As an experienced Putnam County Employment Attorney, I am often asked about home care workers. The area of live-in or domestic caretakers in terms of employees who are hired by families to take care of elderly parents or things along those lines, is often a very big issue over how many hours the live-in worker actually works. Of course the person is onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are usually very lose rules in time record keeping, and it’s a very informal arrangement and the person, often times, is considered to be a member of the family. They dine with the family members, they might go shopping with the family members, and they help keep the house in order and things along those lines. Sometimes we also have situations where the live-in worker starts out working a certain number of hours per week or per day and that grows because the arrangement develops and evolves. Maybe someone needs additional care, or additional duties are given to the live-in worker. The live-in worker needs to be cognizant of whether they are actually receiving pay for the number of hours that they are working.
As an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer I regularly get asked about overtime pay. Sometimes employees find that they are in a position of employment where they signed up for a forty hour week, but they are actually required to work much more than that. Perhaps the employer wants them to work through lunch or stay late or come in earlier than they anticipated, maybe even carry work home or do work over the weekends. A lot of employees feel that they are being underpaid under those circumstances because they are not receiving ‘overtime’. The question of whether an employee is entitled to overtime pay is a very technical question, and it depends on the law and the state in which you live. In New York state, there is the New York state department labor law which provides that overtime can be paid to employees who work more than forty hours a week as long as the employee is not exempt from the overtime provisions in the law. Similarly under federal law, which also governs New York state employment, the fair labor standards act does contain many provisions which provide for exemptions to an employer having to pay overtime to someone working more than forty hours a week.
As an experienced White Plains Employment Attorney I am often asked about the Release of Claim form. Often times we receive calls from clients who have or potential clients who have actually filed lawsuits in court without the assistance of an attorney. We refer to those as pro say, they represent themselves, sometimes they find themselves in the midst of litigation and they don’t know what the next step should be, they don’t know how to handle a particular inquiry or even perhaps a settlement. Often times we get calls from these clients again in the midst of litigation and we have very little knowledge about what has happened thus far. What we need to do at that point is get fully familiar with the facts and circumstances of your case and what’s happened during the life of the case and where the case stands as is. When clients are faced with settlements in pro say actions, is when we receive a majority of these calls. The reason is they have forwarded a legal document, which is basically a contract between themselves and the party they are suing and that could involve an employer, supervisors, and individuals as well. The court usually provides that in order to receive some monetary payment or some form of remuneration in the form of a benefits continuation or whatever the benefits might involve. The employee is required to release all claims against the employer, not just claims that are brought in the actual litigation but all possible claims that the employee could have against the employer.
As an experienced White Plains Employment Attorney I am constantly asked about mediation with the EEOC. Often times the EEOC will be a great source of amicable resolution to an existing claim at the early stages of reconciliation. This benefits both sides in the sense that quick resolution is always the goal to the extent that you don’t have to drag through a three year proceeding. The EEOC, in my experience, is very effective at getting the parties to mediate. Lately, especially in the past years the EEOC has mediated more cases with my firm which have resulted in very positive outcomes for the clients on both the employees side and the employers side. With respect to employees, the desire to mediate often times is questioned and the issue always is of course "what is my case worth?"
As an experienced White Plains Employment Attorney, I am often asked by clients about social networking. Today a lot of employees have social media accounts, they often will post things on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter. This can impact their employer, and they don’t always recognize the ramifications of posting something like that. There is a common misconception that what you post and classify as private or for friends only is limited to that audience and it’s not the case. Once something is posted on social media it’s also almost irretrievable so even if there is some dispute of whether the post went up, there are measures that the employer can take and subsequent case to subpoena records or try and access information to try and prove the post was up. One of the things that employees have to be incongruous with is the fact what they say on their websites about this employer is often improperly perceived by the people who read it. That could be detrimental to the name and reputation of the employer. So on the one hand you have the employees rights to of course speak up about things that they are interested in, discussing either in the public or with friends. You have to balance that with the right of the employer to try to balance the integrity of its operations.