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Brian L. Greben

Brian Greben’s Answers

508 total


  • Should we have a policy for everything(employment question)?

    Brian’s Answer

    One of things you want to avoid is inconsistent treatment of employees. You don't want employee A claiming that he or she was discriminated against because employee B had more vacation time. Written policies can help avoid this type of scenario (assuming they are followed consistently).

  • Does this person qualify as exempt/non-exempt and are they owed back-pay for OT?

    Brian’s Answer

    It sounds like your understanding of the law is solid. I agree that NY law probably applies. And the professional exemption probably does not apply if you are simply transferring images as per your superiors' instructions. Keep in mind that there's no way to give definitive answers without a thorough investigation (i.e., more than can be done via this kind of question and answer format).

  • Confronted employer for keeping tips and me and my coworkers were harrassed. They agreed to pay us back and closed the store

    Brian’s Answer

    If they've been keeping employee's tips for themselves, they probably owe you compensatory damages equal to what they've taken, plus liquidated damages equal to 100% of the compensatory damages. And because they stole tips, they probably lost the right to take a tip credit. So if they paid you less than minimum wage because you were a "tipped" employee, they probably owe you twice the amount they paid below minimum wage (once in the form of compensatory damages, once in the form of liquidated damages). And they probably also owe statutory fines of up to $10,000 for each employee. You should probably contact an experienced labor/employment attorney and consider your options.

  • What can I do legally; my employer refuses to put me on payroll by refusing my w4 form/pays $8.00/hr off books New York

    Brian’s Answer

    It sounds like you are owed a good deal of money - probably twice the underpayment, plus statutory fines. The law is very strict on these issues, and heavily favors employees. You should contact an experienced employment/labor attorney.

  • Do I have to wait on my manager to tell me when to clock out?

    Brian’s Answer

    The key question is whether your employee is paying you for your waiting-around time. If you have to sit there for 10 minutes after you're done waiting for your boss, you are entitled to be paid for that extra 10 minutes.

  • Is it legal for my employer to repeatedly make sexual comments to me?

    Brian’s Answer

    What you are describing sounds like sexual harassment. You should contact an experienced labor/employment attorney or file a claim with the EEOC.

  • Am I an employee or an independent contractor?

    Brian’s Answer

    There's no way to give a definitive answer to this question without considering all of the factors governing whether an individual is an employee or any independent contractor. Having said that, based on the limited information you've provided, it sounds like you are probably an employee.

  • I was working off the books and my employer said they would pay me but never did what can i do ?

    Brian’s Answer

    Contact an experienced labor/employment attorney. Your employer needs to pay you for your work. If he doesn't he'll probably owe you twice the underpayment as well as statutory fines.

  • I reported my job. I mentioned sexual harassment, not the main point of the letter. How can I stay anonymous?

    Brian’s Answer

    What do you mean by he cheats your paycheck? Federal and NY State laws are very strict when it comes to employers' obligations to pay their employees properly. If your employer is paying you less than what he's supposed to, or not paying you overtime that you're entitled to, there's a good chance he owes you twice the underpayment, plus statutory fines.

    The lipstick aspect of your questions is vague, but if he's hassling you about your appearance, it's possible he's engaging in unlawful sexual harassment.

  • Can I sue my employer for paying me under the table and wrongful termination?

    Brian’s Answer

    In NY your employer can fire you for almost any reason unless you have a contract or union agreement saying otherwise. There are some prohibited reasons for firing employees, such as discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, medical condition, disability, etc., or if the employee is fired as an act of retaliation for raising issues involving treatment or compensation of employees. If you think your termination might have been motivated, at least in part, by one of these unlawful grounds, you should contact an experienced labor/employment attorney.