Working in New York City is a dream come true for many. It’s the epicenter of finance, healthcare, technology, and retail, with many work opportunities for young professionals. Most companies in the ‘Big Apple’ offer attractive benefits and good work environments. Employees also get paid 16% more than any other city in the US and become part of an inclusive workforce.
Besides these workplace perks, you can also enjoy the sights, sounds, and fast-paced life in a city that never sleeps.
But getting a job in NYC has its downsides. The lengthy commute and the high cost of living can have you living on a tight budget most days. You might even wonder if you’ll be able to hold and build a career.
After all, your employment is on an at-will arrangement, meaning your boss can fire you anytime and for any number of reasons.
Besides, your co-workers may not even be all nice and may give you a tough time at work.
While you might think all these are part of a day’s work, being let go for the wrong reasons or working in a hostile environment is never okay. If you’ve talked to your manager and nothing’s changed, it’s probably time to call a New York Employment Law Firm to help out with your workplace issues.
When To See An Employment Lawyer
Working in New York City can be tough, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to bear with it for the rest of your life. You can call your manager’s attention to these concerns or your company’s HR and trust that they’ll take care of them.
If you’re still denied of your rights and privileges, employment law experts such as Giordano Law Offices can help bring these matters to the proper authorities. Here are some situations when you may need their assistance.
New York City has a higher minimum wage than most cities. Workers are paid USD$15 per hour, while tipped workers are paid a minimum of USD$10 per hour.
They’re also entitled to overtime pay, including on-call or waiting time, travel time to and from work, and paid rest and meal breaks.
But some employers don’t pay their workers properly.
They don’t count breaks and travel times as part of a worker’s paid hours. Companies may also impose hefty deductions or do not reimburse employees for buying their uniforms. They may also take too much from your tips or even misclassify you as an independent contractor to get away with paying less.
If you raise these issues with your company and don’t receive any back pay for additional tips, unpaid hourly, or overtime rates, you can visit an employment lawyer so they can file a complaint on your behalf.
Seek Compensation For Workplace Injuries
Workplaces in New York City and elsewhere all have hazards. Aside from receiving adequate training, personal protective equipment can keep you safe on the job. However, if your company does not issue protective gear or provide sub-standard equipment, these can lead to accidents and injuries.
Slip and fall accidents are the highest causes of workplace injuries in New York City and around the country. They often result in serious injuries that require hospitalization or rehabilitation. Others may even lead to serious disability.
Aside from one-time accidents, workplace injuries can also result from repetitive tasks. You can strain your muscles and joints from excessive typing, prolonged standing, hammering nails, using jackhammers, or regularly lifting heavy objects. These workplace tasks can result in repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, lower back pain, poor posture, and even hearing loss.
Whether you experience a one-time accident or cumulative stress that results in a work-related injury, your company should provide you with good benefits to help you recover and resume your duties.
If they don’t, you can get assistance from a New York employment firm to file worker’s compensation to cover your medical expenses.
Refusal To Grant Paid Safe And Sick Leaves
As a New York City employee, you’re also entitled to paid leaves besides wages for regular and overtime hours. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take time off from work to care for family members. Workers like you can use this time to care for your newborn child or handle adoption procedures.
You can also take a leave when you’re sick or when you need to look after ill family members.
You are entitled to up to 40 hours of safe and sick leave if you work for more than 80 hours in any New York City business, non-profit, or household.
The New York City Consumer and Worker Protection agency also allows employees seeking safety from unwanted sexual contact with their partners and victims of domestic violence or human trafficking activities to use this privilege.
If, in any case, your employer refuses to grant your leave or approves of it but doesn’t include it in your pay slip, then you have reason to contact an employment lawyer.
They can notify your employer of the violation and forward your complaint to the New York Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DWCP).
Hostile Work Environment
Workplaces are meant to provide everyone with equal hiring opportunities regardless of age, gender, religion, immigration status, disability, or religion. Once employees are on board, they should support employees and provide them with growth opportunities.
Company culture should also have inclusivity as one of its values. They should also develop and nurture talent.
However, not all workplaces in New York City embody this ideal. Managers may discriminate against applicants or employees, while co-workers may create a toxic environment with inappropriate language and behavior.
While your company may have policies regarding workplace discrimination or sexual harassment, they may turn a blind eye to your concerns.
When this happens, it’s time to escalate discrimination and harassment issues to the authorities. Keep records of these incidents and your superior’s inaction so your employment lawyer has enough evidence to build your case.
Sometimes employers put undue pressure on their employees when they exercise their rights.
They refuse to grant you paid leaves, fearing the office will be short-staffed. If you work longer than your required shift, they do not include it in your pay slip because they want to keep the money for themselves. Your company may even choose to terminate you if you’re injured or become disabled rather than spending additional equipment to accommodate your needs.
When you complain about discrimination or call their attention to illegal work practices, you may end up getting a disciplinary sanction, receive less pay, or get harassed by your superior.
You may even get demoted, transferred elsewhere, or assigned to do undesirable tasks. Worse, they may even demote or fire you.
All these are forms of employer retaliation and show cause for wrongful termination. A visit to a New York City employment law firm can help you decide which option to take—fight to get your job back or go to court so you can receive the benefits that you deserve.
There are a lot of work opportunities in New York City since it’s home to several industries. Though you may encounter stress in the workplace, you’ll need to inform your boss if these behaviors hinder you from being productive.
In case they don’t pay attention to your concerns, it’s best to visit a New York employment law firm a visit to discuss what actions you can take, so you can continue with your dream of working and having a career in the Big Apple.