not have their right to a meal period or day of rest violated, and to uphold New York State Labor Laws.
We enforce the State Labor Laws for minimum wage, hours of work, employment of minors, payment of wages, farm labor, nursing mothers in the workplace, and more. We can issue fines and penalties, as well as investigate complaints regarding Labor Law violations.
All workers are entitled to fair wages and are protected by Labor Laws. The Division of Labor Standards is here to protect you.
National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation Vs The National Right To Work Committee
The National Right to Work Committee and National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation are separate legal organizations with complementary agendas. Established in 1995, the National Right to Work Committee is a national organization dedicated to the public education and eradication of coerced unionism through lobbying in Congress and the state legislatures. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation works solely through the courts, assisting employees with human rights or civil rights claims of abuses by employers, employees, and union member acts of compulsory unionism.
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How Compulsory Unionism Affects Government Policy
In government policy, the Tax-and-Spend rules of the U.S. Congress are granted coercive powers to collect a proximate $4.5 billion in compulsory dues per year. Much of those monies are channeled into unrestricted campaign activities associated with the control and the election of congressional majorities who are in turn, committed to increasing taxes, as well as government spending.
New York Leave Requirements
According to the FLSA propositions, most employers in the entire US are not required to pay for the time not worked. On the other hand, all employers are aware of the importance of providing paid time off to their employees.
Still, whether paid or unpaid, the leave requirements in the state of New York can be classified into:
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Health Insurance Continuation In New York
In addition to the federal COBRA laws continued health coverage for businesses with 20 or more employees the state of New York offers a health plan for smaller businesses for a limited amount of time after losing the federal coverage.
Namely, the qualifying events that make an employee and their dependables eligible for New York COBRA plan include:
- Voluntary or involuntary job loss,
- Transition between jobs,
- Other life-changing events.
Depending on the qualifying event, an employee that is covered by the New York COBRA program can extend their health coverage up to 36 months.
An Employers Guide To New York States New Lawful Absence Law
On November 21, 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Bill A8092B , which amends Section 215 of the New York Labor Law , to prohibit employers from disciplining employees who take legally protected time off from work. The amendments to Section 215 of the NYLL expressly prohibit employers from assessing any demerit, occurrence, or any other point, or deductions from an allotted bank of time, which subjects or could subject an employee to disciplinary action for the use of any legally protected absence under federal, local, or state law.1 In brief, employers cannot threaten, penalize, discipline, fire, or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against employees for their use of lawful absences. Additionally, employers cannot maintain no fault attendance policies and absence control procedures, which may penalize workers for their use of legally protected absences. The amendments to Section 215 of the NYLL take effect on February 19, 2023.
No Fault Attendance Policies and Absence Control Practices and Procedures
What Constitutes a Legally Protected Absence?
Violations of Section 215 of the NYLL
Guidance for Employers
- Updating all leave policies that run afoul of the amended law
- Communicating the updated policies to all employees and
- Training supervisors, managers, and Human Resources personnel on the lawful absence law.
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What Is The Compensation For Wrongful Termination
In an unlawful termination lawsuit, employees can ask for lost wages, lost benefits, and emotional distress.
Many companies choose to settle unlawful termination cases out of court.
Wrongful termination settlement amounts cover a wide range contact a wrongful termination lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.
Additional Laws That May Apply To You
The frequency with which employers must pay their employees depends on the type of work, as follows:
At least semimonthly on regular paydays the employer chooses in advance for clerical and other workersAt least weekly for manual workers, with certain exceptions for railroad workers, except for executive employeesAt least monthly for commissioned salespeopleAt any agreed-upon interval for bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees who are properly classified as exempt.
Employers must provide the following information with an employees wages: Beginning and end dates of the pay period The employees name The employers name The employers address and phone number Their rate of pay The basis of pay Gross wages Itemized deductions Allowances claimed as part of the minimum wage Net wages.
Nonexempt employees must also receive the following information: The regular hourly rate The overtime rate The number of regular hours worked The number of overtime hours worked, If piece rates are used, the number of pieces completed at each rate.
Railroad workers must also receive the following information: Accrued total earnings Accrued total taxes Daily wages How the employees wages were computed.
Employers who run background checks should ensure theyre following the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which are available here.
New York City will prohibit pre-employment testing for marijuana, with some exceptions, beginning May 10, 2020.
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Termination Laws In New York
Many US states classify themselves as employment-at-will states meaning that employers in the said state can terminate an employees contract of employment without any reason, the only exception being an illegal reason.
In the same manner, New York employers abide by the employment-at-will doctrine and can fire an employee for any reason, if the reason is within legal boundaries.
However, some employees operate under protected contracts contracts that protect them from any type of termination that doesnt require a cause. This is usually the case with union contracts.
Furthermore, termination of a contract can be wrongful in the case of:
Nyc Paid Safe And Sick Leave Law
Effective September 30, 2020, under the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, employers must allow employees to use safe and sick leave as it is accrued so that they are entitled to paid leave. This means that they may list on their pay stubs the amounts of accrued and used leave and the total balance of accrued leave.
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Is New York A Right To Work State
Founding Member of Moshes Law, P.C.
When it comes to New York state labor laws, New York is very serious about its citizens who work in the state of New York. Compared to other states around the country, New York is a leader when it comes to employment rights. Accordingly, there are a number of employment laws that protect its residents as a condition of employment work law. In its pursuit to support employees and union workers, one law that New York does not abide by is the right to work. The right-to-work law, which is also known as the Workplace Freedom or Workplace Choice law, grants workers the right to choose whether or not theyd like to join a union in their workplace.
Your Rights: Pay For Work Done As An Independent Contractor
- All contracts worth $800 or more must be in writing. This includes all agreements between you and the hiring party that total $800 in any 120-day period. The written contract must spell out the work you will perform the pay for the work and the date you get paid. You and the hiring party must keep a copy of the written contract.
- Timely PaymentThe hiring party must pay you for all completed work. You must receive payment on or before the date that is in the contract. If the contract does not include a payment date, the hiring party must pay you within 30 days after you complete the work.
- Right to SueYou can sue the hiring party in court to seek damages. If you are not timely paid for your work, you have a right to collect double the amount you werent paid, damages for retaliation, and payment of attorneys fees and costs.
- Visit nyc.gov/dca
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Protected Classes In New York
Employers may not an adverse employment action against an employee as a result of a characteristic or membership of a protected class. Protected classes in New York include groups based on the following characteristics:
- Sexual orientation
- Status as a domestic violence victim
Important to note is that state law also prohibits discrimination based on an employee or dependent’s reproductive health decisions. Employee handbooks need to include an employees right to this protection.
New York employers also need to be aware of special considerations for Religious discrimination, racial discrimination, arrests and convictions, military members, discrimination due to immigration status, and drug and alcohol testing.
New York Is A Union State
Governor Cuomo is well aware of the meaning of Janus to the working people of New York. The very day Janus came down, he said: The Janus decision was advanced by billionaires and extreme conservatives who want to destroy the labor movement, and now those same forces are shamelessly trying to intimidate public employees into leaving unions. In New York, we say no way, no how to union busting. New York is a union state, and as long as I am governor of the State of New York, we will do everything in our power to protect union members and ensure the labor movement continues to deliver on the promise of the American Dream.
He started months before Janus came down, spearheading a successful effort in the NYS Legislature that was passed. Dubbed Part RRR, it is part of the Budget Bill and relates to union dues and the duty of fair representation. It serves to blunt Janus.
Specifically, Part RRR requires public employers to:
We thank Governor Cuomo for making New York the first state to issue an Executive Order to protect public sector union members from harassment and to prohibit disclosure of personal information for all public sector employees.
No denying, Janus will have profound implications in the U.S.not just for the 6.8 million state and local government workers covered by a union contract, but all 17.3 million state and local public workers and, indeed, for every working person throughout the country.
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