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Can You Be Denied Workers’ Compensation because Your Employer Pays You Off the Books?
by cjleclaire
 Pyrros Serres
Jan 13, 2017 | 1040 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
by Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

You have been working a job, but getting paid under the table, so to speak. You get injured on that job—now you can’t work at all! If you were a documented employee of the company, you’d be able to file a workers’ compensation claim, but what can you do now? Are you simply out of luck? The answer is NO!

Under New York workers’ compensation laws, it does not matter if you were an employee of the company—accordingly, your employer cannot deny you the right to file a workers’ compensation claim because you were paid off the books, and cannot deny your claim because you were not an employee. The New York workers’ compensation laws only require that you meet two conditions:

  • You were working at the time of the injury
  • The injury was suffered on the job or in a job-related activity

If you have been hurt on the job as an undocumented worker, you’ll want to immediately seek medical attention and ensure that the doctor you visit documents everything in writing. It’s likely that your employer won’t cooperate with any efforts to file a workers’ compensation claim, so you will probably be best served by immediately consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, so that you file all documents in a timely manner and you have access to medical care as soon as possible.

Can You Be Denied Workers’ Compensation because Your Employer Pays You Off the Books?

Experienced Queens |NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims for people in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

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Videotaping the Execution of a Will
by cjleclaire
 Bonnie Lawston-LiEstate Attorney
Jan 13, 2017 | 819 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Author: Bonnie Lawston

It's not uncommon, in New York and other jurisdictions, for dispossessed or unhappy heirs to allege that a will was executed under duress or undue influence. What if you videotape the execution of the will, so that there's visual evidence to support the assertion that the decisions regarding disposition of property were entered into knowingly and voluntarily?

While a video recording of the actual event of executing a will can be introduced as evidence in proceedings to determine the validity of the will, it's important to start with the understanding that visual evidence is not totally objective of infallible. Consider that ten people can witness the same accident and have ten different descriptions of what happened. Nonetheless, if you are considering videotaping the execution of a will, here are some factors to consider.

The Videotape May Not Be Allowed as Evidence

The decision to allow the videotape into evidence is solely at the discretion of the court. The court may not consider it relevant to the matters being litigated. The court may conclude that the videotape provides no credible evidence of capacity or intent.

The Court Must Have Reason to Believe that the Tape is Authentic

You will probably need to bring witnesses into to court to testify that they were present when the video was taken. In legal terms, this is known as establishing a proper foundation for the evidence. The court must have some basis for believing that the tape is what it is alleged to be.

The Court Must Have Confidence that the Tape Has Not Been Altered

In addition, the court may have concerns about the "chain of custody" of the videotape. The court will want reasonable assurances that the video presented was actually taken at the time represented and that the videotape has not been altered or tampered with between the recording and its presentation as evidence. Accordingly, it may be necessary to document when and where the recording took place, where the videotape was secured immediately after the recording, who had access to the tape while it was secured, any movement of the tape (along with who moved it) and how it got to court.

Of course, there are no assurances that the video recording will have any impact on the outcome of the dispute. A judge or jury may watch the video and come away with a completely different perception of the events than intended.

Contact the New York Law Office of Bonnie Lawston

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, we focus our estate administration practice on estates subject to probate in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island. Contact our office online or call us at 631-425-7299 or 24/7 at 855-479-4700 to set up a free initial consultation.

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Very Important News for you, If you work more than 40 hours per week for the same weekly salary
by cjleclaire
 William Cafaro
Jan 12, 2017 | 1117 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I work way more than 40 hours a week for the same weekly salary. My boss says that he doesn’t have to pay me anything for my overtime hours. Is this true?

  • It depends. Under the old rule, Anyone who earned a weekly salary of at least $455 per week and was considered Executive or Administrative was exempt from the overtime laws, and did not have to be paid for their overtime hours at all. In order to be exempt, the employee has to have what’s called “substantial discretion”, which means that they have to be able to make some pretty important decisions on their own on a regular basis. Various other conditions have to be met as well. This usually includes supervisors, managers, and certain office people who make important decisions. Many times when the boss says that you are not entitled to overtime, you might very well be, and you won’t know without asking an Employment Lawyer.

How is the New Rule Different?

  • The biggest change in the rule is a big increase in the minimum weekly salary.

How Much Did it Go Up?

  • In New York City, the minimum salary is now either $825 a week if the business has 11 or more employees. It is $787.50 per week if the business has 10 employees or less. Outside the City, these limits are a little lower.

What’s the Practical Effect of This Rule for Me?

  • Your boss now has to do one of two things if you are salaried and considered executive or administrative: 1) Increase your salary to the $787.50 - $825 per week level or 2) Start paying you time and a half when you work more than 40 hours.

When Does the New Rule Go Into Effect?

  • This rule goes into effect on December 31, 2016.

What’s so great about this?

  • These exemptions were originally meant for highly-paid employees who had better benefits, job security and opportunities for advancement, but because the minimum salary cutoff is hasn’t changed for such a long time and was far too low, many middle class workers, managers, and people with executive duties had no right to overtime protection. Their employers forced them to work ridiculous hours at no additional labor cost, any they legally couldn’t do anything about it.
  • This will change all that, and require employers to either i) raise their salaries; or ii) pay them time and a half for their overtime; iii) give them more time off; or iv) some combination of those things. This is a win/win for all the workers covered by it. The employer will now have to be conscious of how long he is making his employees stay, or start paying them more money.

Where Can I Find the Actual NY State Law?

  • If you want to read the new rule, at p. 11 § 142-2.14.

Was There Any Change in the Federal Rule on This?

  • By order of President Obama, the U.S. Dept. of Labor enacted a new federal rule that would have raised the minimum weekly salary to $913 per week, but a judge has already stopped it from going into effect. The new Secretary of Labor appointed by President Trump, Andrew Puzder, (who became very wealthy in the fast food industry) is strongly opposed to any increases in the minimum wage, so the new federal rule will not go into effect. So much for President Trump helping the working man.
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How Do Workers Feel About Overtime Pay?
by cjleclaire
 Stephen Hans Blog
Jan 12, 2017 | 969 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Author: Stephen D. Hans

The federal overtime rule has been put on hold, and employers are waiting to see whether the DOL will effectively appeal the injunction imposed by the U.S. District Court in Texas. However, it’s worth your while to consider what kinds of problems the rule sought to resolve and where today’s workforce stands on certain issues.

Today’s Workplace Issues with Overtime

With businesses using texting and emails, the line between work and home life continues to blur. Many workers don’t consider the time they spend on texts or emails outside of work as hours working off-the-clock. A Harris Poll conducted in 2016 showed that 63% workers would work-off-the-clock even if doing so was against company policy.

Here is what survey done by The Workforce Institute revealed:

An overwhelming 81 percent of U.S. salaried employees report they conduct work outside of their standard work hours — often more than once a week.

Why Do Employees Work Off-the-Clock?

Reasons given include urgent deadlines and heavier-than-usual workloads. One-third of those surveyed said they have more work than they can complete during regular work hours.

What Matters Most to Employees?

According to a worldwide survey conducted by Ernst & Young, workers struggle to manage work and family. They give underlying reasons for struggles, such as:

  • Expenses have gone up but salaries haven’t
  • Work responsibilities have increased
  • Younger workers now have children, which means more responsibilities at home
  • The lack of opportunity to advance
  • Excessive overtime hours
  • Work environments that don’t encourage teamwork
  • Employers that don’t allow flexible work schedules

In fact, lack of flexible work schedules rank near the top as reasons to quit one job and take on another, surpassed only by competitive pay and benefits.

Desired Changes in the Work Environment

Balancing home life with work matters significantly because top desirable workplace changes included:

  • Paid parental leave onsite or subsidized childcare
  • Telecommuting one or two days a week
  • Relocating closer to family
  • The ability to shut off emails and calls when needed

While workers want more pay, and certainly pay for overtime, many also simply want more time to spend away from work with their families.

Stephen Hans & Associates works with business owners to help them deal with employment and labor issues.

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