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Education Law

Education Law

Education Law

New York City teachers face challenges inside and outside the classroom. When they face the possibility of losing their jobs, they deserve representation by experienced attorneys.

At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., employment law is our sole focus. We have represented teachers facing a broad spectrum of legal issues and we are committed to protecting teachers’ rights. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a free initial and confidential consultation at our Queens or Long Island offices today.

Queens and Long Island

Labor Employment Lawyers in Queens and Long Island

Advocating on Behalf of
Employees

At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., we represent employees in a broad spectrum of legal matters, including:

Harassment

According to the NY Department of Human Rights, employers can be held responsible for sexual harassment in the workplace in the following circumstances:
If the harassment was the fault of a co-owner, manager, or supervisor the employer is responsible, regardless of whether or not they knew it was occurring
If the harassment occurred among regular employees, the employer can be held responsible if they knew about it, should have known about it, or failed to have a sexual harassment policy in place.
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Employee Discrimination

Our lawyers are prepared to represent clients who face any type of employment discrimination such as:
Gender discrimination
Marital status discrimination
Pregnancy discrimination and FMLA violations
Sexual orientation discrimination, including transgender discrimination and harassment
Age discrimination
Race or national origin discrimination
Disability discrimination
Religious discrimination
Criminal record discrimination
Violations of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
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Wage & Hour Disputes

We handle many cases that involve wage and hour disputes, including people in certain industries who often fall victim to these situations as well as instances involving:
Unpaid overtime
Under-the-table compensation
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Education Law

New York City teachers face challenges inside and outside the classroom. When they face the possibility of losing their jobs, they deserve representation by experienced attorneys.

At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., employment law is our sole focus. We have represented teachers facing a broad spectrum of legal issues and we are committed to protecting teachers’ rights. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a free initial and confidential consultation at our Queens or Long Island offices today.

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Wrongful Termination

Even in an ‘At Will’ Work Situation, You Have the Right to Work. Employers will always claim that they had a valid reason to lay off or fire an employee. But in many circumstances, this is just disguised discrimination of one form or another. Continued employment and advancement is frequently based on performance reviews. If you have a perfect record, then suddenly go from perfect to pariah, it may be a case of your supervisor or employer giving a negative review in order to have an excuse to remove you from your position or deny a promotion.

Sometimes these “Jekyll and Hyde” switches occur because a superior learned something about a subordinate that then caused him or her to have a negative bias, like the employee was of a certain religion or sexual orientation. Sometimes the reason is more obvious, like a bias against people of a certain race, being male or female, a woman becoming pregnant or people with disabilities.

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Other Employment Law Issues

As a full-service employment law firm, we can also help you with:
Labor and union representation
Mediation and arbitration matters
Employment contract negotiations and matters
Employer defense
Our New York employment attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that all workers have the opportunity to pursue successful careers, and experience workplaces that are free of harassment or other situations that create tension.
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How Does Tenure Work?

Tenure provides teachers and college professors with the right to due process

Tenure provides teachers and college professors with the right to due process if they are accused of misconduct or facing potential dismissal for another reason, such as the closure of their school or the termination of their department. Tenure exists to protect educators’ academic freedom, which has benefits for their schools and their students.

Tenure is not a guarantee that a teacher will remain employed with his or her district for life. Nor does it mean that the individual cannot be fired. Rather, it is protection against being dismissed without providing a reason to do so. In New York, public school teachers must complete a four-year probationary period before they are entitled to tenure and the protections that come with it. Tenured educators are not at-will employees because of this protection. Terminating a tenured individual without providing due process before the dismissal is a violation of employment law.

Are Women Less Likely to Make Tenure?

A 2014 study found that in higher education, men are more likely than women to make tenure. This trend was more prevalent in computer science and sociology departments than some other departments, such as English departments. This disparity was not due to differences in research output, but because of bias in university departments and demands placed on women, like service burdens and more hours spent teaching.

Women who have children face increased difficulties making tenure and managing careers in academia when compared to men with children of similar ages.

No difference was recorded in the number of men versus women making tenure in K-12 teaching positions. These jobs are more likely to be filled by women and like other female-dominated jobs, often pay less on average than male-dominated fields. In 2011, approximately 76 percent of public school teachers in the United States were female.

Denied Tenure

Denied Tenure

I was Denied Tenure, Now What?

At community colleges, the probationary period for new professors is typically three years. At four-year colleges and universities, the average probationary period is seven years. During the time, the professors are regularly evaluated to determine the quality of their research, service, and teaching in order to determine whether to recommend tenure.

Being denied tenure often means losing your job. If you are denied tenure at the end of your probationary period, ask your department chair why you were denied tenure. If you feel his or her evaluation of your work and service was biased because of your status as a woman, a minority, or another protected class, consider filing a discrimination claim with help from an experienced employment lawyer. When colleges and universities are not clear about their tenure criteria, there is a lot of room to disguise bias as legitimate reasons to deny an individual tenure. You have the right to challenge the biases you face and hold your employer as accountable as it held you during your probationary period.

Comprehensive Preparation and Representation for 3020-a Hearings

Tenured teachers in New York have numerous protections. Before a tenured teacher can be fired for cause, he or she has the right to what is known as a 3020-a hearing, which is similar to a trial. Our lawyers defend teachers at these trials. The preparation for a 3020-a hearing is identical to the preparation we would do for any other type of trial. By thoroughly examining the evidence, conducting interviews with other teachers and carefully constructing strategies, we help our clients effectively navigate 3020-a hearings.

Teacher Discrimination in New York Schools

Age discrimination is common in the field of education.

School administrators often prefer younger teachers who earn less money. Younger teachers who do not enjoy the protections of tenure are less likely to speak up. This can make it difficult for older teachers to find work. If you are a teacher and feel you have been discriminated against, our New York teachers’ harassment and discrimination lawyers can help.

Bargaining & Unions

Bargaining & Unions

Collective Bargaining and Teachers Unions

For teachers who are facing concerns regarding their union or collective bargaining unit, we can represent you in front of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Contact Ricotta & Marks, P.C.

At Ricotta & Marks, P.C., we are committed to defending the rights of New York’s teachers no matter what type of employment law issue they are facing. To learn more about our services, contact our law offices in Queens or Long Island at 800-240-9269.

Ricotta Marks

Ricotta & Marks, P.C.

We understand that your situation is urgent. Our New York employment discrimination attorneys will respond to your questions and concerns as quickly as possible.

Contact Our Office347.464.8694