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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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I work in New York City and with a company for over little

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I work in New York City and with a company for over little under five years. It has been bought by 2 additional companies one being about a 1,000 person company and then another that is a big holding company one of the biggest in the world. Lately this company has been under staffing and leaving me to work ridiculous hours and weekends. Its hard to take a vacation because there's never anybody to cover. Sometimes I can't get out to get lunch or go to a doctors appointment. In the month of February I worked 26 consecutive days. I work during presidents day holiday and all that weekend for a company that had already fired us but they had another 2 months in retainer and were torturing us with it. After three years I only got a 3,100 raise. Mind you I work on multimillion dollar accounts. Now they e-mail me every weekend and I was told this weekend it was an issues that I couldn't work fathers day. Now this new account the client thinks its the next big money maker for them so they are pushing us to the limits. I was told I had to lay out a 70 page document in 4 days only after wards for the project to get put on hold. I had to find a freelancer on my own to do it because i was working a 50 hour a week already on other work. Is this acceptable in New York because I don't feel it a fair business motto. Also the moral is really low because they have been firing the business leaders due to new management. If i were to get let go what insurance would I have based the fact that I help build this company into what it is and they can basically take advantage of my talents and burn me out until I am forced to quit. Is it legal to work your employees to this degree?

Dear Sean, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with Excellent Service.


Please keep in mind that the law does not always support our position and does not always give us the result we want. Please also keep in mind that my Answers are according to the laws of New York which were written by the New York Legislature and I can only give correct Answers which are within what New York Law provides,



I am sorry to hear about your difficult work situation. I would like to help, but need a bit more information, if you do not mind,


1. Are you an "exempt" employee, in other words, do you have a right to overtime pay for all hours over 40 hours per week, or are you an exempt employee ?



2. Do you have a written agreement with the company (New or old company) about who owns the work product that you create while you are an employee ?



3. Do you have a written Employment Agreement with either of the companies ?



Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX look forward to your reply and to assisting you,




Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for getitng back to me the answers are below.

1. I'm a salaried employee so no



2. The company does that with clients but I don't have a contract



3. No

Hi, Sean, Thank you for your additional information, it will help give me a more accurate Answer,


You asked the following,


"If i were to get let go what insurance would I have based the fact that I help build this company into what it is and they can basically take advantage of my talents and burn me out until I am forced to quit. Is it legal to work your employees to this degree? "





1. Because you are a salaried employee, your employer, unfortunately, can work you as hard as he wants. Under normal circumstances, the employer would generally reward the employee for working such long hours and producing an excellent work product for the employer. However, in your circumstances, the company has been bought out by another company and might be under the control of yet another company, the holding company. They are new "players" here and do not know the extent of your loyalty or the excellence of your work product and if the old employer says nothing about you, the new people will not know enough to give you the rewards that you deserve and they will simply continue to expect you to work the hours that you have done in the past.


Exempt employees are not paid what they are worth because they are exempt from the "Overtime Rules". It will be up to you to let them know your value to the company, your performance in the past and what you will mean to them in the future, and to demand a higher salary if they want to keep you. I understand what you said about letting many employees go, and I also understand under the Federal and State Labor Laws, they can do that to you as well. Therefore, it is up to you to let them know your worth to the company;


2. I am sure that you were very instrumental in building up the company into what it is today. But, if you have no written Agreement with the employer regarding profit sharing, or retaining ownership of products or ideas you created while employed with the company, then the company owns all of that. It is a real shame, but unless there is a written Agreement stating that the employee has ownership rights in his work product or the ideas he created, they are owned by the employer. Similarly, if there is no written Employment Agreement between the employer and the employee which sets forth the rights and obligations of the parties and under what conditions the employer-employee relationship can be terminated, the employment relationship is an "At Will" relationship which means that the employer can terminate the employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason.


However, if there is no specific written Agreement regarding an employee's work product or creative ideas, it could be argued that the employee is not restricted in any way and can use these ideas or products he created in his own business, so that is certainly something to think about.


I wish I could give you a more favorable Answer and the one you were hoping for, and it would have given me great pleasure to do so, but I have an ethical obligation to give you only correct Answers, so I am respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you not hold the laws of New York applicable to your situation against me when rating my service to you,




If I have not Answered your question completely, please let me know by using the "Reply" button and I will be glad to explain further,


Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit for assisting you,

Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,



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