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NYC administrative law attorneyAny business that involves the importation, manufacture, distribution or sale of alcohol in New York needs a liquor license issued by the State Liquor Authority. If you conduct your business without one, you could face penalties that will impede or stop your operations, so it is important to know how to go about obtaining a liquor license and what the regulations include. If you need help eliminating or lessening any charges against your business, speak with an experienced administrative law attorney.

The Consequences of Not Having a Liquor License in NYC

If you do not take the necessary steps to obtain a liquor license or you violate the terms of your existing license, the consequences can be devastating to you and your business. Depending on the circumstances, you could face criminal penalties. In addition, your business will be suspended from buying or selling alcoholic beverages for the time being. Your liquor license can be canceled, forcing you to apply for a new one in the future. Your license could also be revoked, preventing your business from selling alcoholic beverages for two years. Even though some circumstances allow you to apply for a new license, revocation could entice the New York State Liquor Authority to deny any applications for the next two years. For each violation, the license holder could face fines that exceed $10,000. Some of these offenses include selling alcohol to minors, selling alcoholic beverages to someone who is too intoxicated, and hosting disorderly premises by way of fights, prostitution, lewd conduct, or excessive noise. 

Applying for a New York State Liquor License

All liquor licenses in NYC can be granted through the State Liquor Authority. The most common way to apply today is to complete the corresponding form on the State Liquor Authority website. Depending on the nature of your business, you will need to apply for one of four main groups of liquor licenses:

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NYC civil employee defense attorneyThere are a few rules that those with civil service jobs will have to remember to prevent being disciplined at work. A common question many public employees have is whether or not they are able to hold an additional job on the side to make some extra money. The answer is not so simple, and it depends on the unique circumstances of each situation. If you have any questions regarding your rights as a public employee or need legal defense in response to a disciplinary hearing, make sure to work with an experienced, trusted NYC civil service and job defense attorney.

NYC Dual Employment 

New York State law explicitly states that any public employees in the classified service are forbidden from having any other public position on a full- or part-time basis. However, civil service employees are allowed to get the written consent of their employers and take another position.

The next portion of this law states that if public employees want to take any non-public jobs outside of work, they still must gain permission from their supervisors. Whether or not these extra earnings will be granted is determined by the ethics outlined in the Public Officers Law. To be safe, most public employees should try to obtain permission from the Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

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Queens civil service employment defense attorney

Although civil service employees in New York City generally have protections that private-sector employees do not, there are still some laws that dictate how and when they can take action. If we were to simply answer the question of whether or not civil servants are allowed to strike in New York, the answer would be no, but that is not the full story. To understand how public employees can organize and enact change, you must understand the Taylor Law. If you find yourself in any dispute while holding a civil service job, it is imperative to seek trustworthy legal assistance from an experienced NYC civil service and job defense attorney. With professional help, you will be able to better navigate the intricacies of New York civil service law.

The Taylor Law

The Taylor Law, which took effect in 1967, covers almost all public employees who work for the state, cities, counties, towns, villages, school districts, public authorities, and some special service districts. Although it prevents public employees from striking, the law does the following:

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NYC job defense lawyerIn addition to the job security that you have as a public service employee, some additional laws help preserve your rights while working in a public position. In particular, there are rules regarding how civil service employees may be treated regarding their political views and laws that prevent certain public employees from engaging in any political activity that would cause a conflict of interest. Since individual circumstances often differ, it is important to meet with a knowledgeable civil service employment attorney in NYC. This way, there is no room for confusion relating to how your employer treats you and what you can and cannot do in your position.

NYC Civil Service Political Activity Laws

In general, most people who work for the State of New York are allowed to take part in partisan political activity outside of work. To protect this right, the New York civil service laws state that public employers are not allowed to exert any political pressure on their employees while at work. This entails the following:

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New York City civil service employment lawyerCivil service positions offer the benefit of increased job security and some additional rights that you will not find in the private sector, and their implications can vary from person to person. If you are seeking a public job or are trying to defend your status as a civil servant, an experienced civil service employment attorney can help you protect your rights and the benefits of working in the public sector. 

Veterans’ Rights in the Public Sector

A veteran trying to pass an examination to either be appointed or promoted to a State position will have some unique benefits, and understanding what you could be eligible for can play an important role in determining whether or not you get the job that you desire. In general, New York State laws require these exams to be competitive in order to place qualified and excellent candidates in the appropriate jobs. This also means that no advantages should be given to one applicant over another. 

However, there is a small caveat if the person taking a civil service exam is a veteran. If you are a veteran but are not disabled, you can claim five additional points on your exam score. If you are a disabled veteran, you will get 10 points of additional credit on the exam for an open position and five points for a promotion exam. In order to ensure that any candidate selected for a job is properly trained and highly-capable, these bonus points are only applied if the veteran in question passes the exam with their base score.

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New York civil service medical separation lawyerNew York’s civil service laws provide enhanced job security that many employees in the public sector do not have. If you are recovering from an injury or a disability that will make you unable to work temporarily, you will not lose your job in most cases. However, Section 71-73 of the New York Civil Service Law dictates when an employer is allowed to terminate a civil service employee for medical reasons. If this happens to you, a skilled civil service attorney with years of experience can help you contest the termination and protect your rights.

Medical Separation

If you need to recover from a serious injury or disability, Section 71-73 gives you the right to a medical leave of absence for up to a year. If you were assaulted while working, you can take up to two years off. When a medical practitioner has determined that you are fit to work, you can be reinstated to your position.

Since this leave of absence can be so long, civil service employers will need to fill your position in many cases. Should this happen, Section 71 states that you should be given a similar job in the same field or for any position that you are qualified to transfer to. If there is no immediate vacancy for you to fill, you will be put on a preferred list, and you will be eligible for the next available and appropriate position for four years.

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New York civil service job defense lawyerAs a civil service employee in NYC, you have some additional job security that those outside of the public sector often lack. However, that does not make you immune from disciplinary action. If your employer ever accuses you of misconduct, there are still ways that they can seek to remove you from your position. Contact a reputable civil service and job defense attorney if you are ever accused of willful misconduct at work. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with the process an employer must commit to before engaging in any disciplinary action.

NYC Disciplinary Action Procedures

According to New York State law, civil service employees are entitled to due process before any disciplinary action is taken against them. If an employer tries to ignore this process, they risk losing to an appeal and being negatively judged by their other employees. New York law states that due process not only be granted in a hearing, but in the preliminary stages of an investigation.

For example, employers are strongly encouraged not to let their own biases or prejudices play a role in an investigation. If this is apparent, the strength of their testimony will be greatly diminished. Employers are also barred from trying to mislead employees or put them at a disadvantage in any regard. Instead, employees should be notified of the actions that they are being accused of so that there is no confusion.

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New York civil service job defense attorneysUp until a couple of years ago, not all civil service employees had the right to due process if they were facing disciplinary procedures on the job. In 2018, however, Governor Cuomo signed an extension of Section 75 of the Civil Service Law into place that extends due process benefits to the labor class. This could have a dramatic impact on you if you are in a public position that was not protected by Section 75 before, and you will have much greater job security and an easier time defending against any accusations. Regardless of what your case may be, it is always important to form an aggressive defense to defend your rights with the help of a civil service employment and job defense lawyer.

Your Rights Under Section 75 

Anyone eligible for protection under Section 75 of the New York Civil Service Law cannot be removed from their position or penalized without due process to prove their incompetence or misconduct. These terms leave a lot of room for interpretation, but in general, incompetence is understood as a person’s disregard for management, procedures, lack of knowledge, or little aptitude. Misconduct is often meant to refer to intentional misdeeds or deliberate ignorance of rules. Without Section 75 protection, an employee would be subject to penalties or removal without a proper hearing. With this law, accused employees also gain the right to legal representation during the due process proceedings to maintain heightened job security.

Before Governor Cuomo passed the extension, Section 75 only applied to employees in “competitive class” positions, meaning anyone in a position that is earned by merit or examination. Employees in non-competitive positions like teachers and bus drivers were eligible for protection after five years of service. This left labor class employees (i.e. cleaners, food service helpers) without any access to due process in a disciplinary hearing. Fortunately, this extension provides bolstered job security to labor class positions after five years of service. If you hold a labor class position and are accused of incompetence or misconduct, you are entitled to legal representation to provide a defense before being penalized or removed from your job.

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New York City job defense attorneyFor a few years now, New York has been in an ambiguous limbo regarding government and employer attitudes towards marijuana possession and usage. However, as of May 10, 2020, significant changes took effect that prevent job applicants from being discriminated against based on marijuana use. Although this does not fully legalize marijuana, it provides a significant amount of clarity regarding the vague legislation that is currently in place. If you face any charges for marijuana possession or use on or off the job, ensure that you get excellent legal aid from an experienced criminal and job defense attorney.

NYC Marijuana Laws

If you are not already aware, new rules regarding marijuana use in New York State were enacted in August 2019. These rules did not legalize marijuana, but it did lessen the severity of potential enforcement. For example, possession of marijuana up to two ounces is only considered a violation that could warrant a fine, but possession over that limit could still lead to criminal charges. This law ignores whether or not a person uses marijuana.

The Ban of Job Applicant Marijuana Tests

Given that New York seems to be slowly pushing towards the legalization of marijuana, this new measure provides more leniency than the somewhat superficial decriminalization imposed last year. Some states, like Maine, prevent employers from discriminating against employees for marijuana use, but this ban takes such efforts a step further. Now, public and private employers in New York City (even if their headquarters reside elsewhere) can no longer perform drug screening on any potential hires.

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New York City civil litigation lawyerWhen you are involved in any type of civil lawsuit, including a breach of contract matter, employment dispute, or a wrongful death action, there are a few ways to resolve your case. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to reach a resolution through direct negotiations, but if negotiations fail to produce results, your case will be put on a track toward trial. Before going to trial, however, filing certain motions could help your case. If you believe a pretrial motion is appropriate in your case, you should work with a skilled civil litigation attorney who can help you file the motion.

Different motions serve different purposes, and either side of a dispute can initiate one. It is essential to know what kind of motion might apply in your case. Once you and your attorney determine what type of motion is needed, there are a few steps that are necessary to properly file the motion, and it is important to follow them carefully. Some of the most common pretrial motions include:

Motion to Dismiss

If the defendant in a civil suit does not believe that case should proceed to trial, a motion to dismiss may be appropriate. A plaintiff can also file a motion to dismiss if proceeding with the case becomes unnecessary. A plaintiff’s motion to dismiss will almost always be granted, but a defendant’s motion will typically require the court’s careful attention. The basis for a motion to dismiss could be the facts of the case or a procedural issue such as bad service of documents, plaintiffs standing to file suit, or the court’s jurisdiction over the matter. If the motion is granted and the case is dismissed without prejudice means that the case can be refiled, while a dismissal with prejudice prevents the case from being refiled.

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NYC civil litigation lawyersThe Earned Safe and Sick Time Act was enacted in New York City in 2018, and it is designed to extend the benefits of paid time off to help protect vulnerable workers. Now, you can use these paid safe and sick days to take the time you need if you or a family member are the victims of sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, and more. If you are not sure if you are eligible to take time off work or your employer is denying you your rights, meet with a civil litigation attorney to develop a plan moving forward.

There is a great deal of fine print in this law, and it is worth summarizing so that you know exactly how this law can protect you.

Do You Have Paid Safe and Sick Time?

The Act created a law that gas become known as the Paid Safe and Sick Time Law, and it applies to employees who work for employers with five or more employees. Those who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement may be exempt from the law’s provisions. If you work for a company with fewer than five employees, you are entitled to unpaid safe and sick time instead of paid time off. 

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NYC DWI defense attorneyPenalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York are steep, but many experts do not believe that the foundation of about a million convictions a year, the alcohol breath test, is anywhere near consistent enough to ensure guilt in many cases. If you were pulled over and are going to court for a DWI or DUI, it is important to have outstanding legal assistance to properly contest the potentially erroneous readings of a breath test. A lot is on the line, and strong legal defense from an experienced DWI attorney could help you avoid the fines, jail sentences, and license revocations that accompany a conviction.

Lack of Regulation and Flawed Results

A New York Times investigation in 2019 exposed the many faults not just of alcohol breath tests, but also of the regulations that are supposed to help guarantee their accuracy and of the labs where the tests are processed. Even though a million Americans are arrested for drunken driving each year, over 30,000 breath tests were discarded by courts in just a year. Many of those tests were inaccurate and led to wrongful convictions, while a portion could have acquitted dangerous drivers. The Times investigation showed that the technicians who analyze the tests often lack experience and that lack of oversight has resulted in countless improperly calibrated machines. In one of the worst scenarios, a Massachusetts analyzer machine had rats nesting inside.

Also, many experts found the breath analyzer machines themselves to be flawed. Most of the companies that manufacture them do not allow the public to purchase them, so it has been difficult for investigators to get a good look at the machines. Experts in the Times investigation reported that the code in some of these machines does not just have some errors, but thousands. 

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New York State wrongful death lawyerFew things are harder to experience than the death of a loved one. If that person’s death was preventable and you could prove that another person or a company was at fault, then you can get the defendant to provide damages to you and your family through a wrongful death lawsuit. This is a difficult topic to navigate, but with the right lawyer, you can hope to be compensated for any economic loss that the death caused you.  

What Damages Can I Recover?

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact dollar amount that you can expect to receive in a wrongful death lawsuit, but you can get a general idea by estimating the value of a few specific considerations:

  • Health care expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost inheritance
  • The support that the deceased could have provided to surviving family members
  • The care and guidance the victim could have provided to their children
  • Conscious suffering that the deceased experienced before death

The lost wages and benefits that your loved one would have provided to you if they were alive include the estimated income that they would have earned in the future. The health care costs before the deceased’s passing, funeral and burial costs, and lost inheritance are not difficult to assign a dollar value, but it is difficult to determine the cost of the vague final three points in the list above. Therefore, you need an experienced and trustworthy attorney who is familiar with wrongful death lawsuits to pursue the best outcome for you and your family.

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NYC administrative law attorneysGovernor Cuomo extended the New York State on PAUSE executive order for an additional two weeks, until April 15. At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic in New York will be re-evaluated to determine if the order should continue. During this challenging time for everyone, it is important to understand the guidelines of the PAUSE order and make sure that you and businesses you work for, know about, or own remain in compliance to protect everyone’s safety. If not, there could be administrative consequences. 

The 10 Points of New York State on PAUSE

As of Sunday night, March 29, 2020, nearly 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus in New York. With cases of the disease at that time in the state hovering around 60,000, more than half of which are in New York City, it is even more critical for people to follow proper safety precautions.

The New York State on PAUSE order went into effect on the evening of Sunday, March 22. Here is a brief summary of the safety guidelines from this order that must be followed:

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New York wrongful death lawyersWith so much in our world having changed in a matter of weeks due to the coronavirus, it is easy to forget in all that panic and preparation that there are still semblances of our usual routines that are still recognizable despite our culture constantly adapting to the circumstances. We must not lose sight of who we are and what needs to be done when we see something unjust. This is true of many things, but one of those is holding people accountable and responsible for negligence that results in wrongful death.

Possible Coronavirus Wrongful Death Lawsuits

With more than 200,000 cases and 8,000 deaths worldwide, the coronavirus is having a serious—and often deadly—impact on life as we know it. Since not enough is known about this new and dangerous disease, people are prone to make mistakes that could be fatal to your loved ones. Here are two major examples of places rife with potential for fatal negligence in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as evidenced by recent exposure:

  • Cruise Ships—With cruise ships like the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess presenting extremely high incidence of coronavirus infections and deaths, it is no surprise that staff negligence could put passengers in danger. As many say, all those people packed together on one ship at sea is like a giant floating petri dish: an ideal scenario for an aggressive virus like COVID-19. Additionally, if the staff on board, including maids, janitors, and chefs, are not following appropriate safety and health guidelines, the virus is bound to spread at an alarming rate, causing needless deaths.
  • Nursing Homes—With 10 nursing homes and long-term care facilities near Seattle confirming cases of the virus just last week, it is apparent these places are highly conducive to virus spread. If the staff, including nurses, doctors, certified nursing assistants, maids, janitors, and cooks, are not taking proper safety measures in their daily work, such as keeping all surfaces regularly disinfected, washing their hands for 20 seconds as often as necessary, and making sure the residents are not exposed to anything unsanitary, the coronavirus could spread—and kill—those most susceptible to the disease.

However, proving that your loved one died from negligence in those places or other similar places is a challenge. Your lawyer would have to provide evidence that speaks to a failure on the part of the company or staff to take “all reasonable measures” necessary to protect its patrons from the spread of the coronavirus. Even if the failure could be proven, there is the matter of waivers that many people sign for both cruise ships and nursing homes that put limitations on possible future litigation. In many cases, these waivers bar class-action lawsuits and constitute arbitration agreements prohibiting loved ones from going to court to seek compensation on the deceased’s behalf. Regardless of these challenges, you can sue for wrongful death from the coronavirus, but there have not been enough case studies to support them and their success rates quite yet.

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Manhattan job defense attorneyWith the coronavirus continuing to spread rapidly, workers—especially those in civil service and the hospitality industry—are faced with a major dilemma: what if they get sick with the coronavirus and their employer makes them come to work despite being sick? Could the employer file disciplinary charges against the employee if they refuse to work while sick? What kind of job defense options are available to workers during this challenging time? Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect against this, and there are options available to defend workers’ rights.

Know Your Rights When Sick

The coronavirus falls under the umbrella of the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). According to this rule, employers must provide their workers with a working environment that is free from hazards that could cause death or harm. This means employees should not be working while sick with the coronavirus and they should not be forced to work with people who have the coronavirus. In fact, you should not be forced to work by your employer if you are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Dry cough

You should go home to recover. On the national level, it is recommended that you be free of any symptoms for 24 hours before returning to work but updated New York City Department of Health guidelines suggest 72 hours is preferred.

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NYC civil service job defense attorneysSo you have made it through several rounds of interviewing and you really hit it off with a prospective employer. You receive a job offer. Human Resources says if you pass the background check and drug screening, you will start working there within a few weeks. No problem: You do not do drugs and you have no criminal history. This should be a routine pass, right? But you do have one skeleton in your closet: a terrible credit report. The employer gets back to you and says the company cannot hire you because you did not pass the background check. You suspect it is due to your credit report, but are they even allowed to deny employment on the basis of poor credit? Actually, this scenario is against the law in New York, with some exceptions.

NYC Human Rights Law: Giving You the Credit You Deserve

Your credit report does not define you. You may have fallen on hard times—anything from dealing with an expensive, debilitating illness to managing extreme reductions in income or long-term unemployment— and failed to pay your bills. Or, you might have been married to someone who dragged your credit through the mud. You might have even had your identity stolen, and it has not been restored yet. The point is, any number of extenuating circumstances could have caused you to amass a disastrous credit report. That does not make you any lesser of a person. It does not mean that you are a horrible worker. It does not mean that you are untrustworthy. You could still do the job you are hired to do—maybe even better than most, regardless of your credit report. And that is why employers cannot consider it when making hiring, firing, and promoting decisions in New York.

The NYC Human Rights Law offers this legal protection. Specifically, the law states that:

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NYC criminal defense attorneysLarceny, the legal term for theft in New York State, refers to a crime in which a person “wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds” property and intends to deprive the owner of it. The consequences for such an act are typically based on the monetary value of the property in question. The grounds for left and larceny charges, the differences in those charges, and the potential consequences that come with petit and grand larceny in the state of New York depend on a number of various factors.

Understanding Larceny Charges

The act of larceny is something above and beyond simply taking an item from someone. For example, there are many illegal acts that are considered forms of theft, including:

  • Embezzlement
  • Obtaining property through false pretense
  • Issuing bad checks
  • Obtaining property through extortion
  • Acquiring and withholding lost property

Additionally, there are distinct classifications and consequences for various theft crimes, including all of the following:

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NYC stalking defense attorneysWhen it comes to criminal offenses in New York State, especially those related to domestic violence and abuse, the crime of cyberstalking is one that is not always taken very seriously. This form of virtual stalking can, in many cases, receive the brush-off and not be considered a real threat. However, the reality is that it is no laughing matter and it may have just as many grave consequences as physical or more “traditional” stalking behaviors. As technology has developed and become such a focal point in our day-to-day lives, stalking behaviors and charges are more prominent today than ever before.

What Does a Cyberstalking Crime Entail?

If you find yourself accused of stalking someone through various modes of technology, it is important to inform yourself of how cyberstalking crimes are defined as you move forward with your defense. Virtual stalking is more than simply viewing someone’s social media sites regularly or excessively. The National Conference of State Legislatures considers this crime to be a pattern of malicious behaviors via a variety of electronic communications, including email and the internet.

Cyberstalking usually entails behaviors such as:

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NYC labor law attorneysMillions of American workers pay their union dues under the assumption that their officers will act in their best interests and protect the rights of the collective. Unfortunately, there is a deep, dark secret that unions do not want their members to know: Over the past five years, hundreds (potentially even thousands) of labor leaders have been removed from office and convicted for crimes that include embezzlement, racketeering, corruption, and engaging in organized crime. 

Signs of Trouble in Your Union

It can be difficult to spot union corruption, especially when you are not privy to the details involved in negotiations. However, there are some red flags to be aware of, including but not limited to:

  • Unnecessary or inappropriate purchases
  • Questionable invoices
  • Changes in behavior when hot-button issues come up
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Attempts to coerce employees
  • Abuse of power
  • Acceptance of deals that are clearly in the best interest of your employer
  • An erosion of your rights or benefits
  • Incomplete travel or expense forms

If you notice any of these signs—or any others that may suggest corruption in your union—it is important for you to take action. Otherwise, you and your co-workers’ rights could continue to be eroded, and the funds you put aside to benefit the collective will continue to be used for improper or illicit acts or items.

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