Steven Mitchell Sack Says New Law Will Prevent NYC Fast Food Employees From Being Fired Without Just Cause

NEW YORK, NEW YORK —Effective July 5, 2021, fast food employees working in the five boroughs of New York City will no longer have to worry about being terminated without reason. This means employers must show “just cause” as to why a worker should be fired. Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” says this new law will help protect workers in low-paying jobs from being unfairly fired, especially if this job is their single source of income.

Under the new law, an employer will be required to show proof that a worker failed to perform their necessary duties or engaged in misconduct prior to terminating their employment. To ensure that they will not be dismissed on the spot, employees will be given a series of warnings and appropriate disciplinary actions prior to being fired. In addition, companies will be required to offer employment to former employees before hiring new employees.

Mr. Sack says this bill is a big step in the right direction because it further protects worker’s rights, especially in at-will states such as New York, where employers maintain the right to fire employees at any time for any reason, except on the basis of age, race, gender identification, religion, national origin, physical and/or mental disability, sexual preference, or military status.

“This new just cause bill will provide much-needed job security for fast food workers in New York City,” says Mr. Sack. “These workers are paid very low wages and, for many of them, this is their only source of income. By putting this bill into law, fast food workers’ livelihoods are no longer at the mercy of their employers, who once enjoyed the ability to fire whomever they wanted for whatever reason and at any time. Now, these employers must justify their actions before terminating an employee.”

Mr. Sack has been an employment attorney for more than 40 years. He is known for successfully representing a group of waiters in Samiento v. World Yacht Inc. The landmark New York Court of Appeals decision made it more difficult for restaurants and caterers to keep gratuities intended for their wait staff. He is the author of The Employee Rights Handbook, which has been called a “first-aid kit” for current and prospective employees, giving them the information they need to understand their job rights and protect and assert themselves to collect what is due; telling his readers and clients that “every firing is negotiable.” He served as plaintiffs’ counsel on behalf of three women who were wrongfully terminated when their employer discovered they were pregnant. A Bronx Supreme Court jury awarded the plaintiffs $6.2 million.

For more information, call (917) 371-8000 or visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

Steven Mitchell Sack Speaks to UpJourney for an Article on What Happens if You are Fired for No Reason

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” was interviewed by UpJourney for an article titled “What to Do When You Get Fired Unfairly.” Mr. Sack said that, in the event you believe you were unfairly terminated, you should make sure you weren’t fired for your age, race, gender identification, religion, national origin, physical and/or mental disability, sexual preference, or military status.

“Of all these, age discrimination is the most prevalent,” Mr. Sack said. “Companies attempt to fire older workers because they believe they are paid more, and companies are looking to reduce payroll costs. They may also seek to fire an older worker because they believe their age — and physical condition — may have affected their ability to perform the job properly. Instead of firing them, the company may try to force them to retire early, only to reduce the older worker’s retirement benefits.”

There are other reasons you cannot be let go from your job, according to Mr. Sack. “You also cannot be fired if you refused to follow a company’s orders that resulted in illegal activity, reported corporate misconduct to the authorities and/or sexual or racial harassment and discrimination to your superiors or took extended leaves of absence due to pregnancy, hospitalization, jury duty or military service,” he said.

Mr. Sack also offered the following tips:

  • Know your rights.
  • Be sure to document everything that was promised to you during the job interview.
  • Don’t leave empty-handed (in other words, make sure you receive what you are entitled to — unpaid commissions, salary, bonuses, reimbursements, health benefits, etc.)
  • Always remember: Every firing is negotiable.

Mr. Sack said the last tip is the most important. “A firing doesn’t have to end with you clearing out your desk and walking out with your possessions in a box,” he said. “See if you can work out a deal to stay on with the company and if you can still be on its health plan for a few more weeks until you can find another job.”

Mr. Sack has been an employment attorney for more than 40 years. He is known for successfully representing a group of waiters in Samiento v. World Yacht Inc. The landmark New York Court of Appeals decision made it more difficult for restaurants and caterers to keep gratuities intended for their wait staff. He is the author of The Employee Rights Handbook, which has been called a “first-aid kit” for current and prospective employees, giving them the information they need to understand their job rights and protect and assert themselves to collect what is due; telling his readers and clients that “every firing is negotiable.” He served as plaintiffs’ counsel on behalf of three women who were wrongfully terminated when their employer discovered they were pregnant. A Bronx Supreme Court jury awarded the plaintiffs $6.2 million.

For more information, call (917) 371-8000 or visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

###

 

About Steven Mitchell Sack

Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer®,” has been enforcing workplace rights of employees, executives, and sales representatives for more than 40 years. He is a practicing attorney concentrating in employment law, as well as an author of 19 books, a lecturer and syndicated radio talk show host. Together with attorney Scott A. Lucas, they obtained a $6.2 million jury verdict in 2015 on behalf of three pregnant employees, as well as a favorable Court of Appeals decision for a group of waiters who were denied their fair share of tips that were held back by a caterer. For more information, visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

Steven Mitchell Sack Named to National Law Journal’s List of Employment Law Trailblazers

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” has announced that he has been named to the list of Employment Law Trailblazers by the National Law Journal. This list honors those legal professionals who have made significant marks on the practice, policy and technological advancements in their sector.

Steven Mitchell Sack

Mr. Sack has been an employment attorney for more than 39 years. He is known for successfully representing a group of waiters in Samiento v. World Yacht Inc. The landmark New York Court of Appeals decision made it more difficult for restaurants and caterers to keep gratuities intended for their wait staff.

From 1984 to 1996, he served as a commercial arbitrator in breach of contract, entertainment and employment-related disputes for the American Arbitration Association. During his career, he served as general counsel to numerous sales representatives’ associations. From 1996 to 2001, he hosted a nationally syndicated radio talk show called “Steven Sack: The Employee’s Lawyer.”

Mr. Sack is a sought-after employment attorney, having been interviewed by Newsday, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Oprah, CNN, Fox News and Good Day New York. For more than 40 years, he has represented clients in cases involving breach of contract, discrimination and sexual harassment cases. He is the author of The Employee Rights Handbook, which has been called a “first-aid kit” for current and prospective employees, giving them the information they need to understand their job rights and protect and assert themselves to collect what is due; telling his readers and clients that “every firing is negotiable.” He served as plaintiffs’ counsel on behalf of three women who were wrongfully terminated when their employer discovered they were pregnant. A Bronx Supreme Court jury awarded the plaintiffs $6.2 million.

In addition to his work as an attorney, Mr. Sack is a lecturer and conducts corporate seminars for sales representatives and companies throughout the U.S.

The list will appear in the publication’s July/August issue.

“I am pleased to be named to this prestigious list,” Mr. Sack said. “It is nice to be recognized by an important publication that is one of the top legal trade magazines in the country. This honor showcases the four decades of work I have done helping workers stand up for their rights and obtain the benefits they deserve.”

For more information, call (917) 371-8000 or visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

###

About Steven Mitchell Sack

Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer®,” has been enforcing workplace rights of employees, executives, and sales representatives for more than 39 years. He is a practicing attorney concentrating in employment law, as well as an author of 19 books, a lecturer and syndicated radio talk show host. Together with attorney Scott A. Lucas, they obtained a $6.2 million jury verdict in 2015 on behalf of three pregnant employees, as well as a favorable Court of Appeals decision for a group of waiters who were denied their fair share of tips that were held back by a caterer. For more information, visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

Steven Mitchell Sack Says Virtual Workplace Portal Will Ensure Privacy of Employees, Protect Them from Retaliation

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” says the state’s establishment of a virtual portal to report any workplace violations will allow employees to do so privately and without retribution.

On April 7, 2021, the New York State Legislature passed the state budget. One of the highlights of the budget is the creation of a virtual portal in which employees can privately file complaints against companies that are in violation of state employment law. Some of these include wage/hour violations, racial and/or sexual discrimination and harassment and retaliation, among others.

Those who wish to file a complaint can do so by visiting ny.gov. Reports may remain anonymous.

“The virtual portal is an excellent idea,” Mr. Sack says. “Workers may not file a complaint with the human resources department out of fear of retribution. There is also the conference in which it’s your word against your supervisor’s. By filing a complaint through the virtual portal, workers don’t have to worry about being harassed or intimidated. Rather, they can submit their complaints without their supervisor’s knowledge. If you are unsure whether to file a complaint anonymously, consult an employment lawyer immediately.”

For more information, call (917) 371-8000 or visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

###

About Steven Mitchell Sack

Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer®,” has been enforcing workplace rights of employees, executives, and sales representatives for more than 39 years. He is a practicing attorney concentrating in employment law, as well as an author of 19 books, a lecturer and syndicated radio talk show host. Together with attorney Scott A. Lucas, they obtained a $6.2 million jury verdict in 2015 on behalf of three pregnant employees, as well as a favorable Court of Appeals decision for a group of waiters who were denied their fair share of tips that were held back by a caterer. For more information, visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

Steven Mitchell Sack Discusses the Balance between Employees’ Rights and Workplace Safety as Companies Open up Again

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — With COVID-19 infection rates decreasing and more people getting vaccinated, companies are beginning to reopen their offices and bring their employees back in. But could an employee refuse to return to the office and decide to work remotely instead? Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” says the answer is not that simple when considering such factors as employee classification, state employment laws and what their employment contract says.

“If your company deems you to be an ‘essential’ worker, you must report to the office,” Mr. Sack says. “On the other hand, your employer must be sure that their workers are properly classified as essential, or else they will face serious fines. If you don’t believe that your job functions define you as an essential worker, please consult with an employment attorney.”

If the employee is concerned about contracting the virus at work, Mr. Sack says, that should be addressed with their supervisor immediately. “Anyone who has a compromised immune system may be excused from working in person,” he says. “If you tell your boss that you don’t want to come in because you are afraid of getting sick, that may not be a valid excuse.”

Mr. Sack says some workers may try to defy the workplace edict, which might not be wise. “Before refusing to come into work, they should check the state’s employment laws to see what their rights are,” he says. “Some states, such as New York, are at-will states. That means, if you refuse to show up for work, you can be fired immediately. The only exception is if the employee belongs to a union; then they have protections that preclude them from termination.”

In the event the employee is terminated, Mr. Sack emphasizes that every firing is negotiable. “See if you can get an extension on health coverage, severance pay and retention of benefits, as well as cashing in unused sick and vacation days, pension plans, 401(k)s and unpaid commissions,” he says.

Mr. Sack said, while employees may be responsible to come into work, their employers should be sure that all infection control protocols are put in place. “Workplace safety is key,” he says. “It is the company’s responsibility to protect their workers from becoming seriously ill. That means setting up desks six feet away, making sure masks are worn — especially in open workspaces — and there is an abundant supply of hand sanitizer. It is important to keep their employees safe during these trying times.”

For more information, call (917) 371-8000 or visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

###

About Steven Mitchell Sack

Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer®,” has been enforcing workplace rights of employees, executives, and sales representatives for more than 39 years. He is a practicing attorney concentrating in employment law, as well as an author of 19 books, a lecturer and syndicated radio talk show host. Together with attorney Scott A. Lucas, they obtained a $6.2 million jury verdict in 2015 on behalf of three pregnant employees, as well as a favorable Court of Appeals decision for a group of waiters who were denied their fair share of tips that were held back by a caterer. For more information, visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

 

Steven Mitchell Sack Comments on NYS Federal Judge’s Decision to Strike Down U.S. Labor Department’s Restrictions on Workers Taking COVID-19 Related Leave

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” says a U.S. District Court judge’s decision to strike down the U.S. Department of Labor’s stringent requirements as to who is eligible for coronavirus-related leave will give workers the ability to take off from work when needed.

On August 3, Paul Oetken, Justice, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled that the Labor Department was overly strict in its eligibility requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. For example, the agency cannot prevent workers from taking leave if there is no work for them to perform. Also, the DOL was partially blocked from limiting “intermittent” leave and requiring employees to give a full description as to why they are requesting time off for work.

“This is a definite win for workers who may need to take leave to take care of themselves or a loved one,” Mr. Sack says. “No one should have to explain themselves or jump through hoops if they need a few days off. If you believe you were unfairly denied time off under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, please consult an employment law attorney.”

For more information, call (917) 371-8000 or visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

 

### 

About Steven Mitchell Sack

Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer®,” has been enforcing workplace rights of employees, executives, and sales representatives for 37 years. He is a practicing attorney concentrating in employment law, as well as an author of 19 books, a lecturer and syndicated radio talk show host. Together with attorney Scott A. Lucas, they obtained a $6.2 million injury verdict in 2015 on behalf of three pregnant employees, as well as a favorable Court of Appeals decision for a group of waiters who were denied their fair share of tips that were held back by a caterer. For more information, visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

Steven Mitchell Sack Comments on Employees’ Rights to Refuse to Wear a Face Mask

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — In New York, many lockdown restrictions have been lifted, allowing businesses to reopen. One of the conditions, however, is that employees are required to wear face masks at work if social distancing among co-workers is not possible. But what if an employee returns to work but refuses to wear a face covering? Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” says wearing a mask should be part of a worker’s routine when they go back to work.

“This isn’t an employee rights issue, it’s a health and safety issue,” Mr. Sack says. “Employees must prove that they cannot wear a mask because of religious reasons or medical issues that may affect their breathing. If someone returns to the workplace and refuses to wear a mask without a legal reason, then the worker may potentially face termination.”

Mr. Sack says he understands that companies want to keep their employees safe, but he added that workers who do not wear protective face coverings due to religious or health protections should not be subject to harassment by supervisors or other employees. “Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, co-workers or managers cannot single out an employee based on their religious beliefs or existing medical conditions,” he says. “If you believe you are facing harassment or discrimination as a result, consult an employment law attorney immediately.”

For more information, call (917) 371-8000 or visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

###

About Steven Mitchell Sack

Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer®,” has been enforcing workplace rights of employees, executives, and sales representatives for more than 39 years. He is a practicing attorney concentrating in employment law, as well as an author of 19 books, a lecturer and syndicated radio talk show host. Together with attorney Scott A. Lucas, they obtained a $6.2 million injury verdict in 2015 on behalf of three pregnant employees, as well as a favorable Court of Appeals decision for a group of waiters who were denied their fair share of tips that were withheld by a caterer. For more information, visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

Steven Mitchell Sack Interviewed by Forbes on the Latest Employment Law Trends

Topics Included Age Discrimination Law Updates, Negotiating Job Termination Packages

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” was recently interviewed for two separate articles on employment law by Forbes, a major business publication.

The first article focused on whether the United States would update its age discrimination laws to match those of The Equality Act in the United Kingdom, which permits younger workers to sue employers for age discrimination. According to attorney Sack, “While it’s a great question in theory, an expanded law will never happen because it’s illogical and impractical in practice. Protecting a 28-year-old from age discrimination is silly. It’s hard enough to prove it when you have a 60-year-old, unless you have substantial proof.”

Mr. Sack was interviewed for a second article with Forbes on knowing your rights when you are terminated from a job and effective strategies to negotiate enhanced severance packages. In the article “Why Every Employment Termination Is Negotiable: 33 Dos and Dont’s To Get What You Deserve,” written by Sheila Callaham, attorney Sack advised those looking to take a job termination package not to accept the first offer from an employer. “The first thing to remember is that every firing is negotiable, so long as no misconduct is involved,” Mr. Sack said. He also stated that anything can be negotiated, from bonuses to health benefits to use of the company car. Most importantly, according to Sack, if you are fired unexpectedly, you should remember the first three tips: never lose your temper, negotiate everything you can instead of accepting the employer’s initial offer and continue to draw a salary from the company for as long as possible. The entire article can be viewed by clicking here.

For more information, call (917) 371-8000 or visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.

###

About Steven Mitchell Sack

Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer®,” has been enforcing workplace rights of employees, executives, and sales representatives for more than 39 years. He is a practicing attorney concentrating in employment law, as well as an author of 19 books, a lecturer and syndicated radio talk show host. Together with attorney Scott A. Lucas, they obtained a $6.2 million injury verdict in 2015 on behalf of three pregnant employees, as well as a favorable Court of Appeals decision for a group of waiters who were denied their fair share of tips that were withheld by a caterer. For more information, visit www.theemployeeslawyer.com.