Gardy & Notis - Employment Division
The employment laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, were based on the recognition that employers have great power over their employees. Put simply, the boss writes the checks, and the boss can fire an employee for just about any reason under the at will system that is prevalent throughout the country. Although we've come a long way from the depression-era sweatshops and child labor that were the impetus for the Fair Labor Standards Act's 1938 passage, we are still in a place where employers can take advantage of their employees with surprisingly little repercussion.
Class Actions: Strength in Numbers
Our mission is to help employees band together and take back what is owed to them. When a single employee takes action, it may not be enough to cause change. But, when all of the employees take action, the stakes are much higher and the employer has to listen.
If you believe that you have been denied wages by your employer, we are here to help. We provide free, confidential consultations to help you determine whether you have been the victim of an unlawful practice. And if we take your case, we don't get paid unless we recover money for you.
Although we're located in the New York City area, we are available to represent employees throughout the country.
We focus on several areas of employee rights litigation. If you don't see a particular area listed, contact us: we may practice in that area too. And if we don't, we'll help you find a lawyer who does.
Our main areas of focus include the following:
Failure to Pay Overtime
It is fairly common knowledge that most employees should be be paid at time and a half when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Yet, many employers fail to pay their workers at overtime rates when they work more than 40 hours in a week. If your boss has denied you overtime pay, we can help you.
Failure to Pay for All Hours Worked
The labor laws require an employer to pay its employees for all hours worked. This includes any work done before the start of a shift, and after the end of a shift. If your employer requires you to show up 15 minutes before your shift to prepare, that time should be paid. If you have a blackberry or a smart phone and you are required to answer work email when you're out of the office, you should be paid for your time.
Does your employer make you change into a uniform at work, before you punch in? Do you have to punch out at the end of the shift before you change out of your uniform? If so, you may have been denied pay that you're entitled to under the law. This is known as a "donning and doffing" claim.
Although many workers are entitled to overtime pay, the law makes some exceptions. Workers who are independent contractors and not "employees" are not entitled to overtime pay. However, you are not an independent contractor just because your boss says so. The law has several tests to determine whether you are truly an independent contractor. If you are classified as an independent contractor, contact us and we'll help you determine if that title is proper.
Some workers, although properly classified as employees, are not eligible for overtime pay due to a set of exemptions under the labor laws. For instance, managers do not receive overtime pay. However, an employee may be misclassified as a manager if he or she is not performing actual management work.
Unlawful Retention of Gratuities
Does your employer add a "service charge" to customers' bills? If you work in New York, a charge for service is presumed to be a tip. Your employer has to pay 100% of any service charge to the employees who are providing service. Although an employer may use other terms, such as "administrative fee" or "labor charge," those charges could also be considered tips under certain circumstances.
New York is not the only state that prohibits an employer from keeping a "service charge." Minnesota, Hawaii, and Massachusetts have similar laws.
We have substantial experience representing employees who have been denied payment of a service charge. Read the description of our experience in cases against Restaurant Associates, Levy Restaurants and Amerivents at the US Open, and our most recent case against Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events, LLC.
Many restaurants require their service employees to pool their tips. That is permissible. However, an employer cannot require any amount of the tip pool to be shared with non-service employees (for instance, managers who do not directly provide food service).
If you believe that you are a victim of any of these practices, contact us.