New York Employment Lawyers
The employment law firm of Emre Polat Employment Attorneys, PLLC provides specialized and aggressive representation in all areas of employment law. The firm is committed to providing effective solutions to complex labor and employment matters. Our distinct litigation experience provides clients strategic guidance and representation in all workplace matters.
Discrimination State and federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of certain protected characteristics. The primary federal anti-discrimination law is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This law protects employees from being exposed to discrimination on the basis of their race, gender, religion, color, or national origin. In many cases, New York and New Jersey anti-discrimination laws provide greater protection to employees of smaller businesses. An experienced discrimination attorney at the Polat Law Group can give you guidance about which laws may provide a viable way to seek a remedy in a particular case.
Sexual Harassment One all-too-common type of workplace misconduct is sexual harassment. There are two types of sexual harassment. With quid pro quo harassment, an employer makes submitting to the misconduct, such as sexual advances, a condition of continued employment. With hostile work environment harassment, the sexual harassment is so pervasive or severe that it would cause a reasonable person to consider the workplace hostile or offensive. Sexual harassment in the workplace can come in all forms. A sexual harassment lawyer can help you pursue damages under Title VII, the New York Human Rights Law, New York City Human Rights Law, or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
Wrongful Termination Employment is generally considered at will, which means that you may be terminated or fired for no reason or any reason. However, the law protects you under certain conditions for which employers are not permitted to terminate you, such as on the basis of your membership in a protected category under federal, state, or city anti-discrimination laws, or if you have an employment contract with your employer stating that you may not be fired without just cause for a set period of time. The contract will outline reasons for which you may be fired, and if you are not fired for one of those reasons, you should consult a wrongful termination lawyer to determine whether you may have grounds to recover damages.
Retaliation A New York employment lawyer at Polat Law Group understands that employees may be concerned that their employer will punish them or terminate them if they complain or exercise their rights under anti-discrimination statutes or other laws that provide worker protection. Retaliation is far too common by employers but is strictly prohibited under many different laws, including anti-discrimination and whistleblower statutes. If you engaged in good faith in a protected activity, by making a complaint about discrimination, sexual harassment, or illegal misconduct, under one of these laws, such as by complaining of sexual harassment or reporting fraud, your employer is not permitted to retaliate against you. A retaliation lawyer may be able to help you recover damages in an anti-discrimination context, even if a court decides that what happened to you does not amount to discrimination.
Wage and Hour and Overtime Violations Federal and state laws provide minimum standards to which employers must adhere when paying employees. These include minimum wage as well as overtime provisions. In New York and New Jersey, which follows the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are required to pay employees covered by the minimum wage provision 1½ times their regular rate for overtime, which is time over 40 hours in one week.
FMLA The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides for unpaid leave for eligible employees of covered employers. To be eligible, you need to have worked for at least 12 months prior to taking the leave. Remember, your employer may not retaliate against you for taking FMLA leave.
Severance Agreements Often, employers offer severance packages only if an employee will sign a severance agreement waiving any right to sue on the basis of anti-discrimination or other laws. In some cases, an employee has a basis for a claim and might ultimately be better served by filing a charge or lawsuit than simply signing the severance agreement, taking what is offered, and losing their rights. The Polat Law Group advises employees on whether such a severance or separation agreement is fair, whether they should negotiate for more pay and whether they have a claim.
Non-Compete Agreements Many employers require employees to sign a non-compete agreement when they are hired. The rationale behind the agreement is that the employer does not want to spend money to train an employee who will take what they have learned directly to another employer or open up their own business after quitting. However, in most cases, courts will only enforce non-compete agreements that are narrowly drawn in terms of time period, geographic region, and other factors. We can advise you on your non-compete agreement and litigate on your behalf should it become necessary.
Consult a Dedicated Employment Lawyer in New York City or Beyond
If you are facing a dispute with your employer, you should be aware that your employer is probably receiving legal advice from a knowledgeable attorney. You should also be represented by an experienced New York employment attorney as well to make sure that your options are fully explored and your rights fully protected. The Polat Law Group serves workers throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in various counties in New Jersey. Call us at (212) 480-4500 or use our online form if you need a workplace harassment lawyer or assistance in bringing another type of employment claim.
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