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October 2014 Archives

Do you know your rights under the New York False Claims Act?

Attorneys at Serrins Fisher LLP represent employees who blow the whistle on employers who defraud the state or local government. In addition to prohibiting fraud, the New York State False Claims Act (NYS-FCA) offers protections and monetary incentives to whistleblowers.

Manhattan Papa John's owner sued for unpaid wages

Fighting on behalf of workers who have been denied their hourly wages is part of our legal practice at Serrins Fisher LLP. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York state labor law govern wage requirements for private and public sector workers, including restaurant employees who can be paid less than the state or federal minimum wage. An attorney with experience in this area of law can help protect your rights if you have been wronged by an employer.

Does the Family and Medical Leave Act Protect Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren?

Sometimes cases with interesting facts can lead courts to make decisions we might not necessarily expect at first glance, and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals may have recently done just that. The primary issue in Gienapp v. Harbor Crest involved a box, on a form, left unfilled by the plaintiff. But the most noteworthy holding from the 7th Circuit decision has nothing at all to do with that empty box. Instead, it has to do with a grandparent's rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for their grandchildren when that child's parent is ill.

What constitutes nonsexual workplace harassment in NYC?

The problem of sexual harassment in the workplace has been the subject of many of our blog posts, including this one regarding a potential class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Agriculture Department's Forest Service. Illegal harassment in the workplace is not always sexual, however.

When Does an Unpaid Internship Violate the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Since the economic crisis of 2008 and subsequent recession, we've seen a significant increase in the number of lawsuits filed by unpaid interns, alleging labor violations. As this Forbes article details, it isn't necessarily that the amount of unpaid internships has increased - these have been with us since the early 1990s. Rather, the Great Recession has significantly decreased the likelihood of obtaining a full-time position from an unpaid internship. ("As for unpaid internships, students who have them are today hardly more likely to get a job offer [37 percent] than those who have no internship at all [35 percent].") Additionally, graduates unable to find work are now being pulled into the mix, working for free and not even earning academic credit for that work.

Firefighters file sexual harassment complaint against Forest Service

The U.S. Agriculture Department has been held to account numerous times in recent years for discrimination based on race and gender. The department made payouts to female and Hispanic farmers to compensate for discrimination; Native American farmers brought a class-action suit, which the department settled; and black farmers who complained of discrimination won a $1.15 billion settlement.

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