Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Are You Really An Independent Contractor?
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division issued an interpretation concerning the application of the FLSA's "suffer or permit" standard in the identification of employees who are misclassified as independent contractors. The Administrator's interpretation concluded that, as many attorneys representing workers have long believed, most workers are employees under the FLSA's broad definitions. The administrator also found that while most employees who are misclassified are labeled by their employers as independent contractors, there are some new labels being given to misclassified workers as well, such as owners, partners and members of a limited liability company. The administrator's interpretation went on to state that, "Although independent contracting relationships can be advantageous for workers and businesses, some employees may be intentionally misclassified as a means to cut costs and avoid compliance with labor laws."
The Administrator's Interpretation went on to state that even where the business and the worker formally agree in a written agreement that the worker is an independent contractor, this is not determinative and the actual economic realities of the working relationship is what matters. Further, the interpretation reads, "...workers who are classified as independent contractors may receive a Form 1099-MISC from their employers. This form simply indicates that the employer engaged the worker as an independent contractor, not that the worker is actually and independent contractor under the FLSA."
Some of the questions to be asked when determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor include: 1) Is the work an integral part of the employer's business? 2) Does the worker's managerial skill affect the worker's opportunity for profit or loss? 3) How does the worker's relative investment compare to the employer's investment? 4) Does the work performed require special skill and initiative? 5) Is the relationship between the worker and the employer permanent or indefinite? and F) What is the nature and degree of the employer's control?
At the end of the day, it is probably safe to say that a large degree of workers are employees, entitled to the legal protections that the law provides; and also entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of forty in a workweek.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
$80,000.00 Settlement Reached in False Arrest Lawsuit v. City of New York
On July 15, 2015, Michael Redenburg reached an eighty thousand ($80,000.00) settlement on behalf of his clients who had alleged that they had been falsely arrested and subjected to excessive force by the NYPD in January, 2014. Within their Second Amended Complaint, A.T. and C.T. alleged that they had witnessed their relative being assaulted by NYPD Officers in front of their home. They further alleged that when the mother came outside, one of the officers punched her in the head. Further allegations included that when the younger family member tried to record the unfolding incident on her iPad, one of the NYPD Officers announced, "Arrest her too."
Both A.C and T.C were then arrested and criminally charged with violating NY Penal Law Sections 195.05 and 240.20; Obstructing Governmental Administration and Disorderly Conduct, presumably for their objecting to the manner in which the officers were beating up their loved one. They were further humiliated because numerous of their neighbors witnessed them getting arrested and A.T. had to seek medical attention at Kings County Hospital after being pummeled in the head. Within their Second Amended Complaint, they alleged unlawful stop and search, false arrest, failure to intervene, unreasonable force and a claim against the City of New York.
At the Settlement Conference in the Eastern District of New York on 7/15/15, the City agreed to pay $80K to resolve the allegations. Michael J. Redenburg represented A.T. and C.T. and regularly represents citizens alleging false arrest and police brutality throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, New York and Bronx Counties.
Monday, July 13, 2015
Brooklyn Woman Files Wrongful Arrest Lawsuit in Federal Court
According to the federal court filing, the incident took place on September 3, 2014, at or near Mother Gaston Blvd., between Glenmore Avenue and Liberty Avenue, in the county of Kings, city and state of New York. Shanice was called by her sister-in-law, Kathadasia, who informed her that police were arresting her brother. Concerned for her brother, Shanice went outside and saw numerous NYPD officers gathered around her brother who was on the ground, handcuffed. She then approached the NYPD officers and asked why her brother was being arrested. In response, one of the officers told her mind her business and pushed her.
The officers placed her brother in a police vehicle and she again asked the officers why her brother was being arrested. Next, a female NYPD officer grabbed Shanice from behind and handcuffed her. Thereafter, a male NYPD officer grabbed her by her handcuffed hands and dragged her, causing her to fall backward. She was then lifted up by both officers, put into an NYPD vehicle and taken to the Precinct for processing. While at the Precinct, Shanice began feeling faint and so she was taken to Brookdale Hospital. After spending about six hours at Brookdale Hospital, Shanice was transported to Central Booking to await arraignment. After spending approximately sixteen hours in Brooklyn Central Booking, she was arraigned on charges of Resisting Arrest, Obstructing Governmental Administration and Disorderly Conduct. At arraignment, the matter was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.
Shanice is seeking compensation for the suffering of an unlawful detention, loss of liberty, emotional distress, fear, anxiety, humiliation, degradation, and the physical pain she endured.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Young Man Suing the City of New York for False Arrest Tragically Commits Suicide
Can you be compensated if you suffered physical and mental abuse as a result of false arrest?
Long terms of incarceration can have serious physical and psychological consequences. When you are imprisoned for any period of time after a false arrest, and you suffer this type of abuse, you are essentially suffering at the fault of another. In this situation, you likely have a legal claim for the harm done to you as a result of the false arrest. Unfortunately, some never make it to benefit from this compensation, as was the case for a young man who was suing the City of New York for false arrest earlier this year.
Twenty-two year old Kalief Browder
of the Bronx was arrested at the age of 16 on suspicion of a robbery. As the result of a previous incident, Browder was on probation and therefore held at Rikers Island after being arrested. He maintained his innocence and awaited trial, which was delayed countless times over a number of years. In total, he was held on Rikers Island for three years and his court dates were postponed 31 times, before the District Attorney decided to ask the court to dismiss the case.
During his time on Rikers Island, Browder claims that fellow inmates and corrections officers physically and mentally abused him. Some of this abuse was caught on video. As a result of this abuse, Browder is said to have developed serious mental illness, including depression and paranoia, which caused him to attempt suicide numerous times. Due to the harm that he suffered, Browder brought a lawsuit against the City of New York claiming false arrest and numerous other things. Unfortunately, Browder committed suicide in June of this year. Browder’s attorney has since stated that he will continue the lawsuit even after his client’s tragic death.
Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC has is skilled in handling false arrest
claims of all kinds. He has received favorable results for many clients and would be happy to consult with you on your case. For a consultation, call him at (212)240-9465.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Manhattan NYC Man Files False Arrest Lawsuit
On the early morning of October 12, 2013, Antoine M. was walking near his home when a marked NYPD car pulled up near him; officers jumping out of the car with their hands on their guns. Scared, Antoine ran. The Officers caught up to him and hit him with their asps upon his back and right leg, causing pain in his back and swelling to his leg. Antoine asked the officers why he was being stopped and they responded that he was being arrested for resisting arrest. He was taken to the 28th Precinct for processing.
Next, Antoine was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital for medical treatment due to the injuries he suffered at the hands of the NYPD Officers. Thereafter, he was taken to Central Booking for arraignment. Once before the Criminal Court Judge at arraignment, Antoine learned that he was being charged with violating NY PL§160.10, Robbery in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony. Bail was set in an amount Plaintiff could not post and so he was transported to Rikers Island. On October 17, 2013, his 180.80 day, the Robbery in the Second Degree criminal charge, which had been levied against him was dismissed, and bail was exonerated. However, he now had a remaining criminal charge of assault in the third degree, and since the robbery arrest had caused him to violate parole, he had a parole hold, $1 bail. Antoine was therefore transported back to Rikers Island.
Antoine continued to appear in criminal court concerning the remaining criminal charge of assault in the third degree. After a few months had passed, and remaining on Rikers Island, his parole hold was lifted and he posted the $1 bail, and was released from Rikers Island. The criminal matter pending against him proceeded until April 2, 2015, when the remaining misdemeanor criminal charge against him, assault in the third degree was dismissed. As a result Antoine claims to have suffered an unlawful detention, loss of liberty, physical injuries, emotional distress, fear, anxiety, humiliation, embarrassment, degradation and damage to his reputation.
Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. represents Antoine and dozens of other victims in false arrest lawsuits throughout the City of New York. He regularly represents victims of wrongful arrest, stop and frisk and false arrest in lawsuits against The City of New York in federal court, and has successfully represented dozens of citizens who have been victimized by the NYPD in wrongful arrest & stop and frisk lawsuits. His efforts have led to his clients collectively recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.
Mr. Redenburg has been recognized by three (3) different organizations which are invitation only and peer reviewed. In 2014 and 2015 Michael Redenburg was named a SuperLawyer, NY Metro Rising Star by Thomson Reuters and no more than 2.5% of lawyers in a state are given this rating. Attorney Redenburg was also named a Top 40 Under 40 attorney by American Society of Legal Advocates ("ASLA") in 2014 and 2015 and ASLA limits its membership to less than 1.5% of all licensed lawyers nationwide. Additionally, in 2014 and 2015 Attorney Redenburg was named Top 40 Under 40 by The National Trial Lawyers, which is invitation only, based on nomination and peer reviewed.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Conviction in Huge Tax Fraud Thrown Out Because of Dishonest Juror
Does deception by a juror entitle a convicted felon to a new trial?
In 2011, David Parse was convicted of what prosecutors called "the largest criminal tax fraud in history.” Now the former Deutsche Bank broker is a free man because of juror misconduct. A federal appeals court in New York has thrown out his conviction because a juror lied to get onto the panel that heard the case.
Parse, who was convicted of being part of a $1.63 billion scheme, could still be tried again.
The juror, Catherine Conrad, represented herself as an ordinary housewife with no legal problems in her past. Instead, she turned out to be a suspended lawyer and an alcoholic. She was once arrested for punching a policeman and for stealing a bag of shrimp from a convenience store while she was intoxicated.
She also failed to disclose that her husband was a career criminal and convicted felon whom she had described elsewhere as a "mafia boss." She lied about her address, saying that she lived in Westchester, rather than the Bronx, in order to get $765 in travel reimbursement.
According to court papers, Conrad's fabrications were intended to make her a more appealing juror. She was caught when she wrote to prosecutors applauding them for trying to convict the defendants, whom she called "frickin' crooks."
After the lies were exposed, the trial court had refused to overturn Parse's conviction, ruling that his lawyers had known of the deception. But the Court of Appeals decided that Parse was entitled to a new trial. Prosecutors have not said whether there will be one.
Attorney Michael J. Redenburg has years of experience handling all types of criminal trials, from stalking to drug crimes to sex crimes. Whether your crime is minor or serious, effective representation can ensure that you receive a fair trial and that prosecutors follow procedure. For a consultation, call us at 212-240-9465 or contact us here for an evaluation of your case.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Car Thief Steals Car Twice In One Weekend
Is home security camera footage admissible as evidence?
A homeowner in the Bronx discovered the benefits of a home security system when a young man broke into her home at night and stole some personal items and the keys to a new Lexus SUV in the driveway. The young man took the car from the driveway. The homeowner was in bed upstairs at the time of the burglary and is happy she did not come into contact with the young man for fear of being injured or losing her life.
The police tracked the SUV to a parking spot nearby the following day and returned the car to the home with a set of new keys. The day after that, the young man returned during the day and attempted to steal the car again with the original set of keys. Luckily, the dealer deactivated the original set of keys. The young man ran out of the driveway after a neighbor confronted him. Police estimate the thief is between 16 and 18 years old.
Security camera footage is helpful for crime victims in identifying a suspect and determining exactly what property was damaged or stolen. The woman in this case had an excellent system providing a very clear picture of the suspect and view of the home’s exterior. Not all security footage is reliable because of its quality and it can be difficult to distinguish the suspect or the property. Unreliable security footage is a problem when a suspect is misidentified.
If you are a suspect in a crime caught on security footage or already have an upcoming court date, Michael J. Redenburg can help. He is an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney representing clients facing charges in all five boroughs. Contact him today at (212)240-9465 for a free case evaluation.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Does New York Have Special Courts for Prostitution Cases?
New York has a statewide system of courts whose goal is to help those working as prostitutes have the opportunity to start new lives. This approach is the result of the belief of many criminal justice experts that prostitution results from coercion, not choice, according to Reuters.
Prostitution has been called “modern day slavery” because most of those involved are being exploited by others, either due to threats of physical violence, drug addiction or because a prostitute is in the country illegally and owes money to human traffickers and fears deportation. The state legislature has passed a number of prostitution-related statutes that shift the focus of law enforcement from the prostitutes to the pimps that exploit them and those who hire them.
The cases that go to these specials courts are those that have not been concluded at arraignment through a guilty plea or a dismissal. Judges assigned these cases work with prosecutors and defense attorneys to decide if a defendant needs services such as housing, medical and drug treatment, job training and education.
There are a variety of nonprofits offering services through the court. Some have ties to sex worker communities and others serve certain ethnic groups. Many of these organizations provide a wide range of services, including yoga classes, art or group therapy. Individuals charged with prostitution may also be assigned social workers who can help defendants with immigration, housing or child care problems.
Most defendants are offered six sessions with intervention programs and if the sessions are completed, defendants are eligible for an Adjournment for Contemplation of Dismissal. If there is no arrest for six months, the original charges are dismissed. This system is especially helpful for first offenders.
This special court system, the first of its kind in the country, started in 2013. It’s modeled on pilot programs in Manhattan, Queens and Nassau County that had operated for several years.
If you have been arrested in the New York area on a prostitution-related charge in the New York City area, prostitution defense attorney Michael J. Redenburg can help. Contact him at (212)240-9465 and schedule a free consultation.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Nail Salon Workers Demand Minimum Wages and Overtime Pay in New York
Earlier this year, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he planned a full scale investigation into numerous issues that face nail salon workers throughout Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. One of those issues are the potential health risks the manicurists face due to their exposure to the fumes and chemicals from the nail polishing agents. The mayor promised to begin planning a 'day of action' to bring these issues to light. In a statement, Mayor de Blasio has been quoted as saying, "We will use all available powers to shield nail salon workers from deplorable conditions, empower them with awareness of their rights, and offer every other support we can to ensure the safety and dignity of our hardworking fellow New Yorkers."
The other issue that NY manicurists face are the sub-par wages they receive. It has been widely reported that many nail salon workers throughout the city are not paid NY minimum wage and NY overtime pay in accordance with state and federal law. In fact, according to a recent lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York, some salon workers from the Upper East Side of NY claim that they were routinely paid only sixty ($60.00) dollars a day for ten hour shifts, and also denied meal and rest breaks. The legal claims brought in the lawsuit go back six years for the state law claims under the New York Labor Law and three years under federal law, if the violations were willful. Many observers believe that the recently filed lawsuit against Nailsway, Naulo Nails, Nailsmetic and Nailscure is likely to be one of many, now that the rampant exploitation of these workers has been exposed.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Was Freddy Gray the Victim of a False Arrest?
Freddy Gray was the African American male who died while in police custody in Baltimore on April 12, 2015. His death sparked riots in the city and protests throughout the country concerning police treatment of suspects and the public, especially African Americans. His case was investigated and six police officers have been charged with various crimes related to his death. Following the criminal charges, many (including counsel for the police officers) have questioned whether Mr. Gray should have been arrested in the first place.
The charge against Gray (he had an illegal switchblade in his possession) was false, according to Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, reports the Washington Post. She has stated his folding knife is legal under Maryland law and he was falsely arrested. If true, that false arrest resulted in Gray’s death.
Attorneys representing two of the accused police officers have a different view, according to CNN. They have filed motions allowing them to inspect the knife. They claim the knife was illegal under Baltimore code so Gray's arrest was lawful, essentially stating it was these two officers who were falsely arrested.
Court documents describe the knife as a "spring-assisted, one-hand-operated knife" which Mosby stated was not a switchblade. Switchblades are illegal in Maryland and defense attorney Andrew Alperstein states it’s also illegal to have a spring action knife in Baltimore. The police investigation into the incident found the knife was illegal under city code.
Alperstein’s clients are charged with two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and one count of false imprisonment based on the assumption that Gray's arrest was unlawful, because it was legal to carry his knife. Alperstein contends that if the knife was illegal, the arrest was lawful so his clients did not commit any crimes.
The facts are not clear yet as to whether or not Gray was falsely arrested but there is absolutely no doubt that he should have survived his arrest. Only time will tell how the criminal charges and the inevitable civil lawsuit by Gray’s family will be resolved.
If you believe you have been falsely arrested and suffered physical or emotional harm in police custody, Attorney Michael J. Redenburg can help. He is experienced in representing victims of false arrest in the New York City area. Call his office at (212) 240-9465 today for a free case evaluation.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Can I Be Arrested for Standing Up for What’s Right?
Given our country’s long and illustrious history of civil disobedience and community involvement, it should not happen, but individuals are occasionally arrested for standing up for what they believe is right. Unfortunately, speaking your piece when you see something unjust may annoy or inconvenience a member of law enforcement, resulting in a false arrest. One such case involves Brooklyn law student Tzvi Richt. He sued the city in federal court in Brooklyn for false arrest and received a $15,000 settlement along with $45,000 to pay his attorney’s fees, according to the Daily News.
There are just some things that are wrong and when Richt saw it for himself he could not keep his opinion to himself, even when two of the city’s finest (Officers Graham Brathwaite and Jason Pinero of the 61st Precinct) committed the wrongdoing. According to another Daily News piece, the two police officers chased Richt’s car from a bus stop, which would have been all well and good if it stopped there, but the officers then parked in the same spot so they could have easy access to a food truck.
According to his lawsuit Richt told the officer what they did was wrong “in a normal tone of voice, not yelling or shouting.” An officer told him to mind his own business and demanded his identification. Richt questioned the legality of his request and he was handcuffed in response.
The summonses were later dismissed. Braithwaite was given desk duty while the Civilian Complaint Review Board investigated Richt’s allegation that the summonses were baseless and issued in retaliation for his protests. The board found Richt’s allegations were substantiated.
A City Law Department spokesman said settling the case was in the best interests of the city.
Michael J. Redenburg, Esq., is an experienced criminal defense attorney who also regularly represents victims of wrongful arrest, stop and frisk and false arrest in civil lawsuits against The City of New York in federal court. If you, or a loved one, have been falsely arrested call his office today at (212)240-9465 so you can discuss what happened, the applicable laws and your possible options for seeking compensation.
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