You can agree with us that, at times, getting the right legal representation and finding a good attorney feels like trying to catch a fish while running away from a twenty-foot high tide, especially when time and money are of the essence and the pressure of getting results before you move too far down the rabbit hole is building up. Certainly, only when you desperately need reliable legal representation, probably not from the types of Saul Goodman, will you understand the importance of having the right attorney by your side. So, are you looking for legal representation? Do you need an attorney with the skills and legal expertise that match your needs? How much do you value your time and hard-earned money? Then look no further because whenever you require legal representation, the Law Offices of Vincent Miletti, Esq., the Strongest Name in Law, got your six.
We are the authoritative force in Employment & Labor Law, providing diverse legal services in both a traditional and online, web-based environment, whether be it for small businesses or large-scale businesses on a panel or a case-by-case basis. Hitherto, serving as primary counsel or cumis counsel, we are not only taking over the industry when it comes to Employment Defense and Employment Practices, but also in Intellectual Property Defense (Trademark, Copyright, and Proprietary Information), Management Side Defense, Regulatory and Compliance, Business Law & Corporate Law, and Professional Liability, among others. Whether serving directly or on behalf of a third party (EPLI, D&O, E&O), we stay unusually motivated® to take on all your needs!
Operating in Brooklyn, New York, the larger New York City, and New York State, as well as in the firm’s new office located in Astoria Queens, your life-changing encounter with Vinny Miletti Esq., the founder and owner of Miletti Law®, whose legal expertise, knowledge, and experience has grown immensely over time since the firm first opened its doors is just an email and/or a call.
Still, in addition to providing legal services, you can concur with us that information is power, and, as such, we have diligently committed ourselves to creating a range of authoritative, trustworthy, and engaging content available on our website and social media platforms. In this regard, feel free to visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and LinkedIn via the website, as well as subscribe to our Blog, YouTube Channel, and News Letter through https://milettilaw.com/blog and https://www.youtube.com/@MilettiLaw, and https://milettilaw.com/#7665b240-0790-4562-ac0f-9444f9f5165a, respectively, to enjoy such content aimed to keep our unusually motivated® readers informed about how diverse legal issues affect them and/or their businesses.
In this regard, this blog is Part IX of our series on “Remedies under Major New York Labor and Employment Laws.” In Part VIII, we deliberated on the remedies available under the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (N.Y.S. WARN) and mentioned that some of the remedies available under this act include economic damages (back pay at an employee’s final pay rate or at the average regular pay rate for the past 36 months, whichever is higher, or the value of lost benefits, such as medical expenses or any other types of benefits available under their plan).
However, there is no applicable state law through which a prevailing party may recover compensatory and/or punitive damages under the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Nonetheless, although a prevailing plaintiff may recover reasonable attorney’s costs and fees as deemed just, equitable, and proper by a court of competent jurisdiction, we also noted that neither any court nor Commissioner of Labor could enjoin mass layoff, relocation, or a plant closing.
To move this discussion forward, this blog is titled “Remedies Available under New York Employee Privacy Protection Laws” and is a review of the remedies available under this act and as codified under N.Y. Lab. Law §§ 860 et seq.
Remedies Available under Employee Privacy Protection Laws of New York
For starters, employee privacy protection laws generally regulate and control procedures and rules through which businesses or companies collect, use, or disclose the personal information or data of prospective, current, or former employees. In our blog titled “N.Y. Law on Employee Privacy & Company Devices in the Workplace” and accessible through https://milettilaw.com/ny-law-on-employee-privacy-company-devices-in-the-workplace/, we noted that pursuant to N.Y. Penal Law §§ 250.00, 250.05, employers in New York are prohibited from recording confidential conversations, mechanically eavesdropping on an employee, or accessing or intercepting electronic communications of employees. We also added that, however, N.Y. Penal Law 250.00 provides exceptions, especially when another party or the employee has consented to the communication or when the employer is a party to the same.
We also asserted that while employees should be aware that communications that take place via the equipment of a business or company belong to the business or company and, thus, the employer has the right of monitoring, accessing, or storing it and that employers have the right of monitoring their workplaces, particularly regarding communications taking place over company or business equipment, employers are prohibited, as codified under N.Y. Lab. Law § 203-c, from videotaping employees in places designated for the purposes of changing or as locker rooms and/or restrooms.
With regard to these legal provisions, should an employer invade employee privacy and violate any of the protections, then the law provides a number of remedies to the aggrieved party, as discussed below.
Firstly, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 203-c(3)(a), an aggrieved employee may be awarded damages by the court.
Secondly, however, there is no applicable state law through which an aggrieved employee may recover compensatory damages under the Employee Privacy Protection Laws.
Thirdly, even if an employer is found to have violated N.Y. Lab. Law § 203-c, no punitive damages can be recovered by the aggrieved employee. See Conroy v. Inc. Vil. of Freeport, 984 N.Y.S.2d 819, 824 (Sup. Ct. 2014).
Attorney’s Fees and Costs
Fourthly, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 203-c(3)(a), the prevailing plaintiff may recover reasonable attorney’s costs and fees as deemed just, equitable, and proper by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Last but not least, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 203-c(3)(b), an aggrieved employee may be awarded injunctive relief by a court, which is aimed to restrain and prohibit further invasion of employee privacy.
Finally, there is no applicable state law through which an aggrieved employee may recover “other” remedies under the Employee Privacy Protection Laws.
In Part X of the series and our blog titled “Remedies Available under Laws Regulating the Payment of Wages,” we will review and discuss the various remedies available under major New York laws through which the payment of wages is regulated and governed pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law §§ 190 et seq. You do not want to miss this one because the payment of wages (particularly as it concerns the minimum wage if you work in New York City) is still a highly contentious issue in the state, especially now that businesses are picking up speed to recovery several months of total business shutdowns following the COVID-19 pandemic.
As usual, stay tuned for more legal guidance, training, and education. In the interim, if there are any questions or comments, please let us know at the Contact Us page!
Always Rising Above the Bar,
Legal Writer, Author, & Publisher.