Yearly Archives: 2018

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Will the Supreme Court decide if sexual orientation is protected in the workplace under Title VII?

The Supreme Court may decide “Whether the prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1), against employment discrimination “because of . . . sex” encompasses discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation.”

Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda
Docket No.17-1623.Pending Petition

The Supreme Court may want to take up the Zarda question to avoid an inevitable Circuit-Split and incongruous application of Title VII.  

The last conference for the selection committee of Justices could have granted the Zarda petition for certiorari should be heard by the 9 Justices was set for December 3, 2018, however it has since been rescheduled.  

The Supreme Court will have to decide whether it wants to hear the Second Circuit case in its upcoming 2019 term.

New Push for $15.00 Minimum Wages After Mid-Term Elections

Minimum wages laws could be changing nationwide in the upcoming legislative sessions.  As the new year approaches and this year’s legislative sessions wind down, we look to the future of Minimum Wage laws.

Congressional lawmakers in Washington may seek to raise the federal minimum wage in the upcoming sessions of congress. The current federal minimum wage $7.25 an hour for close to 10 years. Congress members may introduce a new or modified version of the the Raise the Wage Act,  to raise the federal minimum progressively to $15.00 over 7 years.  The law will allow employers time to plan and may lead to job cuts.

The Raise the Wage Act seeks to set automatic increases to the minimum wage linked to median wage growth for the U.S. labor work force. The the Raise the Wage Act, would  progressively eliminate the lower minimum wage for waiters and servers and bartenders and other tipped workers. The tipped workers now make far less in minimum wages per hour. The Raise the Wage Act also provides protections for disabled workers who are often paid less than the minimum wage. The Raise the Wage Act seeks to offer protections for low wage workers.

Local lawmakers in cities across the us including Milwaukee Wisconsin and Detroit Michigan passed $15.00 minimum wage laws in the November 2018 elections.

Other states may be compelled to raise their own minimum wages as more municipalities make the choice to raise minimum wages to $15.00 per hour.  New York is on track to be a $15.00 minimum wage state in the coming years.

If  you have minimum wages questions or have been denied pay or wages or minimum wage or overtime pay, contact Berlingieri Law, PLLC for a free consultation.



New Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Confirmed to Supreme Court

Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the United States Supreme Court by the Senate and sworn in as Associate Justice by his predecessor and former boss Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in a  ceremony at the White House with President Trump and his family.  Claims of sexual harassment and misconduct should be taken seriously and investigated.  Unsupported claims  and inconsistencies in testimony of purported accusers are to be treated with suspicion and all the facts need to be clear.

 

Despite the politicized and spurious allegations brought forth by Kavanaugh and the President’s opponents, Kavanaugh is sworn in as the newest member of the United States Supreme Court, filling the seat of retired Justice Kennedy. The Kavanaugh confirmation shows us that outlandish and unsupported claims of sexual misconduct are dismissed and not worth pursuing.

 

The 9 member panel of Justices seek to hear new cases before the SCOTUS in its fall term. Employment issues and Employment law may be decided.

 

Kavanaugh could rule in favor of employee rights and could uphold religious freedoms of individuals under the First Amendment.  Kavanaugh’s addition to the bench along with Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch give individual rights supporters a needed boost in the Nation’s highest court.

 

Employment law may be affected in terms of expanding individual rights under the law in employment. However the plain meaning of statutes like Title VII  and the limitation of overreaching district courts and circuit courts may be reigned back by the new dynamic on the supreme court. Chief Justice John Roberts swears Kavanaugh in below (officially).



Wrongful Termination Lawyers with Top 5 Star Reviews

Berlingieri Law, PLLC is here to help you if you have been wrongfully terminated in New York or Connecticut.

As you can see from one client review:

“Attorney Berlingieri was extremely helpful in my employment case. The first time i contacted Berlingieri law regarding my situation my questions were answered promptly and accurately. Attorney Berlingieri processed my claim in a timely fashion. I highly recommend Berlingieri law.”

 

Another Client said:

“Hand down I would like to say Chris Berlingieri was vary helpful and we have many cases with him he make his client first piority and yes he has won some also we know from experience I don’t know who would put anything less then 5 🌟 must be rateing the wrong person because he getts result I highly recommend him if you want a good law attorney on your side thanks for all your time and you’ll always be our go to man to get the job done😀”

Or as put by another client:

Gets results answers any and all questions with in a reasonable amount time has a great attitude and very patient gives specific details with things I found confusing just a all around great experience

Contact Berlingieri Law, PLLC today for a free consultation. Call 347-766-5185 any time.
Prior Results do Not Guarantee Future Similar Outcomes.


Berlingieri Law, PLLC, Founder Christopher Berlingieri Earns Avvo Clients Choice 2018 – Award

Berlingieri Law, PLLC, Founder Christopher Berlingieri earns Avvo Clients Choice 2018 – Award.

 
 5 STAR 2018 CLIENT REVEIWS

Chris did an excellent job fighting for my wrongful termination case and appreciate his professionalism during the entire process. I fully recommend Chris for future legal work
Fought and won my case with a substantial settlement, was very fair with his compensation and was clearly invested in the success of the case.

He did everything for me! Very nice guy and did everything I had hoped for!

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Attorney Client Privilege

Attorney Client privilege in New York and Federal Courts – the client holds the privilege. Attorney cannot disclose confidential information as directed by the client.   Employment lawyers at Berlingieri Law, PLLC holds attorney client privilege as a top priority and treats your personal confidential information with the needed level of care.

Recent events of the politically motivated raid of the President of the United State’s personal lawyer’s New York City office reminds us that“the privilege of confidential communication between client and attorney should not only be liberally construed, but must be regarded as sacred.”

 

 

What should a client keep in mind?

Attorney client privilege is an essential part of the client’s relationship with its attorney.  While the actual application differs between jurisdictions, and is much more complicated than the basic outlines here, the client should bear in mind some basic principles when communicating with its attorneys.            

First, the privilege covers consultation even for potential representation.  Therefore, if a client meets with a potential attorney, but does not retain the attorney, the communications still are privileged.

Second, the client should make certain to limit any disclosures only to the attorneys.  Importantly, not only should a client not include individuals, who are not essential to the representation in any communications, but the client must also be careful about the form of the communication, including what email account, mobile device, etc. that is used.  If the client does not have an expectation that the communications are private, the privilege will not attach.

Finally, and most importantly, the purpose of the privilege is to provide “full and frank” disclosure between client and attorney.  As such, the client should not hide things from its attorney as the privilege will cover even harmful communications if provided in this context.

 

Call today for a free consultation.



Wage Theft (Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law) Cases For Worker’s Rights

Berlingieri Law, PLLC is here for you – We Fight for Worker’s Rights and Victims of Wage Theft Across the USA – now in the Northern District of  California – for a case that started in NYC for Ex-employees were ordered to fake bar app’s popularity: suit

Story Published in April 207 about lawsuit on behalf of worker’s rights.

It’s fake brews.

Two employees of nightlife-rating app Bartrendr claim they were ordered to be pretend partygoers and post constantly in order to make the app seem popular.

The now-defunct app encouraged users to post comments on beers and bar scenes in real time.

The California bosses were so desperate to drum up business that they ordered workers to adopt “multiple pseudonyms or personas in order to give the application the appearance of more user interaction,” according to a lawsuit filed by Staci Spector, 47, and Lisa Garcia, 46.

They often worked more than 80 hours a week but were only paid $1,500 a month, they claim. Plaintiffs were fired in May 2015 after complaining, they charge in a wrongful-termination suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

https://nypost.com/2017/04/29/ex-employees-were-ordered-to-fake-bar-apps-popularity-suit/

 



Sex Discrimination Protects Sexual Orientation

The federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed its prior decision.  Its 2018, sexual orientation is protected against discrimination in the workplace under federal law. A victory for equal rights advocates.

The Historic Case is Cited in Full Caption Below:

 

MELISSA ZARDA, co-independent executor of the estate of Donald Zarda, and WILLIAM ALLEN MOORE, JR., co-independent executor of the estate of Donald Zarda, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
ALTITUDE EXPRESS, INC., doing business as SKYDIVE LONG ISLAND, and RAY MAYNARD, Defendants-Appellees.

Docket No. 15-3775.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

The Second Circuit that includes New York, Connecticut, Vermont,  now joins Indiana, Illinois, or Wisconsin, (7th. Cir.) with federal employment law that prohibits your employer from firing you for your sexual orientation.  This is problematic because while there is no such protection for those in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida and other states whose Courts have not ruled on the issues.  It should be noted that the Second Circuit overruled itself in a 10-3 decision En Banc (sitting as a full panel, including senior judges). The Three dissents were outdated and seemed out of step with the times, as it is 2018 and the scope of of Title VII protection to root out and “stamp out” employment discrimination was the legislative intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Second Circuit’s majority opinion written for the by Chief Judge Robert Katzmann expanded the scope of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—which prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace—protects gay employees. Insofar as “sexual orientation discrimination is motivated, at least in part, by sex and is thus a subset of sex discrimination.” and that it is imperative to “identify the sexual orientation of a particular person,” an employer must “know the sex of the person and that of the people to whom he or she is attracted.”  The majority held:

Because one cannot fully define a person’s sexual orientation without identifying his or her sex, sexual orientation is a function of sex. Indeed sexual orientation is doubly delineated by sex because it is a function of both a person’s sex and the sex of those to whom he or she is attracted. Logically, because sexual orientation is a function of sex and sex is a protected characteristic under Title VII, it follows that sexual orientation is also protected.”

Whats Next?: SCOTUS Review-  –   The Circuit split is clear the Supreme Court will have its take on the issue and ultimately will most likely rule in favor of the Title VII expansion of the term “sex” to include “sexual orientation” under Title VII once and for all.

Zarda Attorney tweets below:



#metoo Reporting of Sexual Harassment increases in 2018

Victims of Sexual Harassment Are Reporting More in 2018.

 



New York State’s Paid Family Leave

If you have questions about paid family leave in New York, Contact an employment attorney.

As of January 1, 2018, most employees who work in New York State for private employers are eligible to take Paid Family Leave. If you are a public employee, your employer may choose to offer Paid Family Leave.

New York’s Paid Family Leave provides job-protected, paid time off so you can:

  • bond with a newly born, adopted or fostered child;
  • care for a close relative with a serious health condition; or
  • assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service.

You can continue your health insurance while on leave and are guaranteed the same or a comparable job after your leave ends. If you contribute to the cost of your health insurance, you must continue to pay your portion of the premium cost while on Paid Family Leave.

Benefits

Paid Family Leave benefits phase in over four years. During 2018, you can take up to eight weeks of Paid Family Leave and receive 50% of your average weekly wage (AWW), capped at 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). Your AWW is the average of your last eight weeks of pay prior to starting Paid Family Leave. The SAWW is updated annually.

Paid Family Leave Benefits Examples for 2018

Worker’s average weekly wage Weekly PFL Benefit (2018)*
$600 $300
$1,000 $500
$2,000 $652.96

*The weekly PFL benefit is capped at 50% of the New York State average weekly wage, which is $652.96.

Benefits Increase Through 2021

Year Weeks of Leave Benefit
2018 8 weeks 50% of employee’s AWW, up to 50% of SAWW
2019 10 weeks 55% of employee’s AWW, up to 55% of SAWW
2020 10 weeks 60% of employee’s AWW, up to 60% of SAWW
2021 12 weeks 67% of employee’s AWW, up to 67% of SAWW

In 2018, the Paid Family Leave benefit is 50% of your average weekly wage, capped at 50% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage.

Example: An employee who makes $1,000 a week would receive a benefit of $500 a week (50% of $1,000). Another employee who makes $2,000 a week would receive a benefit of $652.96, because this employee is capped at one-half of New York State’s Average Weekly Wage —currently $1,305.92. Half of that amount is $652.96.

Leave can be taken either all at once or in full-day increments. You may take the maximum time-off benefit in any given 52-week period. The 52-week clock starts on the first day you take Paid Family Leave.

PUTTING LOVED ONES FIRST

Maternity & Paternity Leave

Whether you are expecting, fostering or adopting a child, you deserve to take time to care for your child without having to risk your economic security.

Caring for a Loved One

The time you spend caring for a loved one with a serious health condition is critical, whether it be a child, parent, parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, spouse or domestic partner.

Military Service

Paid Family Leave enables loved ones to spend time with those called to active military service and alleviates the pressure of working and caring for a child while a loved one is away.

Source:

https://www.ny.gov/new-york-state-paid-family-leave/paid-family-leave-information-employees