If you are unemployed, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. When you open a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, the New York State Department of Labor makes an initial determination about your eligibility based on various criteria. Your former employer can protest your eligibility to receive unemployment insurance benefits. If you receive a notice of determination from the New York State Department of Labor saying that you are ineligible for benefits, you can request a hearing. If the Department of Labor’s initial determination is that you are eligible for benefits, your employer can request a hearing.
Federal, state, and local laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. New York State law also covers sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, and domestic violence victim status. New York City law provides additional rights to employees in New York City, covering marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage or citizenship status, and unemployment status.
The law requires employers to pay most employees at least the minimum wage ($8.75 per hour in New York, as of December 31, 2014) and overtime wages at the rate of one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Some categories of employees are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements.
Employment contracts and severance agreements are important documents that can affect your rights and obligations during your employment and after it ends. Korder Law can not only help you understand an employment contract or severance agreement, but in some cases, may be able to negotiate an employment contract or severance agreement on your behalf. If you want an attorney to review an employment contract or severance agreement or represent you in negotiations with your former, current, or prospective employer, contact Korder Law now to schedule a consultation.
In New York, most employees are "employees-at-will." If you are an "employee-at-will," your employer can terminate your employment for any reason (good or bad) or no reason (but not an unlawful reason, such as discrimination, harassment, or retaliation).
Misclassification as an independent contractor can affect your rights to wages (including overtime wages) and benefits, your eligibility to receive unemployment insurance benefits, the amount of taxes you owe, and other rights and obligations.
If you are a union member, your collective bargaining agreement may give you additional rights that are not available to all employees under the law. When disputes arise under a collective bargaining agreement, they are generally resolved through the grievance and arbitration process, rather than litigation. Some unions require their members to be represented by the union's attorneys during the grievance and arbitration process, while others allow their members to retain their own attorneys.