Title VII is not a general civility code for the American workplace per SCOTUS

What do we do?

All we do is employment law, in New York State. Whether your issue concerns a hostile workplace, unpaid overtime, or reviewing or negotiating a severance agreement or a non-compete or non-solicitation issue with your former employer, we want to help.

We handle cases across New York State. Some matters require in-person consultations in Albany, Buffalo, Midtown New York City, or Rochester. Depending on the matter, that can be arranged. Document review and contract matters (some negotiations) are often handled remotely with e-mails, telephone conferences, and electronic payment.

We gather facts, conduct legal research, draft demand letters and charging documents, negotiate, litigate in federal courts and state administrative hearings, and mediate employment law matters.

V. Jonas Urba founded the Urba Law Firm, registered as Urba Law PLLC, in Westchester County. He has practiced employment law across much of the country for more than twenty (20) years. The firm associates with legal counsel statewide when necessary. Clients are always informed before that happens.

The firm insists that potential clients consult with employment lawyers before retaining any one firm. In 2018 it launched YouTube videos called Employment Law Reality Check. Those videos are short. Each one talks about different employment law questions that have recently been asked. All potential clients are encouraged to call other employment lawyers before hiring any firm.

Who do we serve?

We serve clients across New York State. We are based in Westchester County. With technology today, many matters can be handled remotely. We represent clients across the state. Most are employees or former employees. Every once in a while we handle a matter for a small business. Although rare, if you call and happen to work for one of the few businesses who we represent, we can not, and will not, disclose that you called on a potential legal matter.

Hostile workplaces still exist. It is not that uncommon for employees to still work for such employers. Most employees want to keep their jobs. But some workplaces can be so unbearable that you are forced to quit. Before you do that make sure you have consulted with an employment lawyer first! As you will read, a hostile workplace might not be what you think it is. And quitting is usually not the best option in most scenarios.

You might want to sue. But that is not always the best choice. Although we can never force an employer to negotiate, with strong facts, negotiating can happen even in New York City. And, depending on your specific facts, when and how negotiation is attempted will be key to negotiation’s success, if that choice is ever an option.

Even employees in service, medical, financial, sales, and entertainment industries are still paid improperly. We analyze unpaid overtime claims. Some involve improperly classified exempt and salaried employees.

We help employees with performance improvement plans (PIPs) and corrective action plans (CAPs). Some employees keep their jobs. For those who are fired unlawfully, we sometimes negotiate or litigate on their behalf. If you face such a plan, call early. Employees who do get the best results. Early intervention is best!

Ask an employment lawyer to help you, in confidence, with your Performance Improvement.

Warning signs for employees

Be on the lookout for corporate mergers and buyouts. Changes in management often trigger reductions in force. If you have always performed well and are suddenly rated lower for no apparent reason that could be a sign of a coming reduction in force (RIF).

Many New Yorkers work for the same employer for decades. That’s unusual for the USA. If that’s you, being out of the job search market for years may present challenges which you should prepare for as soon as possible.

The common law is good law in New York State. Faithless Servant Doctrine, Master Servant Doctrine, and Duty of Loyalty to your employer are required by all. We are surprised by how many employees, and even lawyers, are to discover this. You read that correctly. Lawyers who do not focus on or limit their practices to employment law may not know this. We handle no other areas of law because we know very little about those areas of law.

A very common scenario is new management takes over. The new supervisors or managers are super demanding. Employees who have been with the organization for years object. New management digs in. You may be one of those long term employees and you might be surprised to learn that objecting to higher performance standards could be a breach of your duty of loyalty to your employer. Your objections might even rise to insubordination, depending on your facts. As you can imagine, bad things might happen to those who challenge new management.

Urba Law PLLC focuses on:

Urba Law PLLC legal experience

V. Jonas Urba has more than twenty (20) years experience in employment law. He defended human resources, insurance carriers and a professional employer organization, totaling eight (8) years on the defense side.

He represents mostly employees and has done so for twelve (12) years. Experience on both sides gives Jonas the ability to see both sides.

Jonas is somewhat unique in that he himself has worked in many industries. Jonas has direct experience in sales, health care, education, government, retail, and manufacturing. As a lawyer, Jonas has conducted internal investigations of hostile workplaces. He was a designated hearing officer, swore witnesses, heard testimony, and accepted evidence; then made recommended decisions on regulatory matters. Jonas often provides advice and counsel on non-compete and non-solicitation matters and drafts documents including policies and procedures (employee handbooks) for small businesses.

He has represented hundreds of employees, employers, and insurance carriers across the country.

Client reviews include the following:  https://www.urbanylaw.com/new-york-employment-law-914-366-7366/client-reviews/

Your consultation options

The firm is based in Westchester County. However, more and more clients choose to retain Urba Law PLLC remotely. It starts with a no charge telephone consultation with you. After that free phone conference, potential clients more regularly retain Urba Law PLLC remotely. You may be situated across the state and need help with a severance issue, a non-complete, or even a hostile workplace issue. With technology today, Urba Law PLLC tries to help statewide in New York if your facts or issues are strong.

Many matters can be handled remotely with high speed scanners, PDF files, and electronic funds transfers. When necessary, at the firm’s sole discretion in agreement with you, conferences may occur in Midtown Manhattan, Albany, Buffalo, or Rochester.

Jonas is admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. https://www.urbanylaw.com/proud-of-our-2nd-circuit-coa/ He is also admitted to  the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. All federal court case filings are done electronically. The overwhelming majority of client correspondence is also handled electronically. No faxes and limited USPS mailing from 520 White Plains Rd., Suite 500, Tarrytown, New York 10591!

Why Employment Law Reality Check?

Employment law is all about reality. Without strong, verified facts, employment law claims fail.

Wrongful termination is highly misunderstood.

Wrongful termination means illegal or unlawful termination. That usually requires a broken contract or evidence to support employment discrimination which can include a hostile workplace.

Most employees are “at will”. They can be terminated for no reason. And most can quit for no reason. Generally, notice is not required. Nor does the

Employees with contracts have more rights. An individual employment contract protects one employee. A collective bargaining agreement or union contract protects all members of that union in the same way.

Government employees are often ones with the most protection.

Many employment terminations are not fair. But unfairness is not illegal.

Others are fired for bad reasons. But firing for bad reasons is not illegal. The termination must be for an unlawful reason or reasons to be actionable in most cases.

Reality check was created to help the public (including attorneys who do not limit their practices to employment law) understand these realities. And to encourage anyone facing an employment dispute to call employment lawyers. Many if necessary. And then retain one if the facts support doing so.

It’s a public service message brought to the public with short video clips on YouTube at Employment Law Reality Check.

Categories of Unlawful Actions

There are generally three (3) categories of clients which Urba Law PLLC represents.

One group is discriminated employees. Discrimination often includes working in a hostile workplace or for a manager who acts in a hostile manner. Title VII, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Laws plus the ADA, FRA, ADEA, PDA, and other human rights laws might apply.

Another group are employees who have not been paid for all work performed. Often these employees have unpaid overtime claims. They may accrue under New York’s wage laws or the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The final group have written document issues. It might be negotiating a severance agreement’s terms, a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement, trade secrets or concern an employee handbook for an employer.

Litigation, Mediation, Arbitration

Federal court lawsuits are generally lengthy. They can last many years. They are expensive. Regardless of who wins the other side can appeal.

Employment law dispute mediation sometimes works. But it’s not guaranteed. It takes the cooperation of both sides. And it requires an experienced employment law mediator to make it effective.

Arbitration is not the first choice of most employees. But those who have agreed to it have little choice. The process is faster than litigation but the results are never certain. There are no juries. An arbitrator or a panel listens to testimony, accepts evidence and makes a decision which is usually final.

A better choice is to negotiate following either a well drafted complaint, demand letter, or both. But no one can force your employer to do so. Your facts need to be strong up front.

Demand Letters

A typical employment law claim might include the following:

  • Serving a demand letter on an employer
  • Attempting to negotiate (no employer can be forced to settle)
  • Filing charges with the EEOC, the New York State Division of Human Rights, or New York City’s Commission on Human Rights
  • Requesting a NORTS letter
  • Filing a federal complaint
  • Responding to motions
  • Conducting discovery
  • Trying the case
  • Responding to post trial motions including appeals.

The process takes time. Early resolution is often a good idea. Although that is not always an option for specified government, union, education, and health care employees.

“At will” v. Government, Union or Contract Employees

Most employees are protected from employment discrimination. New York State now protects even sole employees from discrimination “because of sex”. Other types of discrimination usually require that an employer employ four (4) or more employees under state laws or 15 employees under federal laws. There are always exceptions.

Employees with private contracts of employment can rely on the terms of their signed agreements for protection; assuming those documents were properly drafted and/or reviewed by legal counsel.

Employees who work collectively or together sometimes have unions. Those unions negotiate agreements which cover everyone. They are collective bargaining agreements. Every member of the union relies on the same agreement for some job protection.

Historically, the most protected employees worked for the government and were members of unions. This might be one reason why so many viewed them with envy.

The reality check is that employees who are not civil servants, union members, or under private employment contracts can be fired for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all.

Employers who manufacture false reasons for terminating employees sometimes need to defend claims of pretext to avoid being liable for discrimination.

What is pretext related to employment discrimination?

Pretext is a made up reason. Not a fake fact. It’s a lie; not the real or actual reason for an adverse employment action.

Employment lawyers have to prove actual motivations. Sometimes they do so with evidence which shows that stated reasons were not true. This is showing pretext. But an employee must still prove the elements of whatever discrimination theory the employee is pursuing. An employer’s lies by themselves don’t count.

V. Jonas Urba, a New York employment lawyer, serves the entire state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Not legal advice. Call (914) 366-7366 to speak with an actual attorney about your employment law issue.https://www.urbanylaw.com/new-york-employment-law-914-366-7366/about-contact/ 

Urba Law PLLC, 520 White Plains Rd., Ste. 500, Tarrytown, NY 10591