Employment law has evolved over the years from a focus on collective bargaining agreements to a highly legislated field encompassing many topics. As employees are afforded more and more protections under statutes, regulations, policies and internal corporate documents, employers must keep current with this evolving highly regulated area. This is especially crucial considering the impact of employment law matters on the delivery of health care during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Attorneys at Weiss Zarett Brofman Sonnenklar & Levy, P.C., have over 30 years’ experience in representing health care providers and other types of businesses with respect to employment issues, providing a full range of employment counseling. We represent healthcare and other business entities and providers of all sizes, including emerging companies, not-for-profits and public-sector entities, on complex and day-to-day employment matters.
Representative issues include:
Discrimination – Defense and Prosecution of Claims Involving:
- Disability and reasonable accommodation claims.
- Regular updates on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(“EEOC”) administration and rule-making changes.
- Investigation, defense and prosecution of discrimination claims-Employment insurance riders.
- Compliance analysis, and policy development and EEOC mediation.
- Representation at all stages with regard to claims alleging sexual harassment, gender, race, age and all other protected discriminations.
- Investigation, of employee claims, alleging discrimination.
- Employment-compliance “check-ups,” including compliance with mandatory sexual harassment training laws, followed by targeted training and policy development.
- Forum Selection
Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace:
- Adoption of non-discriminatory policies.
- Rights to search employee workspace and belongings.
- Discipline vs. Treatment.
- Involvement of criminal authorities.
- Family & Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Last Chance Agreements.
Performance and Conduct:
- Employment handbooks.
- Progressive discipline and employer’s obligations upon termination.
- Promotions and demotions
- Paid vs. unpaid leave.
- Use of electronic systems and cell phones.
- COBRA and medical insurance.
- Monitoring of email accounts and accommodation of employee.
- Negotiation of employee “exit” non privacy interests. Severance agreements and waivers.
Wage and Hour Issues:
- Fair Labor Standards Act and New York State Labor Law compliance.
- Exempt vs. Non-Exempt classification and effects of misclassification.
- Meals and breaks.
- Changes in pay-stub requirements.
- Increases in federal minimum wages & changes in 1099 classifications.
- Gender pay-equity rules.
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”)– federal and state considerations.
- Furloughs and layoffs.
- Quarantines, unemployment-insurance benefits, NYS workspace programs, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) requirements.
- Federal, state and city leave laws; including the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act and The New York State Quarantine Leave Law.
- Protocols for authorizing employees to resume “on-site” employment.
- CARES Act, PPP loans and loan forgiveness.
Leave Laws and Benefits:
- FMLA and New York’s Paid Family Leave Law, and leave laws pertaining to New York City and Westchester.
- Interplay between New York City’s Earned Sick & Safe Time Act, and The New York State Sick Leave Law.
- PTO Internal Policies and interaction with mandatory leave laws
- Disability leaves – short and long term; workers’ compensation; ADA compliance.
- Interaction between COVID leaves and non-COVID statutory and contractual leaves.
- Unemployment insurance and New York State’s Department of Labor Shared Work Program.
Arbitration and Litigation Representation:
- Trail and appellate litigation before all New York State and Federal Courts.
- Representation before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”); The New York State Division of Human Rights (“DHR”) and the New York City Human Rights Commission.
- Departments of Labor Federal and New York State.
- Representation before the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the U.S. Department of Labor.
- New York State Workers’ Compensation Board & Department of Labor and Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.
We are also asked daily to opine on the current state of laws regarding use of Personal Protective Equipment in the workplace, OSHA compliance and how to address OSHA issues in an office setting, especially the health-care and dental office, what to do when an employee has tested positive, available benefits – paid and unpaid, required furloughs and quarantines, and mitigating risk of transmission.
When issues arise, we assist our clients in conducting workplace investigations into discrimination, harassment, retaliation, ethical violations, and other workplace misconduct. Our healthcare, employment and business litigators are regularly analyzing matters to assist clients in determining whether the best outcome is negotiation and settlement, legislative change, regulatory or judicial intervention.
Where issues cannot be resolved without arbitration or litigation, Weiss Zarett provides a full range of labor and employment-related arbitration and litigation services, and handles administrative proceedings before the EEOC, Division of Human Rights, NLRB, and federal and State departments of labor.
Weiss Zarett gives our clients unrivaled personal attention, allowing us to identify our clients’ long- and short-term needs and goals and craft appropriate solutions to accomplish those goals. Our experience and knowledge allow Weiss Zarett attorneys to provide our clients with the individual attention and commitment that their matters demand.