We have had clients in White Plains, NY come to us who have had claims made against them in the work place. For example, against some sort of sexual harassment, some sort of inappropriate touching and the question then becomes what happens now and do I need a lawyer, when I’m answering my bosses questions or the Human resources questions? My answer to that is you may need a lawyer but you may not be entitled to a lawyer, it depends on who the employer is, in some settings. For example, in municipal settings where there are union contracts or there are provisions of state laws that cover the situation, the employee may be entitled to have a lawyer present at what we call a disciplinary interview. In the private setting the employee typically has no right to have an attorney present when being interviewed and our experience is that the request for the presence of an attorney is usually met with an affirmative,’ No’. I will also add that failure to answer and employers questions concerning a complaint may be deemed to be insubordination and could give rise to some disciplinary action including termination, the only caveat I’m going to add to that is that when the allegations of the complaint could involve some sort of criminal charge. For instances, a sexual assault, there are fifth amendment applications in other words implications would be admitting things that you don’t have to be admitting. That’s when the bells should go off that those questions even if you are charged with insubordination should not be answered.
Employees in the work place in White Plains, New York are often afraid to make a complaint of discrimination to their bosses for fear of retaliation and they should know that taking adverse employment action against an employee because that employee made a good faith complaint of discrimination in the work place. By law an act of discrimination and retaliation is a very strong and often a very clean claim to make against an employer, especially after hearing an employee talk about hostile work environments or discrimination on the job in White Plains, NY.
People have told us that they are pregnant and during their pregnancy at the office, they weren't being treated right, they were being treated differently then normal. The boss was on her case and because of this the employee was feeling that she should not return to work after the delivery. Failing to return to work severely limits your options, it’s your choice and once you have made that choice you have very little recourse in the courts or in the administrative agencies.
At the office of Gould & Berg in White Plains, NY, people come and tell us that they are being harassed on the job by a fellow employee and the question that is asked is if I can take action against the employer and can I also take action against the employee. We ask a series of questions when someone reports this to us including who is the employee? Is this employee at a higher level in the company or this person just in the next cubicle from you? We also ask how many employees your employer has because again in state law, an employer can be sued with four or more employees under federal law we need fifteen employees. The employer can be sued if there is a report of harassment and the employer takes no action to stop it. I might add that the action to stop the harassment doesn't need to be a termination of the harasser; it can be merely speaking to the harasser or writing the harasser up taking other forms of discipline as long as the harassment stops. In some instances where there is a high level employee who is doing the harassment there is the ability to proceed against the individual as an aster and better particularly under New York state law but those instances frankly are rare and what you are really going to be looking at absent is sexual assault by the individual is proceeding is proceeding against the employer.