Suing Your New York Employer for Covid-19 Negligence
COVID-19 has changed much for many full-time and part-time employees, especially those in high-risk industries like healthcare and food service. Has your employer treated you badly, or in an inhumane way due to COVID-19?
If so, now may be time to take a look into holding your former employer accountable for their negligent and damaging behavior, rather than sitting back and possibly putting other people in harm’s way.
Wage theft is one of the largest issues facing the workforce today, but workers haven’t been left in the cold. Many protections have been enacted in order to keep the working population of New York safe, and you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other damages if your employer has treated you illegally or wrongfully during this terrifying period.
Losing a loved one or coming down with COVID-19 may have brought you down, but being forced to work while sick or grieving is not just immoral–it is a crime in certain situations, and employers need to be held responsible for their negligent actions.
Here is a short list of problems that you may be dealing with that we can assist with:
- COVID-related firing or layoff, whether for taking time off to quarantine or hospitalized
- Denial of medical leave
- Harassment by your employer or fellow employees
- Lack of federally-mandated breaks or time off
- Not being paid for overtime worked
- Being deprived of vacation time and PTO that you have earned
- Retaliation against whistleblowers
- Being fired or laid off due to false claims
- Unlawful wage deductions
- Breach of employment contract
- Discrimination based upon age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, disabilities, and other protected classes
Whatever problems you may be having with your employer or former employer, whether COVID-related or not, our legal counsel is experienced in helping clients to obtain the protections they are entitled to under New York labor laws. You may also be entitled to compensation for those aforementioned legal problems, so do not delay in contacting an experienced labor lawyer from our team.
Suing Your Employer for COVID-Related Issues
During the first wave of COVID-19 here in New York, many families and businesses were devastated by the early damage of the pandemic, leaving them unable to operate in any normal fashion. However, during this time, there are also employers who have taken advantage of the “survival mindset” that many have had to adopt to exploit workers with unfair labor practices, whether via wage theft, discrimination, or not providing PPE and a clean work environment for their employees.
This is not a niche practice, either. Large companies like Safeway and Walmart have been hit with labor lawsuits due to COVID-19-related deaths and injuries, and though it remains to be seen if these giants will be held liable, it’s likely that these are not the only companies taking advantage of employees during this difficult period.
COVID-19 may just change the face of labor law in New York, and here are some common themes that have cropped up since its arrival:
- Employee Discrimination: More and more lawsuits have been leveled against employers for discriminating against employees during this time period, as it seems like large companies use times of desperation to prey on protected classes.
- Wrongful Death/Negligence: Many people have died due to lack of proper PPE and unsafe work practices, leading to them contracting COVID-19 and in severe distress.
- Retaliation: Anyone who alerts authorities like OSHA and other safety-compliance agencies may find themself in hot water with their employers, leading to wrongful retaliation and firings.
- Unsafe Workplace: Unsafe workplace practices are beginning to come under fire, with employee protections ramped up due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- Remote Work/Leave Conflicts: Being deprived of time off from work or the ability to work remotely can be a crime in certain situations, especially if you are someone suffering from autoimmune issues that make you more vulnerable to the virus.
There Are Penalties for Breaking Employment Law
While it may seem like there is no one out there protecting the little guy, there are severe and lasting penalties for breaking any of the employment laws outlined above. Being treated wrongfully at your workplace can have long-term damage to your career, your professional reputation, and your livelihood, but New York labor law is one your side.
According to the New York Department of Labor, not only are employers on the line to pay their employees for their illegal actions, they may also find themselves fined or imprisoned if the crimes are severe enough.
For instance, any situation where an employer exploits a minor or otherwise breaks labor laws regarding them, they will find themselves fined up to $10,000 as authorized by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
For more severe violations, companies and employers will find themselves held responsible for triple the maximum criminal penalty for actions involving catastrophic injury or death. Flagrantly violating federal and state safety standards is not just dangerous to employees–it is dangerous to society, and must be stamped out in order to provide fair protections to workers.
Defending Your Rights In a Changing World
For many people, hiring an attorney to defend your employment rights seems like a far-off dream. However, when you find yourself facing sickness and death during a pandemic, the stakes are much higher, and it’s essential that you can provide for your family during this time without being exploited by your employer.
If you or a loved one is facing any type of employer issues, ranging from wrongful termination to wrongful death, get in touch with one of our legal professionals right away. Do not delay when you and your family’s safety is on the line–instead, protect yourself in the ways that you are legally entitled to and get justice for wrongful employer activities.
Call us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys and we will do everything in our power to obtain justice for you and your coworkers who may have been wronged.