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Photographer.Dollar.Photo.Club.2.24.16.jpgThe New York Post used the photojournalistic services of Catherine Nance for approximately five years. When the newspaper no longer needed her services, Ms. Nance filed for unemployment insurance benefits and that’s when a Pandora’s Box was opened for the NY Post. The Department of Labor initially determined that Ms. Nance was eligible for unemployment insurance benefits because she was misclassified as an independent contractor and was, indeed, an employee. The New York Post was found to be liable for unemployment insurance contributions for Ms. Nance and all other similarly situated employees. The Appeal Board agreed with this determination and the New York Post appealed to the courts – Third Department Appellate Division. This blog post generally discusses the reasons why Ms. Nance was determined to be an employee and offers some lessons for companies who use contractors.
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Tutor.Dollar.Photo.Club.2.23.16.jpgIn an Appeal Board decision, certain tutors for The Learning Shop, Inc. (the “Company”) were found to be employees and not independent contractors. As a result, the Company was liable for unemployment insurance related tax contributions for years covering the audit period. Each misclassification case depends on the facts and the nature of the parties’ working relationship. This blog post generally discusses the Learning Shop decision issued in 2013 but the lessons can be valuable for other industries.
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Defense.Puzzle.Dollar.Photo.Club.1.24.16.jpgOur Award Winning New York Wage and Hour Attorney has talked extensively on requirements and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and has been asked to comment on a recent case that was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). Here’s a tip: Don’t steal from your employees. Sounds simple doesn’t it.

PEREZ v. SOPHIA’S KALAMAZOO, LLC

Based on press reports, an investigation was conducted by the DOL and it was discovered that the restaurant was requiring its wait staff to pay it, the employer, in order to continue to working. The investigation also reportedly revealed that the employer took retaliatory action against an employee that brought the issue to the attention of the DOL.
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Investigation.Magnifying.Glass.2.16.16.jpgOur Award Winning New York Department of Labor Defense Attorney has discussed frauds allegedly perpetuated by employers. For example, we have discussed the issues and consequences of paying employees off the books and misclassification of workers. Both of these deprive New York State of payroll-related taxes. This blog post will discuss a third type of fraud – SUTA (State Unemployment Tax Act) Dumping. On August 2, 2005, Governor Pataki enacted legislation to mirror the federal SUTA Dumping Prevention Act of 2004.

As you can see, it is a relatively new law. It may be investigated by the Department of Labor. It can be investigated by other agencies but this blog post focuses on enforcement under New York Law and by the NYS Department of Labor. It occurs when a business intentionally manipulates its unemployment insurance contribution rate. An employer’s unemployment insurance tax rate and liability to New York State is partially based on the number of unemployment insurance claims against it; if the employer transfers all of its employees to a new company with no history of claims it will obtain a lower rate and save substantially on its tax obligations.
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Resignation.Dollar.Photo.Club.2.15.16.jpgOur Award-Winning New York Employment Lawyer has been asked to discuss the following question — what is the standard for constructive discharge under the city law. Constructive discharge claims can be difficult to prove. In general, a constructive discharge claim requires two separate events (i) employer engages in prohibited conduct; and (ii) and the employee resigns from his or her job. Under this theory, an employer cannot simply evade liability of the underlying discriminatory or harassing conduct simply because the employee resigned. This blog post discusses the standard under NYC Human Rights Law, which carries a lower burden for employees than federal law.
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Sex.Harassment.Angry.Man.Woman.Dollar.Photo.Club.1.17.16.jog.jpgOur Award Winning New York Hostile Work Environment Attorney repeatedly has discussed the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, sexual harassment remains a serious problem in workplaces today. Below is a recent case that discusses a hostile work environment and constructive termination. This case involves unlawful verbal and physical conduct.

A strongly worded decision recently issued by the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“NYCCHR”), the case involved allegations that the sole owner of the company, Jerry Fund, had subjected his former office manager, Ms. Cardenas, to a hostile work environment and then constructively terminated her employment because of her gender.
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Retaliation.Dollar.Photo.Club.2.4.16.jpgHandling an employee’s complaint, such as a claim of discrimination, FMLA violation, OSHA claim, or other employment-related issue, can be tricky enough. But the problem can rapidly go from manageable to bad (or bad to much worse) if retaliation comes into play. Our Award Winning New York Employment Law Attorney has extensively advised and counseled a multitude of businesses, large and small, on preventing and handling claims of unlawful retaliation. Taking timely, necessary and proper steps, such as contacting an experienced attorney, can make all the difference in how a claim may impact your business.


Some Quick Statistics

Federal data shows that, in 2014, of the top 10 employment discrimination claims, workplace bias charges alleging retaliation topped the list with 38,000 complaints (nearly 43% of all complaints nationally filed with the EEOC that year), nearly double the number of claims from 1998. In New York, nearly 40% of all complaints filed with the EEOC in 2014 included an allegation of retaliation. Unfortunately, retaliation is a widespread problem in our workplaces.
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Audit.Rip.Through.Newspaper.Dollar.Photo.Club.9.11.15.jpgHave you received a Notice of Audit or Investigation from the Department of Labor? If so, this is a serious notice. The worst thing you can do is to ignore the notice because the Department may take action without any input from you. Typically, the notice requests that you schedule a time to meet with an investigator and produce certain books and records. If you are not prepared by that date, the audit can lead to substantial penalties and additional governmental investigations. Since this is a legal inquiry, it is best to obtain an experienced employment law attorney to guide you through this process. Our Award Winning New York Employment Lawyer successfully has represented companies who are being audited by the Dept of Labor.
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I Was Misclassified by New York State and Denied Retirement Benefits

Freelancer.Image.Dollar.Photo.Club.3.9.15.jpgIn recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors. A misclassified worker can lose rights to overtime pay and participation in employee benefits, including service in the retirement system. The effects of misclassification can be significant to employers and workers. This blog post discusses the one major effect suffered by misclassified New York State workers – denial of the right to participate in the state’s retirement plan. This loss of retirement benefits can be substantial for long-term public workers. Our Award Winning New York Employment Law Attorney has advised workers and companies on misclassification issues and can help you. Contact our office to learn your options and rights.
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Sexual Harassment Victim Wins $7.3M in Bikram Yoga Case & Examples of Hostile Work Environment and Quid Pro Quo Conduct

yoga.Dollar.Photo.1.26.16.jpgAs our Award Winning New York Employment Law Attorney has discussed before, there are two different forms of sexual harassment: Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment (“QPQ”) and hostile work environment (“HWE”). In some egregious cases, the two types of cases can overlap. This blog post discusses a recent case.

Minakshi Jafa-Bodden v. Bikram Choudhury et al.

Ms. Jafa-Bodden, an attorney, filed a lawsuit alleging that, over the course of her employment with international yoga guru Bikram Choudhury, she was subjected to a multitude of employment violations by Choudhury including sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and, ultimately, wrongful termination. 

Choudhury, the founder of a global yoga empire who championed the practice of hot room yoga, denied the allegations which included:
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