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Rochester Legal Blog

Verizon workers strike because of poor working conditions

Over 36,000 Verizon workers are on strike. According to the workers, it's due to poor working conditions like jobs that have been outsourced overseas and to non-union, low-wage workers and that workers are being sent out of state to work. This is even though some workers had said they were not able to travel when they were interviewed for the job.

Many technicians have to drive into remote areas in their company trucks. They are often there for a couple of weeks, staying motels and getting around $35 for their meals. In some cases, the workers are paid overtime, but that is not a guarantee.

Calculating Spousal Support in New York

When couple's divorce, determining spousal support (also called alimony or maintenance) is often a major issue that needs to get resolved. The purpose of support is for the ex-spouse receiving payments to continue to live a lifestyle similar to the lifestyle they lived while married. It is also a means for the supported spouse to become financially sufficient, which may mean going back to school to gain additional skills or training to reenter the job market or position him or herself for higher paying employment. There are many issues to settle during a divorce and spousal support can be stressful. Here are some common questions related to how the court may determine maintenance.

Did your spouse hide assets from you before filing for divorce?

For most couples who divorce, the finances are pretty straight-forward. The assets and real estate are split as evenly as possible. What happens, though, when one spouse intentionally hides assets before filing for divorce? If you have 100 percent trust in your relationship and suddenly it's over, you may wonder if your soon-to-be ex-spouse is hiding anything from you.

According to one study, 30 percent of couples with combined finances have hidden a purchase or asset from their spouse or partner. About 7.2 million people have hidden a credit card or bank account from their other half. While not every spouse will hide assets, knowing what might happen can make you more aware of how to avoid it. Here are some things that your soon-to-be ex-spouse might be doing to hide assets.

Domestic violence victims and workplace discrimination

Domestic violence victims can be victimized yet again through workplace discrimination.This is often not a form of discrimination that gets much attention. When New York Attorney General Eric Schndierman reached a settlement with Bon-Ton, the issue became more well-known, at least in our area.

The lawsuit filed by the attorney general claimed that the New York Human Rights Law was violated by the company. The suit also claimed that a woman informed personnel that her estranged husband had made threats against her life.

Know your rights against sexual harassment at work

In these tough economic times, it isn't uncommon for workers to keep harassment issues to themselves-including sexual harassment. The main reason is that some of these workers believe their jobs could be at stake if they decide to speak up and make a claim. In other instances, individuals believe they could become a victim of workplace retaliation. However, state and federal laws protect workers from this type of treatment and from retaliation for making a claim. Nobody deserves to be victimized in the workplace. It is critical to know your rights against being sexually harassed at work, not to stay quiet and to take steps to stop the problem and protect your rights.

How does the court decide who gets custody of the child?

Child custody cases are often some of the hardest fought battles in court. The court, however, will make any child custody decision based on what is in the best interests of the child. The mother isn't automatically considered to be the better parent.

In order for a New York court to hear a child custody case, the child must have lived in New York for the previous six months. If your child is not yet six months old, then you may need to file your child custody action where the child was born.

New York's Wage Theft Prevention Act

In 2010, a law was passed that provides more protection to New York workers. The Wage Theft Prevention Act took effect in April 2011. Employers and employees need to know the following about the WTPA.

-- Threats are now considered retaliation. While it has always been against the law to fire, demote, discriminate or penalize an employee who made a complaint, a threat of doing so is considered the same thing. The penalties have now doubled and a violation can cost up to $20,000. Criminal penalties can also apply.

Columbia professor accused of sexual harassing colleague

Charges of sexual harassment and retaliation have penetrated the halls of New York academia. A Columbia University assistant professor has filed a $20 million lawsuit accusing a professor there of making sexual advances towards her.

The 40-year-old woman says that her rejection of those advances caused the professor to sabotage her work, endangered her chances of being granted tenure and could cost her the job. The plaintiff, who holds a doctorate in economics from Northwestern University, says that the professor's actions have "turned my world upside down."

Father's rights when determining custody in New York

"The mother always wins in custody cases." Fortunately, that old adage doesn't necessarily apply these days, at least not in New York courts.

Of course, it's natural to worry about what your role in your children's lives will be, should you divorce or stop living with your children's mother. Be assured, however, that an experienced lawyer can help you negotiate the best possible living situation for you and your children.

Initiating a divorce requires more than just paperwork - II

In a previous post, we started discussing how even though people understandably want to get their divorce over with as soon as possible -- owing to their desire to get started on a new chapter in life -- the reality is that the process can end up taking longer than they expect or prefer.

To that end, we explored how before the divorce process can even begin here in New York, a threshold determination must be made as to whether a person can satisfy the residency requirement. In today's post, we'll continue this discussion, examining the other requirement that must be satisfied under state law before a divorce can proceed. 

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