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Terry Sugrue’s Answers

12 total


  • I was fired about a year ago for harassment they said i did it the night befor and was fired the next morning.

    i was good friends with the person a female. they came to terms of firing me in like 20 min. i wasn't asked any question about the harassment. they said i did it an that was it. now im just wondering do i have a lawsuit aganist the company?

    Terry’s Answer

    An at-will employee can be fired for no reason or any reason except a prohibited or discriminatory reason. Among the unlawful discriminatory reasons that may apply, based upon what you mentioned, is your criminal record.

    Pursuant to Correction Law Article 23-a (section 752), unfair discrimination against persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses is prohibited.

    If you feel that you have been discriminated against, you should immediately file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights. The statute of limitations for filing a complaint with the NYSDHR is one year (it is 360 days for filing a complaint with the EEOC). The agency will investigate your complaint and can prosecute it on your behalf if it finds cause. It can also grant you a right to sue letter.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.

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  • Do I need an employment lawyer?

    I believe my boss preparing to fire me soon. He withheld my bonus because I made a mistake (I filed a case that was $5 short and it was rejected by USCIS but we refiled and it was fine). I believe he withheld my bonus because of that mistake and...

    Terry’s Answer

    If you file for unemployment and your employer claims you quit, the Department of Labor, unemployment insurance appeal board, will make an initial decision regarding the validity of your claim. If the Department rules against you, you can appeal your claim. An Administrative Law Judge will be assigned to your case and will hold a hearing and make a decision based on the record of your proceeding.

    You can do the unemployment hearing without an attorney, but if you want/need one an attorney can represent you. Attorneys fees are not a lot with respect to unemployment proceedings. The fees can be a fixed amount or hourly rate, but your claim must be successful and the fee must be approved by the Board prior to paying the attorney.

    Hope this helps.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.

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  • Can i sue a company for not taken me back after a workers comp case nyc?

    I WAS HURT ON MY JOB. IN MAY 2010. IN THE HOSPITAL THREE WEEKS AND ON WORKERS COMP UNTIL DEC.14. 2010 MY EMPLOYER TOLD ME THAT THIERS POSITION FOR ME . TO GO ON UNEMPLOYMENT? CAN I SUE THE COMPANY FOR THIS? TO FROM MAKING $672.93 WEEK TO ONLY $141...

    Terry’s Answer

    Workers Compensation Law Section 120 prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because he or she had filed a workers compensation claim for benefits. You can file a discrimination claim with the workers' compensation board.

    However, the clear prohibition of WCL 120 is not nearly as strong as it sounds. For example, usually an employer can lawfully discharge an employee injured at work, not because he filed a claim, but because the employee missed work. Thus, its the absence, not filing the claim, that was the cause for discharge. In most instances that is okay. If there is a valid non-discriminatory reason for your discharge, you won't have a claim.

    The critical issue is the stated reason for the discharge. If the reason for your discharge is because you filed a claim for benefits, then that is unlawful and you will have a claim. Moreover, even if the employer gives a non-discriminatory reason for discharge there might still be a valid claim. For example, if there is evidence that your employer has allowed employees to remain employed despite being injured (and missing work) with non-work related injuries, you might be able to make a valid Workers' Compensation Law 120 claim against your employer.

    In any event, if you a protected by a collective bargaining agreement or other employment agreement, you should review that agreement as your rights may be different.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.

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  • CPS founded a case of neglict against me in FEB 2010 and I have appealed it.I got a letter saying they denied it, what do I do?

    My 2 year old son was opening windows and getting out of our NEW appt. We had lived here for 2 weeks. We had already called the landlord about putting holes in the seals and he had said it was ok, I then had a family emergency in AZ and while I wa...

    Terry’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Presumably, when you received the letter saying that your appeal was denied, the letter also explained your appeal rights. I believe that there are two administrative appeals. It appears that you made the first (simply asking the agency to reverse its "founded" decision and change it to "unfounded") and it was denied. You should then have the right to ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge of the Office of Children and Family Services.

    You need to be sure that you make that request in a timely manner (possibly within 30 days of the denial), if you miss the deadline you will be out of luck. If you timely appeal to an ALJ, you can rest assured that your case will be processed in a timely manner by OCFS and (depending on the case backlog in your area) sometime in or near 2012 you will be notified of an initial appearance date by the ALJ. If you request it, the agency will provide the materials that it used to make its finding. Your hearing will then be scheduled. At the hearing, you will hear the OCFS's case and be given an opportunity to tell your side of the story. When the hearing is over the ALJ will make a written decision within a couple of weeks and (depending on the back log in your area) in a few short months you will find out what the ALJ decided.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.

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  • 440 Motion Motion to Reargue/Rehear v. Appeal

    I filed a 440 Motion to vacate my criminal conviction and the court ruled against me. My attorney filed a MOtion to Reargue/Rehear within 30 days but did not file a Notice to Appeal. Did I lose my right to appeal? Do I get 30 days after the Mot...

    Terry’s Answer

    You probably lost your right to appeal.

    CPLR 5513 (subd [a]) requires an appeal to be taken "within thirty days after service upon the appellant of a copy of the judgment or order appealed from and written notice of its entry". This statutory time limitation is considered jurisdictional [***3] with only a few statutory exceptions allowing extensions.

    The limited exceptions are found in CPLR 1022 (fifteen days after substitution of parties), CPLR 5514(a) (wrong method of appeal), CPLR 5514(b) (death, suspension, removal or disability of appellant's attorney), and CPLR 5520(a) (service or filing of notice of appeal timely but not both). In addition, the automatic stay under the Bankruptcy Law (11 U.S.C. § 362) acts to extend the time to perfect the appeal.

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  • Is it ok to write to a now ex coworker in jail? Even though I still work for the company?

    The person is now in jail for charges of 1st degree robbery (of the company and other places) and the case hasn't started yet so the prosecution is probably still gathering evidence. I'm worried that writing a letter to the person could negatively...

    Terry’s Answer

    It is best to exercise discretion in your communications. While no one may find out about it, if your employer does find out and has a problem with your association with the ex-coworker because of his alleged crime against the company, it could create trouble for you.

    The type of work you and/or the company you work for perform may be relevant. Unless covered by a collective bargaining agreement or other employment agreement, most employment relationships are what is known as "at will", meaning that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason (e.g., disloyalty to the employer, harms company reputation, associating with known criminals, etc.) or no reason whatsoever.

    An employer is only prohibited from firing you for an illegal reason (e.g., based on race, sex, religion, etc.). Proving a bad faith discharge can be difficult, especially if the employer has other legitimate reasons for discharging you.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.

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  • Off work 3 months. Full med benefit. Co just sent bill for me to pay back med insurance for the 3 months. Legal to do?

    They said they would "front" Januarys pyment but would have to be paid back. Going through a lot. Battery of medical tests, etc. What can I do?

    Terry’s Answer

    The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires a covered employer to grant medical leave (up to 12 work weeks during a 12-month period) to an employee in certain circumstances.

    Under the FMLA, an employer always must maintain the employee's existing level of coverage (including family or dependent coverage) under a group health plan during the period of FMLA leave, provided the employee pays his or her share of the premiums. (29 C.F.R. §§ 825.209, 825.210).

    An employer may not discriminate against an employee using FMLA leave, and therefore must also provide such an employee with the same benefits (e.g., life or disability insurance) normally provided to an employee in the same leave or part-time status. (29 C.F.R. § 825.220(c)).

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.

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  • My father just retired and I am disabled, Will the money I get from his retirement affect my SSI and SSDI?

    I think I get some of his retirement because I was living at home at the time I got the disability but I am not sure. is it true?

    Terry’s Answer

    SS Disability does not have an unearned income limit. Thus, if you are receiving money from your father's retirement, your SSD should not be affected.

    SSI, on the other hand, does reduce benefits based upon unearned income. However, without knowing more details, I cannot say whether the additional income that you will receive is enough to reduce your SSI. It can happen.

    A disabled adult child of a retired wage earner may also receive benefits on the account of a parent. So, yes, it is possible that you might get benefits as a result of your father's retirement.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.

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  • 440 Motion Denied, I submitted a Motion to Reargue/Rehear w/in 30 days. When do I have to submit Notice to Appeal

    Do I have to submit the NOtice to Appeal within the 30 days from the denial of the 440 motion or is it 30 days from if/when they deny the motion to reargue/rehear? Thx so much

    Terry’s Answer

    I disagree with the prior answer. Good practice requires service and filing of a notice of appeal at the same time that the motion to reargue is served (i.e., within 30 days of receiving the judgment or order and notice of its entry).

    You should analyze whether the motion to reargue is a realistic option, because the motion seeks to have the same judge who decided the original motion change his or her mind. It might be best to avoid relying solely on a motion to reargue where an appeal also has merit.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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  • Can an employer force a part time employee to run company errands with their own car

    Our employer continually asks us to run corporate errands and now is requiring us to do so on a regular basis using our own car. Requests include going to post office, bank, etc.

    Terry’s Answer

    Probably. Most employment relationships are what is known as "at will", meaning that an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well as generally impose terms and conditions of employment as it sees fit. This includes the use of a personal vehicle to run company errands.

    Unless this is prohibited by a collective bargaining agreement or other employment agreement, this is perfectly legal.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of New York. Responses are based solely on New York law unless stated otherwise.

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