The following are questions that our clients have frequently asked us regarding their hours, work environment, or employer-employee relationship:

How Many Hours Can An Employer Ask An Employee To Work?

There aren’t any restrictions on the number of work hours per day, except for children under 18 years of age.  However, in some jobs an employee MUST receive 24 hours of rest in each calendar week.  For example, factory workers, elevator operators, janitors, watchman and superintendents must be provided this day of rest.

What Is The Current Minimum Wage In New York State?

Effective July 24, 2009 the minimum wage for covered employees is $7.25 per hour.  This amount may be modified in certain jobs — for example, waiters and waitresses who earn at least $2.55 per hour in tips may be paid at a lower rate because the tips make up the difference.  Different rates exist for other types of service employees as well.  The Dept. of Labor has issued a “Wage Order” which addresses the industries and occupations that are not required to adhere to the minimum wage.  You can contact them directly with any questions at 1-888-4-NYSDOL.

Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing A Discrimination Complaint?

No.  Retaliating against individuals who complain of any unlawful acts of discrimination is illegal. If you suspect that you are a victim of discrimination, contact the New York Division of Human Rights at 718-741-8400.  Their mission is to enforce the Human Rights Law.

How Can Workers’ Protect Themselves Against Exposure To Asbestos?

If you are concerned about asbestos in your workplace, begin by discussing the situation with other employees, your employee health and safety representative, and your employers.  If you are not getting anywhere, contact OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) who will provide you with information about required workplace practices and safety procedures.  Your regional OSHA office will also make an inspection of your facility.

What Is Your Fee?

Our office takes most Social Security Disability cases on a contingency basis – meaning we do not get paid unless we win your case. Social Security has the power to approve all attorney fees, and in most of our cases they approve a fee of 25% of any retroactive benefits up to a maximum fee of $6,000.00, whichever is less. If after winning your case you are entitled to retroactive benefits, Social Security will deduct our fee and send it directly to us.

Do I Have To Pay For Attorney Fees Out Of Pocket?

No. Fees in workers’ compensation cases are set by the law judge and can only be awarded out of the actual money obtained for you by the attorney.  In a sense, they are a contingency fee but unlike a negligence case, the actual percentage is not predetermined, instead it is overseen by the Workers Compensation Board.
Often times there may be additional costs involved in pursing your case. These costs generally will be payments for medical records and copies. Since these costs are not reimbursable to the attorney, your attorney may ask you to pay for the cost of obtaining those records since it is for your case. However, an attorney cannot ask you to pay their fee other than through the approved deduction from your award when in front of a Law Judge.