04. Employment Law
Our practice focuses on litigation yet extends to all areas of employment law and consultation for human resources, including negotiation and preparation of employment and severance agreements, creation and implementation of individualized HR policies and procedures and conducting internal investigations.
Hamtini Law has represented numerous New York businesses involved in labor disputes, employment lawsuits and employment-related government agency investigations. Our attorneys have demonstrated expertise in employer counseling, and development of employment policies and procedures designed to reduce exposure to costly and time-consuming lawsuits.
Our attorneys have achieved numerous positive results and have successfully defended various commercial enterprises and individual business owners in both New York State and Federal courts. The positive results we have achieved for our clients also include representation in administrative proceedings before government agencies, such as the NYS Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board and the NYS Division of Human Rights.
Legal Help with Wage & Hour Issues and Disputes
Most business owners are aware of their obligation to give non-exempt employees overtime pay for all hours worked over forty hours per week. However, surprisingly few small and mid-sized businesses have payroll policies that comply with basic overtime requirements. Even fewer employers are compliant with or even aware of the large amount of other rules and regulations that govern the compensation of employees. The lack of awareness increasingly translates into costly employee lawsuits and invasive Department of Labor investigations.
New York employers increasingly find themselves embroiled in a wide variety of wage and hour issues and disputes. Nonetheless, some of the more common areas that typically spawn litigation include:
Minimum wage compliance
Employee misclassification issues
Exempt vs. non-exempt employee status
Independent contractor status
Federal and State recordkeeping compliance
Improper wage deductions
Tip credit issues
As the size of the plaintiffs’ bar specializing in wage and hour issues continues to grow, small and mid-sized employers find themselves facing increasingly complex and expensive class action wage lawsuits involving dozens or even hundreds of past and present employees. Because wage and hour laws are complex, and the potential financial exposure is so high, it is important for every employer to take a proactive stance toward compliance.
Tip-Related Issues Are Common in the Service Industries
Many employers, especially those in service industries, have serious exposure to wage and hour litigation as a result of tip-related issues. Federal and State laws both contain detailed rules regarding employee tips, including the amount that an employer can take as a “tip credit” to reduce the applicable minimum wage rate and strict recordkeeping requirements. Employers often fall into the trap of not complying with all of the regulations required in order to take a “tip credit,” which often leads to expensive lawsuits.
Payroll Procedures – A Crucial Aspect of Employee Relations
Proper payroll procedures are among the most crucial aspect of effective employee relations, yet few businesses actually spend the time and money required to ensure that they are compliant with Federal and State wage and hour laws and regulations. In New York, most employers must comply with both the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the many wage and hour provisions contained in the New York State Labor Law. On top of this, both the U. S. Department of Labor and the NYS Department of Labor have promulgated detailed and extensive regulations that contain additional requirements for most employers. To protect their businesses from damaging wage and hour lawsuits and investigations, business owners in New York must know which of these regulations apply to them and how to implement effective compliance policies.
At Hamtini Law, we regularly review employment policies and practices as part of our human resources counseling. Our labor and employment attorneys stand ready to take your side. Whether you are conducting an in-house audit, are under Department of Labor scrutiny, or a wage and hour lawsuit has been filed against your company, call our office to arrange a consultation and learn how we can help.
Hamtini Law can also be on your side against claims of Workplace Discrimination & Harassment, Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims, US / NYS Dept. Of Labor Investigations & Proceedings and Employment & Severance Agreements.