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Labor and Employment Litigation

What We Do

We defend employers and represent other clients in labor, employment, and employee benefits matters, including, for example, breach of employment contract actions, wage-and-hour lawsuits, employment discrimination cases, retaliatory discharge actions, sexual harassment cases, unfair labor practice proceedings, actions for breach of non-competition or non-solicitation agreements, ERISA actions to recover pension or health benefits, and employee benefit funds' actions to recover withdrawal liability payments and delinquent ERISA contributions.

Lawsuits Under Federal And New York Labor and Employment Laws

In labor and employment litigation in federal courts situated in New York and in the New York state courts, some of the federal, state, and city laws which companies frequently are accused of violating are as follows.  At the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC, we have substantial experience litigating, on behalf of employers and individuals, many of these claims and many others.

Federal Laws

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.: Prohibits public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating in all terms and conditions of employment on the basis of gender, race, national origin, color and religion.  Title VII includes, in its definition of gender discrimination, employment decisions made because of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.  Further, Title VII prohibits quid pro quo or hostile work environment sexual harassment and harassment based on other protected characteristics.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. (the “ADEA”), and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, Pub. L. 101-433, 104 Stat. 978 (the “OWBPA”), incorporated in the ADEA: Prohibit public and private employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating against employees 40 years of age and older in all terms and conditions of employment.  The OWBPA declares that employee benefit plans are covered by the ADEA’s general prohibition against age discrimination.  Further, the OWBPA requires that waivers of potential age discrimination claims be “knowing and voluntary.”

Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. (the “ADA”), as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008 (the “ADAAA”): Prohibits all employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against any qualified individual with a physical or mental disability who can perform the essential functions of the desired position, with or without reasonable accommodation, based on that disability.

The Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1871, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983: Prohibit discrimination in employment based on race and national origin.

Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d): Prohibits almost all employers from  discriminating, on the basis of gender, in compensation between employees performing “equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.”  The Equal Pay Act permits unequal pay, however, where the disparity results from a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on any factor other than gender.  The Equal Pay Act is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219.

Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et seq. (the “FMLA”): Requires employers with 50 or more employees to allow workers to take, and to return to their jobs after taking, as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a close family member who has a serious health condition, for an employee’s own serious health condition, or when a close family member is called to active military service.

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”): Prohibits all public employers and private employers with 15 or more employees from refusing to hire, firing, or otherwise discriminating against any employee in the terms and conditions of employment because of the employee’s genetic information.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 706 et seq., especially 29 U.S.C. § 794 (“Section 504”): Prohibits recipients of federal funds from discriminating on the basis of handicap, and authorizes a private cause of action.

Section 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 1140: Prohibits discrimination against employees for the purpose of interfering with their attainment of rights under an employee benefit (pension or health and welfare) plan.

Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1514A: Prohibits a public company and its subsidiaries and affiliates from firing, demoting, suspending, threatening, or harassing an employee because the employee reported, to the federal government or to a supervisor, fraud against shareholders or a violation of Securities and Exchange Commission rules.

The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733: Prohibits private employers from discharging, demoting, suspending, threatening, or harassing an employee because the employee investigated for, initiated, gave testimony for, or assisted in a lawsuit under the False Claims Act.  In turn, section 3729 of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, bars anyone from either knowingly presenting to the federal government, for payment or approval, a false or fraudulent claim, or from knowingly making or using a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the federal government.  The False Claims Act authorizes any person to bring a civil action, in the name of the United States, for a violation of section 3729 of the False Claims Act.

New York State Laws

New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law §§ 290-301: Prohibits employers with four or more employees from firing or refusing to hire an individual, and from discriminating against an individual in compensation or in the terms and conditions of employment, because of the individual's age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, gender, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status.

New York Labor Law §§ 193 and 198(1-a): Section 193 of the New York Labor Law prohibits all private employers from making unlawful deductions from the wages of an employee.  Section 198(1-a) of the New York Labor Law authorizes workers to sue employers for violations of N.Y. Labor Law § 193 and allows prevailing workers to recover the unpaid wages, liquidated damages (for willful violations), and attorneys’ fees.

New York State False Claims Act, N.Y. State Finance Law §§ 187-194: Prohibits public and private employers from firing, demoting, suspending, threatening, or harassing an employee because the employee investigated for, initiated, gave testimony for, or assisted in a lawsuit under the State False Claims Act.  In turn, section 189 of the State False Claims Act, N.Y. State Fin. Law § 189, bars anyone from either knowingly presenting to the state or a federal government, for payment or approval, a false or fraudulent claim, or from knowingly making or using a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the state or a local government.  The State False Claims Act authorizes any person to bring a civil action, on behalf of New York State or a local government, for a violation of section 189 of the State False Claims Act.

New York Whistleblower Law, N.Y. Labor Law § 740: Prohibits all employers from discharging, suspending, demoting, or otherwise retaliating against an employee because the employee disclosed to a supervisor or to a public body an unlawful activity, policy or practice of the employer that creates and presents a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety, or which constitutes health care fraud.

New York City Laws

New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y. City Admin. Code §§ 8-101 – 8-131: Prohibits employers with four or more employees from firing or refusing to hire an individual, and from discriminating against an individual in compensation or in the terms and conditions of employment, because of the individual's actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage, or citizenship status.

New York City False Claims Act, N.Y. City Admin. Code §§ 7-801 – 7-810: Prohibits private employers from discharging, suspending, demoting, or otherwise retaliating against an employee because the employee investigated for, initiated, gave testimony for, or assisted in a civil enforcement action under the City False Claims Act.  In turn, section 7-803 of the City False Claims Act, N.Y. City Admin. Code § 7-803, bars any individual or entity from either knowingly presenting to the City, for payment or approval, a false or fraudulent claim, or from knowingly making or using a false record or statement to get a false or fraudulent claim paid or approved by the City.  The City False Claims Act authorizes any individual or entity to bring a civil enforcement action against anyone for a violation of section 7-803 of the City False Claims Act. 

If your company needs a law firm to defend it in labor and employment litigation, contact the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC.

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