The Perecman Firm

New York, NY Personal Injury Blog

Can an Employee Be Fired While on Workers’ Compensation in New York?

If you are injured at work in the state of New York, you can collect workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits should cover your medical expenditures and you may also receive disability income.You can receive these benefits for a long period of time after you make your initial claim, until you recover from your injuries.While you are receiving benefits, you may be able to continue to do some work for your employer.

Many people who receive workers’ compensation benefits are concerned about whether their employer will treat them fairly. One common question that arises is whether it is possible for an employer to fire someone who is on workers’ compensation. The answer to this question is: it depends.

As the New York State Office of the Attorney General  stipulates, New York is an employment-at-will state. This essentially means that unless you have an employment contract saying otherwise, your employer can fire you any time for any reason or for no reason at all.

However, the law carves out some important exceptions to employment-at-will and establishes certain reasons why your employer can’t fire you. For example, your employer can’t fire you because of your gender or religion, since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes this type of discrimination against the law.If your employer is covered by Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), then you are also entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave because of an illness or injury and your employer cannot fire you because you take this time off.

New York workers’ compensation law creates another exception to employment-at-will rules.Under NY Workers’ Comp Law section 10-35, an employer is prohibited from discharging or discriminating against you because you filed a workers’ compensation or disability benefits claim. An employer is also prohibited by this code section from firing you because you testified before the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Because of these provisions in the NY

Can I Sue for Wrongful Death in New York?

New York law gives victims the right to pursue a claim for compensation if they are injured due to negligence or wrongdoing.If a person is killed, however, he or she obviously cannot pursue legal action against whoever was responsible for the fatality.Negligent drivers, irresponsible property owners and others who are responsible for accidents should not escape liability for their actions simply because the victim of their behavior is killed.Wrongful death laws exist to ensure that surviving family members may pursue a claim for damages on behalf of the person who perished.

New York establishes the right of surviving family members to pursue wrongful death claims in the New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law.Under section 5-4.1 of this law, a “personal representative… may maintain an action to recover damages for a wrongful act, negligent or default which caused the decedent’s death against a person who would have been liable to the decedent by reason of wrongful conduct if the death had not ensued.”This legal language means that you can sue for wrongful death if you are the designated family member or person in charge of the estate of someone who was killed.

New York’s wrongful death statute determines who can sue for wrongful death depending upon the family relationship.Spouses and minor children are given first priority to obtain compensation in wrongful death claims.Parents and siblings may also take legal action to get monetary damages if the victim was underage or unmarried.

Being a close family member is not the only requirement to make a wrongful death case. You also must prove that the victim who was killed would have had a personal injury claim if he or she had lived.This usually means proving: That the defendant you are taking legal action against owed a duty to the victim That the defendant breached that legal duty or failed to live up to obligations That the victim was killed as a

Civil Rights Violation Lawyer David Perecman Weighs In On Study’s Find: 52% of Women Report Bullying, Harassment At Work

Sexual harassment in the workplace has negative effects on both the employees who experience it and the organizations in which it takes place, said David Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm, after a recently released study revealed that more than half of women said they had recently been harassed or bullied at work. The study also isolated the sectors where it was the worst, reported CNBC (4.2.14).

“Harassing conduct by managers, supervisors, and employees of any level, should not be tolerated. Workplaces must be free from harassment and bullying,” said Perecman.

According to the study, 52 percent of women said they’d been bullied and harassed at work over the past three years. Another 12 percent said they had experienced sexual harassment. Examples of bullying and harassment ranged from being deliberately undermined to victimization, or the intentional blocking of career advancement.

The finding came from a British online survey of 25,000 people by the non-profit Opportunity Now and PwC, a professional services group. The study, called Project 28-40, aimed at pinpointing why women’s career progression often stalls between the ages of 28 and 40.

The survey also broke down the numbers by industry sector. Women in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector reported the most harassment and bullying with over 60 percent of those surveyed reporting challenges. Industries with 56-59 percent of respondents reporting harassment were construction; media; uniformed and armed services; charity; and transportation and storage.

The study also showed that harassment and bullying were worst for women with disabilities, black women, manual workers and bisexual people.

Bullying of women was often female-on-female, said CNBC News.

Perecman agreed that not dealing with harassment and bullying in a responsible way can result in a loss of reputation for an organization. This can mean a loss of talent and future business.

“Businesses need to have clear policies on harassment. If not, the specter of employer liability for sexual harassment will remain,”

David Perecman, Lawyer for Family of Avonte Oquendo, Mentioned in “New York” Magazine

Attorney at Law David Perecman, the lawyer for the family of Avonte Oquendo, was mentioned and quoted in a “New York” magazine article entitled “The Boy Who Ran: The Life and Death of Avonte Oquendo.” The March 30, 2014 article was made available online on the magazine’s website. New York magazine described some of the investigation work attorney Perecman had done on behalf of the family. It also recapped the story of Avonte’s life and final days as the investigation into the events surrounding his death continued.

The article detailed the events surrounding the teen’s life and death. It described the 14-year old, his family, his autism, his schooling, school security and the community effort to find Oquendo.

Avonte Oquendo was a 14-year-old boy with autism from Queens who wandered away from his Long Island City school on October 4, 2013. Video showed he ran out of the front door of the school while the security guard was looking the other way. He was supposed to be with a group of other children, but a teacher and two paraprofessionals did not notice he was gone for 18 minutes. By the time police were notified it was nearly an hour after Oquendo ran away. Three months later Avonte’s body was found in the East River in Queens, said New York magazine (3.31.14).

More than 80 police detectives, 200 workers and hundreds of other volunteers were looking for Avonte for the three months he was missing. The mayor and police commissioner voiced resignation about Avonte before his body was found. When David Perecman called Alan Blumberg, the director of the Davidson Laboratory and one of the foremost authorities on the waters of New York, an explanation of what happened became clearer. Blumberg advised on which way the tide might have taken Avonte if he had fallen into the river near the school.

When the boy’s body was found by a

New York Construction Accident Lawyer David Perecman Weighs in on Third Runaway Tappan Zee Construction Barge

Attorney at Law David Perecman praises The New York State Thruway Authority for withholding $1 million a month from Tappan Zee Constructors, the consortium of builders working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge project. The penalty came after a barge carrying long steel piles came loose and drifted down the Hudson River. This was the third time that a barge being used for the Tappan Zee Bridge project broke free from its mooring, reported The New York Times (3.31.14).

“A barge floating by itself, unaccompanied by a tugboat to steer it, can be dangerous to both structures and people on or near the water,” said Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm, one of New York’s construction accident law firms.

The runaway barge floated three miles down the river and then across it before being re-secured. An investigation was underway to determine how the barge broke free, The New York Times said.

The first barge floated off on September 22 and was captured a mile away. Other barges belonging to two subcontractors escaped their moorings during a winter storm on January 3. One ended up 13 miles away. There were no injuries or property damage caused by any of the three incidents, according to The New York Times.

Tappan Zee Constructors must also install a GPS tracking system for its vessels, add extra river patrols and increase the training for crews rigging the barges, reported The New York Times.

The workers are building a new cable-stayed bridge to replace the 60-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge.

“Safety is a critical priority on any construction project, and every effort must be made to reduce the chances of someone or something getting hurt,” said Perecman.

For more than 30 years, the construction accident attorneys at The Perecman Firm in New York have aggressively helped injured workers and-or their families obtain compensation following construction accidents in New York. Contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.

The New

Construction Worker Dies in Fall from Scaffolding Outside Dream Hotel

A construction worker died after falling from scaffolding while doing facade work on the Dream Hotel in Midtown. The worker plummeted seven stories and landed between the first and second floors of the luxury hotel, reported the New York Post (4.2.14) According to the tabloid, a witness claimed that the worker “slipped through planks in the scaffolding.”  The victim was thought to be in his 40s. The scaffolding was erected by Everest Scaffolding. The incident is under investigation. The Dream Hotel is located on West 55th Street, near Broadway.    

Falls from scaffolding or other heights are top cause of construction industry deaths  
Each year numerous New York scaffold accidents occur and many of these result in the injury or death of a construction worker. Scaffolds are a necessary, but dangerous, part of construction. Scaffolding accidents may occur if the scaffolding is not assembled correctly not secured correctly being used without proper fall protection like handrails or guards not adequately maintained not properly tested One of the top causes of death in the construction industry is falls from an elevation, according to the Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA).  In a typical year, more than 100 workers are killed and more than 100,000 are injured after falling on a construction site. Falls annually account for one of every three construction-related deaths. Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace for employees. New York also has its own special workplace safety laws that protect construction workers from workplace injury and death.  If a worker is injured, these laws also permit workers to recover compensation from some or all of the people or companies that caused or contributed to their injury.  An employer can be held legally responsible for unsafe working conditions.  

Construction-related injuries and the New York Labor Laws  
New York State’s special workplace safety laws are also known as the

Construction Company for Saints Ballpark Fined

It’s a given that some jobs are more hazardous than others. Yet employers still have a duty to keep the workplace as safe as possible at all times, so that workers who follow the safety rules have a reasonable expectation of going home at the end of every work day safe. Sadly, that is not always the case and injuries occur. The recovery process can be long, difficult, and expensive, making legal compensation a necessity. A contracting company in St. Michael, Minnesota has been fined by the state because of the death of one of their workers at a construction site in September 2013, while he was working on St. Paul’s new baseball stadium. The 61-year-old construction worker was killed when a slab of concrete collapsed onto the cab of his backhoe. When the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated, they found three serious violations, including failing to make adequate inspections of the site during the demolition process. The contracting company was fined $52,000 because of these violations. About a week later, work resumed at the construction site. A work injury not only costs medical bills, but they require money for time away from work, and perhaps even lifestyle changes to cope with any changes in physical ability. All of these require financial compensation. The legal team at the Perecman Firm can help. Call us today for a free consultation. We won’t charge you a fee unless we win your case and you get the compensation you deserve.

Train Operator Asleep Before Chicago Train Accident

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the operator of a Chicago commuter train that crashed at O’Hare International Airport dozed off before the accident. The investigation revealed that this was not the first time she had fallen asleep on the job.   Last month, Chicago Transit Authority records showed she overshot a station platform when she “closed her eyes for a moment,” reported ABC News (3.26.14). The operator had been on the job running trains for just two months. The accident occurred at 3 a.m., close to the end of her shift. More than 30 people were injured in the train accident. ABC News reported that the train operator woke up only as the eight-car train jolted onto the platform and barreled up an escalator leading into the airport. The woman had an erratic work schedule and was working a lot of overtime.  Investigators were looking to see if that played a role in her evident fatigue. The NTSB was investigating the train operator’s training, scheduling and disciplinary history.  This was her second safety violation, said ABC News. A backup emergency braking system located on the track apparently failed to stop it. Investigators were looking to see why those brakes didn’t do more to slow and stop the train. The CTA said it would reduce the speed of trains entering the O’Hare station and move switches meant to stop speeding trains so they engage earlier. Chicago has the nation’s second-largest public transportation system.  New York’s is the first-largest.   Train accidents caused by negligence At least two passengers on board the train have reportedly filed lawsuits against the CTA over injuries suffered in the crash, saying the agency was negligent in ensuring the safety of passengers. A person cannot take responsibility for a train or a car while too tired to operate it safely Accident lawyers understand that legal liability in sleep-caused vehicular accidents begins with a driver’s legal duty

Billboards Embarrass Texting Drivers

San Francisco designer Brian Singer created a billboard campaign to “embarrass the shameful, dangerous behavior” of people who choose to text and driver. He has been collecting photos of drivers texting while in traffic (“TWIT”) and putting them up on billboards around the city. In a number of the photos, the artist circled the distraction to make it clearer, reported Time magazine. Local residents who spot people breaking the law are also encouraged to submit photos of distracted drivers online to the Texting While In Traffic website.  Accepted photos are those that show any activity that could be considered distracting including, eating, reading, watching a video, using a navigation system, and applying make-up.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any activity that has the potential to divert a person’s attention away from his or her primary task of driving. The photos must clearly show the phone or distraction in addition to the driver’s s face. They cannot be taken from another car. The artist said his goal was “to make people think twice about picking up their phones while behind the wheel.”   Auto accidents caused by texting while driving Drivers need to give driving their full attention and focus to prevent accidents. Distracted driving is a danger to the lives of passengers, other drivers, pedestrians, and the drivers themselves.  Texting while driving puts drivers at a two times higher risk of crashing, said the NHTSA. According to the NHTSA, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2012.  Texting while driving is one of the top causes of death for teenagers.  Twenty one percent of the drivers 15-19 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were distracted by the use of cell phones. Text messaging puts lives in danger more than most other types of driver distractions. This is because texting requires visual, manual,

New York Personal Injury Lawyer Comments on Forklift Accident Involving Pedestrian

A forklift injured a woman while she was walking across a street in Borough Park, Brooklyn.  Attorney at Law David Perecman said operators must watch out for pedestrians. According to CBS News (3.26.14), the operator was using the forklift like a vehicle which is a violation of traffic law. The woman was in the middle of the street at the time of the accident. Both of her legs were “somewhat crushed” but she did not appear to have life-threatening injuries, said CBS News.  She was transported to a hospital in serious condition. CBS News reported that the forklift was not apparently associated with a lumber business on the block where the accident occurred. Pedestrian accidents are one of the top deadly forklift dangers.  However, these types of accidents do not typically occur out on the street.  Forklift-related incidents usually happen in warehouses, factories, shipping yards and other workplaces where forklifts are used. Workers make up the majority of pedestrians killed or injured by forklifts. Each year forklifts are associated with numerous workplace deaths and injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), forklift accidents kill an estimated 100 workers and injure another 20,000. Forklift overturns are the leading cause of fatalities involving forklifts. “Forklift incidents can be prevented,” said Perecman. “Workers who operate or work near forklifts need to be aware of their surroundings and to proceed safely. To assist in the prevention of accidents, employers must establish safe work practices for employees,” said Perecman. In most accident cases involving vehicles, the critical issue is determining driver fault for the accident. If the driver is found to be negligent, he or she will be at fault. However, in some situations, the law may assign fault to a person who was not driving or even at the accident scene. The law holds employers responsible for negligent driving and other wrongful acts when they are committed by a worker