Welcome to the New York Employment Law Firm of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. We have offices in New York City, and serve clients in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, and Westchester. For over fifteen years, our lawyers have provided legal representation and advice to individuals and their families in New York involved in sexual harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination cases. This is a firm dedicated to providing the finest legal representation to the injured public throughout New York.
We provide expert and individualized service for your specific employment law needs. The cornerstone of our success is the quality relationship, which we maintain with our clients and/or their families. Our New York Law Firm focuses on intelligent legal representation and pledge to listen to and communicate with clients. As New York Lawyers, we treat our Clients with integrity and respect for their needs, goals and objectives.
- Sexual Discrimination
- Discrimination based on Race Color, Religion and/or National Origin
- Age Discrimination
- Wrongful Termination
- Legal Remedies
- Workplace Injuries and Worker’s Compensation Claims
- Disability Benefit Denials
Federal law prohibits employment discrimination because of race, color, national origin, legal alienage, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, disability and union activity. Employment Discrimination laws generally protect not only present employees, but also former employees and some people, like applicants for jobs, who never have been employees. Most state laws protect workers on the same grounds as federal law. Several state laws and some local laws also protect against discrimination because of marital status, sexual orientation or preference.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
- The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
- The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
- The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
- Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
- The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.
- It is helpful for the victim to directly inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available.
- Discrimination based on Race, Color, Religion and/or National Origin
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of race and color as well as national origin, sex, or religion.
It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of his/her race, color, religion and/or national origin in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment. No one can be denied equal employment opportunity because of birthplace, ancestry, culture, or linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group. Equal employment opportunity cannot be denied because of marriage or association with persons of a national origin group; membership or association with specific ethnic promotion groups; attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples or mosques generally associated with a national origin group; or a surname associated with a national origin group. Title VII prohibits employment decisions based on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals of certain racial groups. Title VII also prohibits both intentional discrimination and neutral job policies that disproportionately exclude minorities and that are not job related.
Harassment on the basis of race, color and/or national origin violates Title VII. Ethnic slurs, racial “jokes,” offensive or derogatory comments, or other verbal or physical conduct based on an individual’s race, color, religion and/or national origin constitutes unlawful harassment if the conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment, or interferes with the individual’s work performance or employment opportunities.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA’s protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment — including, but not limited to, hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.
It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on age or for filing an age discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADEA.
The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.
When an employee is discharged, the first question is whether the employee is protected by a job security system, such as civil service, a collective bargaining agreement, academic tenure, or other promise of job security made by the employer. If the employee has job security, the employer must have good cause for discharge.
Even if the employee is at-will and does not have job security, workers are still protected from termination for illegal reasons. There are many federal and state laws that make reasons for adverse employment action illegal. Discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability are all examples of illegal reasons for discharge that can be challenged.
The remedies for discrimination include what the law calls equitable as well as legal remedies. Equitable remedies include:
- Lost back pay and future pay
– an order that the employee be reinstated
– an order to the employer to stop discriminating.
- The federal statutes prohibiting discrimination now provide for a jury trial for claims of intentional discrimination and also provide legal remedies to compensate for the pain and suffering the victims of discrimination have suffered and punitive damages to punish particularly egregious discriminators. Compensatory and punitive damages are subject to caps depending on the size of the employer. While the victims of age discrimination cannot get punitive damages, the ADEA does provide for double damages when the employer’s action is found to be willful.
Employees treated in a completely outrageous way by their employers may be able to bring personal injury actions against the employer for the intentional infliction of mental distress.
Workplace Injuries and Worker’s Compensation Claims
The Workers’ Compensation Act provides mandated insurance coverage to workers who are injured on the job.
The benefits under Workers’ Comp can include weekly payments based on a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage for temporary total disability, partial disability, permanent and total disability and permanent loss of function and disfigurement. Workers’ Comp also covers medical expenses for treatment that is reasonable, necessary and related to the industrial injury and vocational rehabilitation services.
Sadly, Workers’ Compensation may be insufficient compensation especially in the case of very serious and long term personal injuries. In these cases it is necessary to look for a third party including manufacturer of the product that caused the injury, lack of safety devices or some other party who is at fault. Our lawyers can help locate third parties as well as handling the Workers’ Comp benefits to which you may be entitled.
Workers compensation (or workers comp) provides compensation, without litigation, for workers injured or disabled on the job. Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job. The Workers’ Compensation Board is a state agency that processes the claims and determines, through a judicial proceeding, whether a worker will receive benefits and/or medical care, and how much he/she will receive. However, as many injured workers can tell you, workers compensation benefits are not always enough.
Typical New York on the job injuries include:
- Falls from ladders and scaffolds
- Machinery that is defective in
- Toxic chemical injuries
- Product liability
- Lead poisoning
- Construction Accidents
- Head injuries
- Death or dismemberment
An attorney’s assistance may be desirable if the issues are complicated. If a lawsuit is necessary to get you the benefits that you deserve, you can also win damages for pain and suffering as well as lost wages. If a loved one died as a result of negligence, the employer can also be sued for wrongful death, which will provide directly for the dependents of the victim. The statue of limitations is short and the paperwork is complicated. Call the New York workplace injury attorney Leandros Vrionedes.
Disability Benefit Denials
Disability Income policies are drafted with ambiguous and confusing contractual terms. This provides insurance companies with multiple reasons for delaying and denying disability income benefits. Given the complexity of the legal issues involved and the tendency of insurance companies to vigorously defend claim denials, evaluation of any potential legal claim on behalf of an insured should be handled by a disability attorney or law firm experienced in insurance claims and bad faith litigation.
If an insurance company has denied a claim and upheld the denial through internal appeal and grievance procedures, the insured can sue on a number of legal theories. The theories include breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (bad faith) and under some circumstances infliction of emotional distress and fraud.
The two primary legal remedies available in most cases are breach of contract to recover the value of the denied benefit or service and any incidental damages and bad faith. Bad faith is the unreasonable denial of a benefit and may allow recovery for emotional distress, interest on out-of-pocket losses, damages for any attorney fee obligations incurred and, in limited circumstances involving malicious or willful misconduct, punitive and exemplary damages. These legal remedies are ones that are available under state law, not federal law. In addition, especially with regard to the tort remedies of bad faith, infliction of emotional distress and fraud, the availability of the remedy and the nature and extent of damages recoverable vary from state to state.
All insurance policies contain an implied obligation applicable to the insurance company of “good faith and fair dealing” towards its insured. When a claim is presented, this implied obligation means that an insurance company cannot simply look for reasons not to pay. Instead, the company must make a thorough investigation of the claim, must consider all reasons and circumstances that might support the claim, and must give as much consideration to the financial interest of the insured as it gives to its own financial interest.
If an insurance company refuses to pay a claim that should be paid or offers to settle a claim for less than it knows the claim is worth or denies a claim without adequate investigation, this could give rise to a so-called bad faith claim against the insurance company, i.e., a claim that the company has breached its implied obligation of good faith and fair dealing. If the company is found to have acted in bad faith in its handling of a claim, the insured is entitled to all damages resulting from that action, including certain types of damages that would not be available just for breach of contract. In cases of extreme or outrageous misconduct by an insurance company, the insured also may be entitled to receive punitive damages.