Phillips & Associates is committed to leveling the playing field for workers across the state of New York. If you believe you have a case, do not hesitate to contact our respected team of experienced labor and employment lawyers.

New York Labor Law Lawyers

  • Wage & Hour & Overtime Claims

    Minimum wage, overtime, and rest requirements in New York are set by several laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, an employee can be classified as either exempt or nonexempt. Exempt workers are typically salaried professionals. Most workers are nonexempt, however. Nonexempt workers are entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, and meal and rest breaks. In New York, for example, Labor Law Section 162 specifies the required meal periods for employees.

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  • Retaliation & Wrongful Termination

    Most anti-discrimination laws include provisions that prohibit retaliation for engaging in protected activities, such as assisting with a discrimination investigation, filing a charge with the EEOC, or suing your employer for harassment. Although most employment relationships are "at will," employers cannot fire or terminate employees in order to retaliate against them. When an employee is fired for engaging in a protected activity or for some other reason that violates public policy, they may have grounds to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit.

    A wrongful termination claim may exist in a limited range of circumstances. Employers cannot terminate an employee when doing so would violate public policy as set forth in federal, state, or local laws. For example, an employer is not permitted to lay off only its elderly workers. These workers would have a wrongful termination claim. Similarly, they cannot fire you because of your race — you would have cause to bring a wrongful termination claim. In some cases, an employment contract may require that your employer only fire you for good cause.

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  • EEOC Representation

    Central to the enforcement of federal discrimination laws, the EEOC investigates complaints brought by employees related to alleged violations of Title VII and similar laws. You must file a charge of discrimination with this agency within 180 days of the conduct on which your complaint is based. The EEOC first will try to resolve the dispute through an informal process known as conciliation. It also offers a mediation program that the employer and employee can use as an alternative to litigation if both agree to it. If conciliation and mediation prove unsuccessful, the EEOC can either bring a claim against the employer or provide the employee with notice of its decision not to pursue the case further and the employee’s right to sue. Often, the EEOC will not pursue a meritorious case because critical evidence has not yet been discovered. You should be aware that you still may have a strong case even if the agency did not sue your employer itself.

    Other areas in which the attorneys at Phillips & Associates, Attorneys at Law can assist you include representation before the New York Division of Human Rights, an agency similar to the EEOC, but at the state level.

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  • Arbitration

    Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, like mediation. Each side presents evidence and cross-examines witnesses, but an arbitrator, rather than a judge, will issue a ruling. Employers often include arbitration clauses in employment agreements. These clauses require employees to engage in the arbitration process prior to taking an employer to court. This process tends to favor the employer, and it may be wise to consult an attorney if you are concerned about this type of clause in your employment agreement.

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  • Division of Human Rights

    The New York State Human Rights Law is an anti-discrimination law that has a broader scope and covers more people than federal anti-discrimination laws do. It covers employees who work for employers with at least four employees. Unlike federal law, the state law is enforced by New York's Division of Human Rights. To sue under the state law, you need to file a complaint with the Division of Human Rights, which will review your claim and investigate it. The Division will decide whether there is probable cause to find that discrimination occurred. If it finds probable cause, there will be a hearing before an administrative judge. If it finds no probable cause, the complaint is dismissed but can be appealed.

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  • Failure to Pay Overtime

    The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides rules that an employer must follow with regard to overtime and wages. In New York, workers covered by overtime laws need to be paid one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for all of the hours that they work over 40 hours in a work week. A work week is a consecutive seven-day period. Many employers do not pay their workers the overtime pay that is owed to them, and others misclassify job titles, claiming the employee is exempt from overtime laws when they are not. You may want to consult with an attorney to understand your rights.

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  • Hostile Work Environment

    When managers, supervisors, or coworkers make discriminatory remarks or bully you based on a protected characteristic, it can create a hostile work environment. Characteristics protected under federal, state, or local laws include race, sex, gender, religion, disability, older age, sexual orientation, and national origin. In order to sue for a hostile work environment under federal law, the conduct must be severe or pervasive. Unless it is very severe, one instance of harassment is usually not enough to be considered sufficient to create a hostile work environment. However, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) provides broader protection to its employees. Any actions above a petty slight or trivial inconvenience may be actionable. It’s important to discuss the hostile work environment you are experiencing with an attorney to see if you have a claim. You do not have to be fired in order to have a claim for a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment, including sexual comments, requests for sexual favors, and unwanted touching and grouping are all examples of a hostile work environment. Additionally, racist comments, cartoons, and symbols can lead to a hostile work environment. Most of the time, the harassment comes from a person in power. This scares the employee even more, and many times, the victim is afraid to complain, for fear of retaliation.

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  • Severance Agreements

    Often, employers try to protect themselves when terminating an employee by presenting them with a severance or separation agreement. The agreement will usually include a provision that prevents the employee from bringing claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or wrongful termination. In some cases, employees do not understand that they have a choice about whether to sign the agreement. Sometimes, no severance is offered, and in some cases, the severance that is offered is a nominal sum that is not sufficient to compensate you for damages you may have suffered as a result of the employer's improper or discriminatory conduct. You should consult an attorney before signing an agreement.

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Why Choose Phillips & Associates?

  • Financial Backing - No Fees Paid Unless We Win
  • One of the Largest Plaintiff Law Firms Representing Employees
  • We Win - Over $150 Million in Client Settlements & Verdicts
  • The go-to Law Firm for High Profile Discrimination and Harassment Cases
  • A Legal Team Driven to Leveling the Playing Field Against Your Employer
  • Recognized As The Best of the Best in Employment Law

Get To Know Our Experienced Legal Team

Comprised of experienced attorneys at the top of their game, our legal team is dedicated to leveling the playing field on behalf of employees throughout the state of New York.

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  • Lawyers of Distinction
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  • Avvo Critics Choice Award 2014 - William K. Phillips
  • 10 Best 2017

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