FAQs

Whether you are an employee, a union leader, or the trustee of an employee benefits plan located in New York City, Long Island or in New York State our team of attorneys at Cary Kane know that you can have a wide variety of questions regarding federal pension, labor and employment laws as well as your rights under New York law.  For this reason we answer some of the questions we frequently receive regarding regarding employment law, workplace discrimination, labor-management relations, employee benefits plans, severance agreements, overtime wages, and more.

To get the answers you are seeking regarding your specific situation or for questions you do not see here, call (212) 868-6300.

Employment FAQs

How do I know if I should have been paid overtime?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the primary federal law regulating wages and hours in the private sector.  Because, believe it or not, most full time employees work more than 40 hours a week, it is important to know whether you are supposed to get paid overtime.  Typically, employees who are not considered an administrative, professional or executive employee are supposed to be paid overtime wages, which are paid at the rate of one and a half times their normal hourly salary, for any hours worked over 40 in a week. Many employees are misclassified by their employers as exempt employees and should be getting paid overtime.  The various tests for exemption can be quite technical.  So you should consult an attorney at Cary Kane by calling (212) 868-6300 if you think you should  be getting overtime.

Will I have to go to court to get the overtime I am owed?

Not necessarily. Whether or not you go to court will depend largely on how your employer or former employer reacts to a letter sent by counsel asking for payment. The employer may settle with you outside of court, allowing you to avoid taking the issue through the full legal process.

Regardless of whether you ultimately go to court or not, having the help of a skilled attorney from Cary Kane can be invaluable in making sure your rights are protected and your case is handled correctly.Call us at (212) 868-6300to discuss how we can help you.

What are the fees if I go into court to collect overtime wages?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), if you are forced to go into court the employer is required to pay for your attorneys fees as part of a judgement you obtain against the employer.  Cary Kane  frequently takes such cases on contingency which means you pay nothing unless we win the case in court or the employer agrees to settle your case.

How many weeks of FMLA leave can I get?

This depends on what reason you are taking the leave for. If you are taking the time off for any qualifying situation other than to take care of a military service member who is injured or ill, you can receive up to 12 weeks. You can also receive intermittent FMLA leave to go keep doctor’s appointments.  If you are caring for an injured or ill service member, you may receive up to 26 work weeks.

If you believe that your FMLA rights have been violated, call (212) 868-6300.  At Cary Kane our lawyers help people in New York City, Nassau and Westchester counties who have not received the FMLA leave that the law provides.

What is the minimum wage?

Currently the minimum wage under federal law is $7.25 per hour. However, in New York State the minimum wage is $8 per hour  and will rise on December 31, 2014 to $8.75 per hour, and on December 31, 2015 to $9 per hour.

If you live or work in New York City, our lawyers at Cary Kane believe you should consider fighting for fair treatment if you have not received at least the minimum wage for work you have done. Call us at (212) 868-6300 today to discuss your situation.

As an employee who works for tips, can you explain how the tip-credit works?

Under New York labor law, employer’s can pay less than the minimum wage provided that they are allowed to take a “tip-credit” reflecting the tips that the work receives.  The rules for tip-credit employees are complicated.  The first rule is that employers must give every worker their tips, although pooling of tips among employes receiving tips is allowed.  The second rule is that different industries and different occupations within certain industries have different tip-credits.  Under the Hospitality Industry Wage Order, food service workers have a $5.00 per hour minimum wage with a maximum hourly tip credit of $3.00 per hour for 2014, $3.75 an hour in 2015 and $4.00 per hour on or after 12/31/2015.  Service employees in restaurants have a $5.65 per hour minimum wage with a $2.35 tip credit for 2014, $3.10 in 2015 and $3.35 on or after 12/31/2015.  Other workers have different rules.  Food service workers are wait staff, bartenders, captains and busing personnel.  A service employee is an employee, other than a food service worker, who customarily receives tips at the rate of  at least $1.75 per hour in 2014, $1.90 in 2015 and $1.95 per hour on or after 12/31/2015.

There are strict regulations determining how tipped workers should be compensated and when their tips should count towards the minimum wage. Thus, if you live or work in New York City and think your employer is not properly paying you, our attorneys at Cary Kane might be able to help you collect what you are owed.  Call us at (212) 868-6300 to learn more.

What should I do if I think I have been wrongfully terminated?

Under federal law, companies are allowed to fire employees for reasons such as financial issues and poor job performance. However, companies cannot discriminate against employees in their firing practices. Employees are protected by federal law and cannot be fired for things such as their race, gender, age, religion, or disability. If you have been fired and believe that your employer terminated your employment due to discriminatory reasons, you may be able to take legal action. Legal counsel may be necessary to help you seek financial compensation and justice in your wrongful termination case. The lawyers at Cary Kane are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees. Call us today at (212) 868-6300 to speak with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer in New York.

What can I do if my employer refuses to give me my job back after maternity leave?

For women who take a leave of absence during their pregnancy, their jobs are protected under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). While your exact job is not guaranteed upon your return, you should be employed in a position of a similar nature. If your employer refuses to allow you to return to work, they are likely in violation of the FMLA. Companies cannot deny an employee her job because she took maternity. With the help of a lawyer, you may be able to take legal action against your employer in order to seek financial compensation. For the help you need if you feel like your rights under the FMLA have been violated, call Cary Kane today at (212) 868-6300.

What are severance packages?

Severance packages provide recently laid off employees with payment and benefits for a certain amount of time. Severance packages allow people time to search for other jobs without worrying about their finances for several weeks or months. However, when employees are offered a severance agreement, they should realize that they could be waiving some of their legal rights. If you have been laid off and would like to sign a severance agreement, the lawyers at Cary Kane can help protect your legal rights. Call us today at (212) 868-6300 to learn more.

 

Employment Discrimination FAQs

What are some signs of employment discrimination during the hiring process?

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces laws to protect citizens throughout the employment process. Under these laws, employers are not allowed to rely on certain information in making their hiring decision. This information usually comes from questions relating to certain classes of citizens that are protected by law. A common sign that discrimination might occur takes the form of questions relating to your marital status, race, religion, sexual preference, age, citizenship status, or disabilities. Employers are not allowed to make hiring decisions based on a potential employee’s answers to these questions. If you were asked any questions relating to the protected classes listed above, and you feel that you were discriminated against because of your answers, contact an employment attorney. The attorneys of Cary Kane can help you fight for the justice you deserve.

What is considered reasonable accommodation for disabled employees?

Reasonable accommodation is any adjustment that needs to be made so that a disabled employee has the same rights and privileges as abled employees. Accommodations must be made to allow a qualified disabled employee to perform job functions and tasks. Some common accommodations include making a building and office accessible for disabled individuals, modifying work schedules, modifying training programs, and supplying qualified interpreters. The limitations of the obligation occur when an accommodation would be significantly expensive or difficult for the employing company. If you are a disabled individual hired by an employer that is not willing to accommodate your needs, contact an employment discrimination attorney. The attorneys of  Cary Kane will do what it takes to get your rights recognized.

Are individuals suffering from alcoholism considered disabled under the ADA?

Yes. Those who struggle with alcoholism are considered disabled and protected by the ADA. If an alcoholic individual is qualified to perform the functions of a job, their rights in the job would be protected by the ADA and the employer may have to make accommodations. With that being said, employers have the right to prohibit intoxication or use of alcohol in the workplace. Additionally, employers may deny or discharge employment when the use of alcohol affects an individual’s ability to perform job functions. If you feel that you have not been accommodated adequately or treated unfairly due to your disability, contact an employment discrimination attorney of Cary Kane.


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