At the outset, it is important to draw a distinction between “employment law” and “labor law.” At the risk of oversimplification, the experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy offer knowledge to our clients that employment law deals with the direct relationship between an employer and an employee. Labor law deals with the indirect relationship between an employer and employee through the intermediary of a labor union. Our attorneys offer legal assistance in the following in New York City and Connecticut employment and labor law matters:
- Employee Discipline
- Offer Letters and Separation Agreements
- Restrictive Covenants
- Statutory Scheme
- Labor Law
The first level of inquiry in a labor law matter is whether or not a union is on the scene. In the non-union setting, an employee interacts directly with an employer regarding an increase in salary, increase in overtime, better health insurance, etc. The process is relatively unstructured. In the union setting, the union is the employee’s exclusive representative concerning wages, hours, benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment. The respective rights and obligations are set forth in a contract between
the employer and union called a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CBA attempts to define the relationship between the employer and the employees in a particular “bargaining unit” (an employer may have one or more such units).
There are numerous statutes governing the employer-employee relationship, most notably those that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. Those apply irrespective of whether or not an employee is represented by a union. In the union shop, however, there is an additional, overarching, and particularized statutory scheme prescribing the
interactions among employer, employee, and union. Such things as employee discipline, for example, ordinarily a management prerogative, will be covered in exquisite detail in a CBA, typically in the form of a multi-tiered grievance procedure.
If there is no union in place, then the employer and employee need only be concerned with the panoply of “other” statutes and case law that govern workplace behavior—no easy task.
Contact an Experienced Employment Law Attorney
If you require assistance in any labor or employment matter in New York or Connecticut, contact Maya Murphy today. With offices in both states, MayaLaw serves clients throughout Bridgeport, Stamford, Newark, Manhattan, and more. Call 212-682-5700 for our New York office or 203-221-3100 for our Connecticut office.
While there are federal laws in place, employment and labor laws are highly specific to the state in which one is employed. Both Connecticut and New York have very specific rules and guidelines offering certain protections to employers and employees. Whether you are an employee seeking to challenge disciplinary action or termination, or an
employer defending such actions, it is important to seek guidance from a lawyer with experience in this particular area of the law. At MayaLaw, we have attorneys with extensive backgrounds in New York and Connecticut labor law, including issues related to employee discipline.
“At Will” Employment States
Both New York and Connecticut are “at will” employment states. This means that an employee can be fired with little or no explanation in most cases. However, you may have more rights as an employee if you have signed an employment contract. Often, these contracts contain clauses that protect employees from being fired without cause, allowing them to challenge their employer’s actions or seek other legal recourse. An experienced employment lawyer from Maya Law who is familiar with the laws in your
state will be able to help you review your employment contract and determine what your rights are in your specific situation.
Exceptions to “At Will” Employment
In addition to contract employees, other individuals may also be exempt from the rules applied to “at will” employees. Some examples of employees who have different protections include:
- Government workers;
- Employees who are disciplined or terminated based on sex, race, or other discriminatory grounds; and
- At-will employees suffering from harassment.
Losing a job is a difficult time in any person’s life. In the immediate aftermath, you are left to deal with all the questions about how and where to proceed in navigating the job market. Amid that confusion, employers will also sometimes offer severance packages and request the employee to sign documents upon their discharge. The decisions you make during this time can have a profound effect on your legal rights moving forward. Information on receiving unemployment benefits and severance pay can be found here.
Contact an Experienced Employment Law Attorney
The employment lawyers at MayaLaw have extensive experience both in negotiating employment contracts and litigating unfair discipline or termination cases. With offices and attorneys in both New York and Connecticut, we are able to represent clients with the high level of knowledge and strong client relationships you need from your attorney.
Our firm is dedicated to providing the advantages of a large firm with the close, personal attention of a smaller one. If you need an employment lawyer with experience in employee discipline cases, in New York or Connecticut, contact Maya Murphy today. With offices in both states, MayaLaw serves clients throughout Bridgeport, Stamford, Newark, Manhattan, and more. Call 212-682-5700 for our New York office or 203-221-3100 for our Connecticut office.