New York Employment Lawyer

Employees are a driving force for many businesses, but disputes sometimes arise between them and their employers. Hopefully, the problems are minor misunderstandings, but some issues can land employers in court or lead to appearances before a regulatory board.

If you manage employees, let a knowledgeable attorney at Sparks Law mediate disputes or defend you if you are accused of violations. A New York employment lawyer at our firm can also help prevent these issues down the line by reviewing your business practices and implementing proactive policies.

Preventing Employment Disputes

New York employers can catch problems before they worsen with the help of a skilled employment attorney, who could review disciplinary procedures, termination, record-keeping, and employee files. At Sparks Law, our legal team can help with the following services:

  • Counseling clients concerning wrongful discharge in advance of terminating employees
  • Providing clear employment agreements that offer details about both parties’ duties and grounds for termination, as well as creating airtight severance agreements
  • Drafting restrictive covenants
  • Providing a comprehensive employee handbook, so all employees know the rules
  • Developing best policies such as an electronic repository for all paperwork, a procedure for employees’ grievances, a company-wide employee manual, and internal controls to catch fraudulent activity

Common Employee Complaints in New York

Some issues commonly arise when employees seek restitution from employers. These include overtime pay, minimum wage disputes, wrongful termination, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Our local employment lawyers are experienced at mounting effective defenses for clients faced with employee complaints. We consider the ramifications of New York and federal law in each case.

Minimum Wage Violations in New York

Although the federal minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is $7.25 per hour, New York employers must pay the wages prescribed by the New York Department of Labor (DOL), which are higher. Through 2021, New York City employers must pay at least $15.00 per hour, $14.00 in Long Island and Westchester County, and $12.50 in the rest of New York State. Fast-food workers outside of New York City earn at least $14.50 through June 2021. Employees who work more than forty hours are entitled to time-and-a-half pay.

If an employer is accused of violating wage and hour laws, the New York DOL will review the case and potentially levy fines, back pay, interest, and even jail time. In some cases, the FLSA will review the alleged infraction. Our seasoned employment lawyers in the area can review work logs, fact-check employee statements, and thoroughly investigate these complaints to defend employers.

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Both New York and the federal government prohibit discrimination in the workplace. Under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), federal law says employers with at least one employee must pay men and women the same wage for similar work. In addition, businesses that employ 15 to 19 employees cannot discriminate against employees based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. Along with the above prohibitions, employers with a minimum of 20 employees cannot discriminate against people older than 40.

Employees are discriminated against when they are excluded or treated unfairly because of their difference. This can also include constructive discharge, in which an employer creates a toxic work environment to compel an employee to quit.

Sexual harassment typically involves unwanted sexual advances. However, inappropriate or offensive conduct could also constitute sexual harassment, such as an employee who recounts sexual escapades regularly in the workplace. Employers who face EEOC proceedings or civil lawsuits should reach out to our diligent employment lawyers to aggressively represent them.

Let a New York Employment Attorney Advocate for You

Disgruntled employees may resort to civil lawsuits or complaints with regulatory agencies, both state and federal. To avoid potential ramifications, employers should work with legal counsel to implement fair labor practices from the start.

A skilled New York employment lawyer at Sparks Law can review your current practices and provide practical tools to deal with disputes. We can also tenaciously defend you if an employment issue lands you in court or before a regulatory agency. Call for an appointment to discuss what we can do for you and your business.