Did you know that New York State recently passed a new law to protect warehouse workers? Read more to learn how the new law protects you and what you can recover from a lawsuit against your employer. We fight for employees just like you, Join us as we explore the Warehouse Worker Protection Act and how El-Hag & Associates, P.C. is here to support warehouse employees facing unjust practices.
What does the New York State’s Warehouse Worker Protection Act do?
In short, the law is designed to make sure warehouse workers are not fired for meeting unfair or undisclosed performance standards. To do this, the law requires employers to provide your performance data and the performance data of other employees in similar positions as you for the past 90 days within 14 days of your requesting the information.
How can you use this law and how will it play out?
What this law is going to cause is employer retaliation. Without question, when employees start asserting their rights, then you get supervisors and managers that get mad and fire them or retaliate. This law is not a great law even though politicians are jumping up and down celebrating their passing the law. The law provides for weak penalties for a large company and does not protect thousands of workers who work in smaller warehousing operations. The law only applies to operations with at least 100 employees.
So what is going to happen here is working people will hear about this law, not realize they are not protected, and get fired without having potential protection.
One angle we would push to protect working people is that the law is not clear if an employee can bring a private lawsuit for retaliation. However, under New York Labor Law 215, it’s unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for asserting rights under the labor law. And you can recover lost wages, attorney fees, and penalties. Our New York retaliation lawyers have recovered tens of thousands for individual employees who have been fired from jobs like warehousing.
However, as of this moment, management defense law firms are already finding loopholes to protect companies to prevent them from having to comply.
What should you do if you think that your employer is violating this law?
Do not think you can go around throwing your weight around with this law. You are better off contacting an employment law firm and have them put in a request for you or to see if there are other potential violations. Many times, if you are unhappy with work, we would be able to get you a payout where you can go to a better job. We have done this on a contingency basis, meaning if you do not get paid, we do not get paid.
However, many warehouse employers violate many other laws. Typically, not paying overtime or minimum wages, or violating OSHA. So, there are many other types of laws that we can enforce on your behalf after providing a free consultation.
Who does the Warehouse Worker Protection Act protect?
Not just warehouse workers as you might think. If you work in similar industries, including warehouse distribution centers, merchant wholesalers, electronic shopping and mail-order houses, and couriers and express delivery services. If you are working in these types of industries, you are protected. However, it does not include farm product warehousing and storage.
The size of the company is also a factor. The WWPA applies to New York employers with:
1. 100 or more nonexempt workers at a single specified “warehouse distribution center” or,
2. 1,000 or more nonexempt workers at one or more “warehouse distribution centers” across the entire state.
Importantly, the worker count not only includes workers directly employed by the covered employer, but also:
1. workers who are employed “indirectly” through an agent, third-party employer, or staffing agency, as well as independent contractors to the extent the covered employer “exercises control over the wages, hours, or working conditions” of those workers; and
2. Workers who are employed by a member of a controlled group of corporations of which the covered employer is a member.
El-Hag & Associates, P.C. stands firmly with warehouse workers in New York State, ensuring that their rights are protected under the Warehouse Worker Protection Act. We are here to provide exceptional legal representation and support to those facing unfair treatment. Contact our firm today for a free consultation to learn how we can help fight for your rights and make your work environment fair and equitable. Together, we can make a difference.