Employment Law 101


Hi, my name is Deborah O’Rell, and I’m the manager of Tuckner Sipser, an employment discrimination law firm. And I’m, I’m making this video to tell you that we are open and available to answer your questions.  Because God knows it’s crazy times out there, and the calls that we’ve been getting in the last couple of days are people saying:

  • Can they do this to me?
  • Is this legal?
  • Do I have a case?

So I wanted to share very briefly what the distinction is.

What is Employment Law?

So right now, here’s employment law in general. This is what most people don’t know. Even in the best of times, all the laws essentially protect the employer, not the employee. Your employer, my employer is allowed to be a bully. They’re allowed to be mean, rude, nasty, hostile. You can be terminated. This is actually what at will employment means, you can be terminated for any reason whatsoever. No reason. They don’t have to give one or they can make up a lie. For example, they could say, you stole, you could prove with lie detectors, video cameras, witnesses, you couldn’t possibly have done it. And the employer can say, no, we think you did and fire you for something you didn’t do. So that’s what at will employment means. And the distinction is the only protections essentially that employees have are civil rights protections.

So it’s the underlying reason why you think you’re being terminated, why you believe you’re being laid off, why your name got on that list. And if you believe the real reason has to do with your age, race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disability, pregnancy, anything related to pregnancy, maternity leave, accommodations expressing when you come back to the office and you’re not allowed to be sexually harassed of course, if one of those are the real reason, then your employer may be violating your civil rights, which is against the law. And that’s where you have a case.

Are all employees being treated equally?

So if you are let go today or you are laid off today, the question would be, are other people in your department, in your company being laid off as well? Is everybody else being allowed to work from home? But you are not, that they’re saying unemployment will be better for you. It’s those kinds of distinctions and it’s only you that can make that determination and that decision. So we recommend, if you’re in doubt, call a law firm. Call an employment law firm, and ask. They’ll tell you.

Don’t Quit

Most important, Don’t Quit! If you’ve been laid off or anything questionable is happening, you give up a lot of legal leverage when you quit. So definitely call a lawyer first. We’d be happy to help you. Please email us, call our office. All the information is below. We’re here to help you. Thank you.

Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser

[email protected]

212.766.9100