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Workers’ Rights

Why it’s important to hire a union-friendly lawyer

If you are part of a union, it is important to have a lawyer on your side who understands and respects unions. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP, have over 100 combined years of experience representing union members in a variety of capacities. As a member of a union, there is often strength in numbers, but employers may still try to take advantage of your labor or attempt to restrict your rights or benefits. An attorney who is familiar with New York labor laws will ensure that you receive the treatment and benefits you are legally entitled to.

Attorneys can help union members achieve a number of different goals. Besides fighting for compensation following a workplace injury, personal injury attorneys can also:

  • Organize union campaigns
  • Handle labor union negotiations
  • Fight wrongful termination/discharge
  • Demand retirement benefits and unemployment claims
  • Represent employees in benefits law disputes
  • Handle sexual harassment claims
  • Handle arbitration of various employee grievances.
  • Represent employees in front of the National Labor Relations Board
  • Represent unions in Department of Labor Investigations
  • Represent unions or employees in collective bargaining negotiations

What am I entitled to as a member of a New York union?

According to a bill recently signed by Gov. Cuomo:

  • Union members who pay their dues receive protection of benefits even when they take leave
  • Public employers must notify the appropriate union of a new hire and provide the employee’s contact information to the union
  • Workers’ compensation in the event of a workplace accident

Contact a New York union lawyer

If you’re in a union and have been injured on the job, contact a union-friendly lawyer from Hach & Rose, LLP. We have decades of experience helping union workers fight for their rights, and we’ll fight for you to get the compensation you deserve following your accident. If you have any questions or aren’t sure what your next steps should be, call us at (347) 318-9604 or reach out online for a free consultation.

What is Occupational Asthma?

Occupational AsthmaAccording to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, occupational asthma is a bigger problem than many people realize. Occupational asthma, also referred to as workplace asthma, develops because of workplace conditions and causes wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness. It is the most common workplace lung disease in the United States. 

Who is at risk?

The workers who are most at risk of developing occupational asthma are the ones who are exposed to a group of harmful chemicals called isocyanates, according to OSHA. These jobs include:

  • Car manufacturers
  • Textile workers
  • Painters
  • Printmakers
  • Furniture manufacturers
  • Rubber and plastic manufacturers
  • Electric cable insulators

What are the signs?

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Burning of the eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose

How to prevent occupational asthma

Employees can work to avoid developing occupational asthma by avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals and allergens when possible, though this may not always be a viable option for every worker. If you notice signs of asthma, such as shortness of breath or wheezing, report it to your employer and get help from your doctor immediately. Occupational asthma is treatable if it is caught early.

Employers can protect their employees from developing occupational asthma by adhering to the safety guidelines developed by OSHA, eliminate harmful allergens and chemicals from the workplace, and offer employee training on how to recognize workplace hazards.

Because occupational asthma is a lung disease that may develop over months or years, a worker may not recognize their symptoms until much later. But occupational asthma is a condition that, if left untreated, could severely impact the worker’s quality of life and productivity.

Contact a New York workers’ rights lawyer

If you developed occupational asthma as a result of improper working conditions, you may be owed worker’s compensation benefits and other forms of compensation. The workplace illness lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP understand New York labor laws and will help you get the workers’ compensation benefits or third-party injury compensation you might be owed. Call us at (347) 318-9604 to schedule your free consultation today.

Understanding ERISA New York Retirement Issues

ERISAIf you are planning to retire or are currently in the process of claiming retirement benefits, there are a few common retirement issues that you should understand. 

The Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was passed in 1974 to secure certain rights to retiring workers of private companies, but employers sometimes make it difficult to understand retirement plans. It must be noted, however, that retirement plans provided by the government or religious institutions don’t fall under the protections of ERISA, which only applies to private, for-profit companies. 

If your company offers a retirement plan, then they are legally obligated to provide their workers with clear information and resources about how to access and claim benefits. If your company is impeding your retirement by not providing clear instructions on how to navigate their retirement plan, they are violating ERISA. An attorney can help you fight your employer and earn the benefits that you are entitled to. 

A skilled attorney can: 

  • Help you access and understand your retirement plan
  • Protect you, your funds, and your ability to access your retirement money
  • Set the precedent that workers will not tolerate a company standing in the way of their retirement benefits, ensuring that future workers will not have to endure the same difficult process

Additionally, under ERISA, companies are obligated to:

  • Provide workers with necessary benefits calculators and information
  • Give participants the ability to sue for breach of benefits or fiduciary duty

An example of a breach of benefit under ERISA would be if your employer improperly denied to pay you the compensation guaranteed to you under their plan. A fiduciary is a person named in the company’s ERISA paperwork who has authority over the administration of the plan and the plan’s assets or gives investment advice regarding plan assets for direct or indirect compensation, according to ERISA Section 3(21). 

Contact a New York ERISA Lawyer

If you are already encountering some of these issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to an expert retirement issue attorney to help you navigate the complicated legal process. The professionals at Hach & Rose, LLP have over 100 combined years of experience fighting retirement-related cases and can help you win the benefits you are entitled to. Call our office at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your legal options today. 

How to Avoid Common Ergonomic and Repetitive Stress Injuries

Common ErgonomicAccording to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), adapting tasks, workstations, tools, and equipment to fit the employee can help reduce stress on the body and eliminate potentially harmful workplace musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Every year, MSDs account for more than $15 billion in workers’ compensation costs. It is up to the employer to ensure they are creating a safe office space. 

MSD problems can result from the following: repetitive movements, sitting in awkward positions or straining your neck because a screen isn’t correctly placed, and static postures with little breaks to stretch the muscles.

OSHA provided an eTool to educate on healthy ways to reduce ergonomic injuries in the office space. Some solutions are the following: 

  • Make sure the chair, keyboard, and monitor are in a straight line with your body;
  • Use an adjustable keyboard tray to position your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable height, placing the mouse and keyboard as close as possible to your body to avoid reaching;
  • Maintain a relaxed, neutral posture and sit up straight to provide firm back support;
  • Allow your arms to hang loosely at the shoulders;
  • Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle while typing;
  • Adjust the chair’s height so that your feet are firmly on the ground.

Many people don’t realize how debilitating a repetitive motion injury can be until they suffer one. Workers can find it difficult or impossible to return to the job until they’ve healed, and some might find that they can never perform those functions the same way again. If you’ve developed a condition due to repetitive motions on the job, you could be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits from your employers’ insurance policy. Securing this compensation is not always simple or straightforward however.

Contact a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you’ve suffered a RSI while at work in New York, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Hach & Rose, LLP for help. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (212) 779-0057 or by reaching out online today.

Cortlandt, NY – Man Killed in Fatal Work Accident on Gallows Hill Road

Cortlandt, NY – Man Killed in Fatal Work Accident on Gallows Hill Road

Cortlandt, NY (May 4, 2019) – Authorities were called to the scene of a fatal work accident that took place when a man was electrocuted on Gallows Hill Road. According to police, the accident took place last Sunday. (more…)

Aurelius, NY – Three Workers Hospitalized Following Electrical Fire at Milk Plant

Irondequoit, NY – Car Accident with Injuries Reported on Empire Boulevard

Aurelius, NY (February 14, 2019) – Several emergency crews were dispatched to the scene of an electrical fire that broke out at a milk processing plant on Thursday morning, February 14. The incident ultimately injured three workers at the Cayuga Milk Ingredients plant in the town of Aurelius at around 10:20 a.m.


Roslyn, Long Island, NY – Worker’s Legs Severed in Serious Construction Accident

Freeport, NY – Two Workers Injured Following Fall from Ladder on Long Island

Roslyn, Long Island, NY (February 13, 2019) – A serious accident took place on Wednesday morning, February 13, that severed both legs of a construction worker. Both of the victims’ legs were reported to have been severed below the knees after he was struck by a large steel plate shortly after 8:00 a.m., according to police.


New Video FAQ – If I’m injured on a construction site and I file a lawsuit, should I fear for my job?

In a new video FAQ, attorney Michael Rose discusses your rights when it comes to reporting an injury or for filing a lawsuit over an injury that occurred while on the job. People are often concerned that their employer may choose to fire them for filing a lawsuit, but as attorney Rose points out, this should not be a concern. There are protections in place for injured workers in New York, and if you’ve been hurt in an accident, you have the right to take legal action without fear of retaliation from your employer.

If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a construction accident, you have the right to seek compensation from your employer’s workers’ comp policy. If they wrongly deny your claim or choose to offer you less than what you should be paid to cover your medical bills and other expenses, an experienced attorney may be able to help you secure the compensation that you need. Contact us at (212) 779-0057 today to find out how we can help you.


New Video FAQ: How does New York’s Labor Law protect construction workers?

Watch our newest Video FAQ here! New York City labor lawyer Tim Staines discusses how the state’s labor laws protect construction workers. If you have been hurt in an accident on the job, contact us immediately. Don’t rely on an apathetic or inexperienced attorney, turn to the law firm that has experience, proven results, and is not afraid to fight with the major insurance companies on your behalf. Contact Hach & Rose, LLP today.

New Video FAQ: What is Labor Law Section 240?

Contact a New York labor lawyer of Hach & Rose, LLP if you have any questions or need assistance with a labor claim. In the meantime, watch attorney Tim Staines discuss Labor Law Section 240 here:

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