The costs associated with managing a workforce in today's business environment have grown exponentially. Employers of all sizes are subject to complex Federal and State laws that frame and impact decisions and policies related to employees, increasing the risks associated with taking action in the absence of proper legal guidance.
The attorneys in our Labor and Employment practice group represent management exclusively, large employers, serving entrepreneurs, and not-for-profit and public sector entities including colleges, human services agencies, school districts, cities, towns, villages, counties and public authorities. We assist clients in union and non-union settings in a wide variety of industries including heavy and light manufacturing, service, wholesale and retail.
Serving as strategic advisors to senior executives during acquisition and downsizing, we provide counsel related to wage/hour and benefits issues and assist in the development of corporate employee policies, procedures and handbooks. On a day to day basis we provide guidance to human resource and business unit managers on the many different laws encompassing employees' rights. Our goals are to help our clients create and maintain a positive human relations environment in their workplace, and support them in anticipating and preventing employment problems, as well as assisting them to resolve current issues. Should the need for litigation counsel arise, our team is prepared to handle a full range of employment-related litigation matters, in all agencies and courts. If your company operates in a union environment, our labor and employment attorneys are seasoned advisors in the areas of collective bargaining, administration of collective bargaining agreements, grievance and arbitration proceedings.
Scott P. Horton, Partner
New York State Issues New Regulations on Wage Deductions
Dec-05-2013 — The New York State Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) final regulations regarding deductions from wages pursuant to Section 193 of the New York Labor Law (“Section 193”) took effect October 9, 2013. Consequently, employers can now implement the statutory amendments to Section 193 that were enacted late last year. The DOL had taken the position that employers should operate in accordance with the pre-amendment version of Section 193 until it issued these final regulations (“Regulations”).
October 1st Deadline Approaches for Affordable Care Act Exchange Notices
Sep-25-2013 — The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires that all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act provide each current employee with a written notice (“Notice”) describing the employee’s health insurance options, including coverage on a health insurance exchange or marketplace. The Notice must be provided on or before October 1, 2013. In addition, new hires must be provided with the Notice within 14 days after the date of hire (potentially before an employee’s first day of work).
Having their say: WNY Super Lawyers - Buffalo Law Journal Article features Melinda Disare
Sep-09-2013 — Melinda Disare was named one of the Top 25 Women Attorneys in Upstate NY by Super Lawyers magazine
Employers Required to Use New Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9
Mar-19-2013 — On March 8, 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") published a new version of the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 ("Form I-9"). The revised Form I-9 is available on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov and should be used immediately.
New Regulations Require Replacement of FMLA Poster
Mar-07-2013 — On February 6, 2013, the United States Department of Labor ("DOL") published new Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") regulations that primarily address earlier statutory amendments that altered the military family leave entitlements and the availability of leave for airline flight crew employees. These regulations take effect on March 8, 2013. As a result of the regulatory changes, the DOL's form FMLA poster and some of the DOL's optional use medical certification forms have also been modified
NYS Wage Theft Prevention Act Reminder: Annual Notices Due by February 1, 2013
Jan-21-2013 — The New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act requires that all New York employers (except government entities) provide employees with written notice (and obtain acknowledgements of receipt) of pay rate and payday, including on an annual basis between January 1st and February 1st. Please note that legislation proposed to end the annual notice requirement has not been enacted into law. Accordingly, the annual notice still must be given by February 1st this year.
Social-media ownership still a gray area: Buffalo Law Journal Features Scott Horton
Dec-13-2012 — Social-media ownership still a gray area: Buffalo Law Journal Features Scott Horton with comments on what this means for employers.
Thomas E. Brydges quoted in Business First of Buffalo Article - Finding growth areas will be priority for new Daemen CEO
Nov-29-2012 — Thomas E. Brydges, vice chair of the Daemen College board of trustees, comments about the challenges and opportunities that the College’s new president will face
New York State Expands List of Permissible Employee Wage Deductions
Sep-10-2012 — On September 7, 2012, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that amends Section 193 of the New York Labor Law ("Section 193"). Section 193 generally prohibits covered employers from making deductions from the wages of their employees, with limited exceptions. The amendments expand the categories for which employers may make deductions from wages,
Legal pros help small biz navigate health-care law: Q&A with Robert Patterson
Aug-02-2012 — The Buffalo Law Journal asked Robert Patterson to address some of the biggest concerns of area small-business owners and share his insight on what they can expect in the coming months.
NLRB General Counsel Issues Third Social Media Report: He Probably Doesn't "Like" Your Company's Policy
Jul-02-2012 — On May 30, 2012, the Acting General Counsel ("GC") of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or "Board"), Lafe Solomon, issued his third report on social media cases brought before the agency ("Report"). In two earlier reports the GC discussed an array of NLRB cases involving social media. The most recent Report focuses exclusively on employer policies that address the use of social media by employees.
Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti Harassment Policy
May-18-2012 — This sample policy may be adapted to prohibit various kinds of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and to establish a procedure for employees to complain about such conduct. It is presented for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion with respect to any particular facts or circumstances. This sample may not be appropriate for some employers and it should not be used without professional counsel. It was prepared on
NLRB'S Rights Poster Rule Blocked By Temporary Injunction
Apr-20-2012 — On April 17, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted an emergency injunction just two weeks before millions of private employers would have been required to post a workplace Notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including their right to form a union and bargain collectively regarding wages and working conditions.
Steven J. Ricca and Scott P. Horton featured in Buffalo Law Journal Special Report on Social Media
Feb-21-2012 — Scott P. Horton and Steven J. Ricca provided their insights on the legal profession's use of social media in a Buffalo Law Journal Special Report.
New April Deadline: Federal Obligation to Notify Employees of Their Rights Under the National Labor Relations Act
Dec-28-2011 — The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has published its final rule mandating that virtually all private-sector employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act ("The Act") notify employees of their rights under the Act by posting notice(s) in the workplace. This rule applies to both unionized and non-unionized employers.
REMINDER: Annual Notices Required Under New York's "Wage Theft Prevention Act"
Dec-16-2011 — In December 2010, New York enacted the "Wage Theft Prevention Act" (the "Act"), which amended various significant provisions of the New York Labor Law effective April 2011. The Act added new affirmative obligations for employers and increased the costs of non-compliance. The Act applies to all New York employers (except governmental agencies, which are not subject to the requirements of the applicable Labor Law provisions).
Important Notice for Private Sector Employers Subject to the National Labor Relations Act: Amendments to Election Procedures, Rules and Regulations
Dec-13-2011 — On November 30, 2011, the three current members of the National Labor Relations Board ("Board" or "NLRB") voted 2-1, along party-lines, to adopt a number of amendments to the Board's rules pertaining to union elections in the private sector. The amendments do not become final until a further vote is taken after the precise language to the amendments has been drafted.
Risk and rewards substantial for social media users featuring Scott P. Horton
Mar-14-2011 — Featured in Buffalo Law Journal - One only needs to scan the local news to witness the way changes in technology incrementally alter people's actions and the corresponding consequences. Over time, individuals and organizations embrace (or reject) the changes and modify their behaviors. Legal considerations play a prominent role in the adjustment process.
New York's "Wage Theft Prevention Act" Imposes Sweeping Changes on State Labor Law
Feb-03-2011 — In December 2010, then-New York Governor David Paterson signed into law the "Wage Theft Prevention Act" (the "Act"), which amended significant provisions of the New York Labor Law. The Act operates as a double-edged sword to private sector employers in New York, both adding new affirmative obligations and increasing the costs of non-compliance.
Social Media in the Workplace is Both a Blessing and a Curse
Nov-12-2010 — While online social networking websites may have initially targeted high school and college students, they have rapidly expanded to all demographics. More importantly, they’ve reached even the largest corporations and a broad array of smaller companies and not-for-profit organizations of all shapes and sizes. Today businesses from Wall Street to Main Street have established presences in social media.
Governor's Program Public Employee Retirement Incentive
Jun-18-2010 — On June 2, 2010, Governor Paterson signed into law Governor's Program Bill No. 249R ("249R"), which establishes a temporary retirement incentive program for certain State employees and other public employees in an effort to streamline the workforce while achieving cost savings for the employer.
Federal Contractor Obligations to Notify Employees of Their Rights Under the Federal Labor Laws
May-24-2010 — The United States Department of Labor has published its final rule directing employers who are party to a contract with the Federal government, or a subcontractor of more than $10,000 on such contracts, to post in conspicuous places in the workplace a Notice containing specific language informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including their right to organize or join a union. The Notice also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct that interf
Scott P. Horton featured in Business First Article - Social media legal side has biz implications
May-18-2010 — What might seem like an innocent status update on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter could carry significant legal consequences, according to Scott Horton, an attorney with Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel LLP who specializes in the legal navigation of social media. Read more: Social media legal side has biz implications - Business First of Buffalo
HIRE Act Provides Tax Breaks for Hiring and Retaining Unemployed Workers
Apr-06-2010 — In a renewed attempt to encourage new employment and stimulate the economy, Congress recently passed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act ("the HIRE Act"), which President Obama signed into law on March 18, 2010. Under the HIRE Act, a partial payroll tax "holiday" is available to qualified employers that hire unemployed workers, and a business tax credit is available if the employer retains such employees for at least a year. Companies that intend to hire new employees during the rema
New York State Alters Guidance to Employers Regarding New Hire Wage Notices
Feb-22-2010 — Since the amendment to Labor Law § 195(1) took effect, the New York State Department of Labor ("NYSDOL") has issued a series of directives to employers. The NYSDOL has not been consistent in its approach, likely creating understandable confusion among employers in trying to comply with the law. This Alert summarizes the current status of the NYSDOL's guidelines regarding the new hire wage notices. Of particular significance is new administrative guidance requiring that employers advise any em
Tear Down the Rumor Mill - Article Features Scott P. Horton
Feb-11-2010 — From Monster.com - Office gossip can hurt individuals, stunt careers and damage corporate reputations. Learn how many companies are taking a harder line toward the rumor mill.
Mandatory Wage Acknowledgement Forms Issued by New York State
Nov-03-2009 — As discussed in a prior Alert, Governor Paterson signed a law on July 28, 2009, amending § 195(1) of the New York State Labor Law. Effective October 26, 2009, § 195(1) now requires employers (other than governmental agencies) to have newly hired employees sign acknowledgements that they have received written notice of their wage rates, including overtime rates for non-exempt employees. This Alert provides critical new information regarding employers' compliance with § 195(1).
New York State Legislation Triggers Additional Employer Obligations
Aug-31-2009 — New York State Governor David A. Paterson recently signed several pieces of legislation that will require employers in the state to review and revise existing procedures and policies. Our Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits attorneys have drafted alerts regarding this important legislation.
New York State Changes Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws
Aug-28-2009 — Recent amendments to New York State's Minimum Wage Orders and Labor Law will require most employers in the state to review and modify their employee compensation practices. The revised requirements affect both current employees and new hires.
Minimum Wage Increase to Take Effect on July 24, 2009
Jul-08-2009 — REMINDER: Pursuant to the 2007 amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Federal minimum wage will be increased from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Under New York law, the New York State minimum wage will automatically increase to match any increase in the Federal minimum wage when the Federal minimum wage increases to an amount higher than the minimum wage in New York State. At this time, no additional increase to the New York minimum wage (currently $7.15 for most em
The Employee Free Choice Act
Final FMLA Regulations Effective 1/16/09 Require Employer Action
Jan-22-2009 — On November 17, 2008 the U.S. Department of Labor issued its final regulations that change employer and employee responsibilities under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including the recent military leave amendments. The regulations include significant changes and clarify the existing FMLA regulations.