Articles Posted in Wage and Hour Violations

Although employment in New York is generally at will, people who are members of a union may be subject to contractual agreements. Specifically, union members are often bound by collective bargaining agreements that dictate not only the terms of their employment but how any disputes must be handled. Recently, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York discussed when plaintiffs may be forced to arbitrate a wage claim pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. If you are a member of a union and your employer failed to pay you the compensation you are owed, it is advisable to speak with a dedicated New York wage and hour attorney to determine what recourse is available for your damages.

Facts Regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement

Allegedly, the plaintiffs were employed by the defendant waste management company prior to 2015. While the plaintiffs were employed by the defendant, they were members of a union that signed a collective bargaining agreement with the defendant, with a term period of January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2015. In early December 2015, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging eight causes of action arising out of the defendant’s failure to pay the plaintiffs wages they were owed.

Reportedly, in December 2015, after the plaintiffs had terminated their agreement with the defendant, the union executed a memorandum extending the previous collective bargaining agreement until December 31, 2015. In December 2016, a second memorandum agreement was signed that modified the grievance procedure of the agreement by including an arbitration clause. The defendant then filed a motion to compel arbitration based on the terms of the second memorandum. The plaintiffs opposed the motion on the grounds they were no longer employees and therefore were no longer subject to the agreement.

Continue reading

In New York, state and federal laws protect employees from unfair wage practices, such as inadequate pay, and require employers to provide employees with hour and wage notices and wage statements. Similarly, the laws protect employees from retaliation for reporting wage violations. Thus, employees harmed by their employers’ inappropriate wage practices may be able to seek recourse in the civil courts. Recently, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York discussed what a plaintiff alleging retaliation for reporting unfair wage practices must show to recover damages in a wage violation case.  If your employer denied you the compensation you are owed, you should meet with a skillful New York wage and hour attorney to discuss your potential claims.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Employment

Allegedly, the plaintiff was employed as a maintenance repair worker by the defendant employer, from July 2013 through February 2018. He was paid a fixed salary throughout the duration of his employment. The plaintiff worked sixty-two hours per week and was required to work without lunch breaks. He also worked ten or more hours a day without receiving spread of hours compensation on the days he was on call and was not provided wage statements or hour and wage notices. He complained regarding the fact that he was underpaid on several occasions, including to his direct supervisor, but no remedial actions were taken. The plaintiff was subsequently terminated. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging violations of the New York Labor Law (NYLL) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and asserting retaliation claims. In response, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff failed to plead retaliation adequately.

Retaliation Claims Under the FLSA and NYLL

Pursuant to the FLSA, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee due to the fact that the employee filed a complaint under the FLSA. A plaintiff that alleges retaliation under the FLSA must show that he or she engaged in a protected activity, like filing an FLSA complaint, that the employer then took action that harmed the plaintiff, and a causal connection between the harmful action and the protected activity.

Continue reading