Dedicated New York Lawyers Championing the Rights of All Workers
While workers in America have made great strides over the decades, many still face discrimination and other injustices in the workplace. Undocumented workers and those in unskilled or semi-skilled positions are especially vulnerable and often feel as if they have nowhere to turn. Professionals and executives may also experience on-the-job discrimination and harassment and may feel boxed-in by corporate culture and the fear of being labeled as trouble-makers for voicing their concerns. The law firm of Joseph & Kirschenbaum LLP has a long history of taking up the banner on behalf of New York workers in any line of work who have suffered on-the-job discrimination, harassment, retaliation and abusive and illegal wage and hour practices.
Our firm has demonstrated our strong commitment to workers who suffer injustice in the workplace by winning many of the largest cases in our arena. For example, we recently won a multi-million dollar settlement for an administrative assistant who experienced sexual harassment in her workplace. Such victories are why we are known as tough, zealous advocates not to be taken lightly by employers and the attorneys who defend them.
Harassment and discriminatory practices in the workplace
Promotion, hiring and the terms and conditions of employment should be based on an employee’s qualifications and hard work, not on the person's race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Likewise, people should be free to work without enduring harassment on the job. U.S., New York and New York City laws combine to protect these rights by prohibiting discrimination and harassment based on any of the following, among others:
- National origin
- Military service
- Genetic trait
- Age (if over 40)
- Familial status
- Domestic violence victim status
Employers may be held responsible for their own discriminatory practices as well as harassment perpetrated by their employees, supervisors or even customers, if they knew or should have known it was occurring and failed to take corrective action. This means that workers with concerns over offensive practices may have legal recourse they can utilize with the help of an experienced New York employment law attorney.
Wage and hour protection
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and various N.Y. and NYC wage and hour laws protect New York workers from exploitation in a variety of ways, including:
- Mandating the overtime premium—i.e., time-and-one-half—for all hours over 40 for most salaried and almost all hourly workers
- Prohibiting tip theft or misallocation of tips
- Mandating the minimum wage
- Prohibiting unpaid “off the clock” work and training
- Requiring that subcontracted workers on taxpayer-funded jobs receive the “prevailing wage” hourly rate, often a multiple of the non-union market rate
While these laws apply to most companies and most workers in New York City, victims often need a zealous legal advocate to compel employers to respect them. Violations are far from rare. In fact, in 2008 the U.S. Department of Labor estimated that as many as 70 percent of employers were currently in material violation of some portion of the FLSA. Under New York law, if your employer failed to follow these rules, you can collect what you should have been paid plus substantial penalties for up to six years after the violation.
Protection and compensation for whistleblowers
Various employee rights violations and other illegalities such as fraud on shareholders or fraud on the government continue for months or years unabated simply because workers are afraid to take action. Fortunately, federal and New York laws provide protection in many, although not all, cases of workers who protest unlawful conduct. Our attorneys can help you assert your rights if you suffered prohibited whistleblower retaliation or you have information about fraud entitling you to a share in the government’s recovery.
Consult a seasoned employment law attorney in New York City
Our team of employment law attorneys at Joseph & Kirschenbaum LLP built a strong reputation standing up for the rights of victimized workers in New York City and throughout the state. If you have faced discrimination or harassment on the job, been deprived of wages, or punished for reporting illegal conduct in the workplace, our lawyers may be able to help. Call us toll free at 1.866.348.7394 or contact us online to schedule a free intake consultation. Se habla español.