Law Offices of William Cafaro

Law Offices of William Cafaro

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Law office of Bonnie Lawston

Law Offices of William Cafaro

Labor Law 240 — Falls from Heights

How Does the “Scaffolding Law” Protect New York Workers?

Labor Law 240Falls from heights during construction work often involve falls ladders or scaffolds. However, the differences in falls can be substantial. Workers on ladders may be feet from the ground, whereas workers on scaffolds could be many stories off the ground.

This type of work at heights is so dangerous that the State of New York passed a law, called Labor Law 240, to offer extra protection to laborers, who do construction work at heights.

Labor Law 240 has additional safety regulations that apply when scaffolding or staging is more than 20 feet off the ground or floor. Scaffolds or staging at these heights require safety rails. The scaffolding or staging also must be fastened to prevent it from swaying. Scaffolding should be sturdy enough to bear four times the weight that is placed on it, when in use.

Equipment that Labor Law 240 Requires for Safety Protection

By law, all contractors, owners and their agents (except owners of one and two-family dwellings) involved with construction or building maintenance work must furnish or erect equipment to give laborers proper protection. Equipment includes:

  • Scaffolding
  • Hoists
  • Stays
  • Ladders
  • Slings
  • Hangers
  • Blocks
  • Pulleys
  • Braces
  • Iron
  • Ropes
  • Other protective devices

What Types of Work Does the Scaffold Law Cover?

The Scaffold Law protects workers doing the following work involved with buildings and structures:

  • Erection
  • Demolition
  • Repairs
  • Alterations
  • Painting
  • Cleaning
  • Pointing

Are Many Workers at Risk for Scaffolding Injuries?

OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration) estimates that 65 percent of construction workers in the U.S. work on scaffolds. Close to three quarters of scaffold accidents resulted from the following:

  • Planking or support gave way
  • Employee slipped and fell
  • A falling object struck the employee

Falls from heights can create a crippling injury. Any worker who sustains an injury of this type should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for help with recovering compensation. For more information, see our Ladder and Scaffold Accidents page.

Car Accident Insurance Limits: When Can You Pursue a Lawsuit?

Fazzini Law Personal Injury Website

How Does Establishing Fault Affect a Car Accident Case?

New York has no-fault automobile insurance. Regardless of who was at fault for causing an accident, insurance covers expenses up to $50,000 (or more, if the no-fault coverage purchased has limits greater than $50,000).

However, what happens when an injury is extremely serious or when costs exceed $50,000 insurance limits? When this occurs, you can sue an at-fault party for damages through a lawsuit.

Serious Injury Threshold in a Car Accident Under NY Insurance Law

Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law defines what constitutes a serious injury in car accident cases.

Any one of the following is considered a serious injury:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature, which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

What If You Were Partly at Fault in Causing the Accident?

During the case, a judge or jury assigns both parties a percentage of fault for causing the accident. If the other party was not 100% at fault for the accident, can you still bring a lawsuit? In New York, the answer is “yes.”

Pure comparative negligence law is the basis for personal injury cases in New York. Under this law, your percentage of fault in causing the accident reduces your recovery amount by that percentage. For example, if your damages were $100,000 and you were 50% at fault, the most you could recover would be $50,000. Even if you were 99% at fault you could still recover damages, but in this instance, you could only recover $1,000.

In a car accident case, your attorney must prove the other party had some percentage of fault in order to recover compensation for damages.

If you have questions about your car accident and recovering damages, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The initial consultation is free, and you owe nothing unless the attorney recovers compensation on your behalf.

 

Fazzini Law Personal Injury Website

Biometrics and Employee Identification

New York City Has Proposed a Biometrics Privacy LawNew York City Has Proposed a Biometrics Privacy Law

Biometrics is a new technology identification system being used by a variety of industries for various purposes. The primary means of identification include:

  • Fingerprints
  • Handprints
  • Retinal scans
  • Facial recognition
  • Iris scans

Businesses have started using biometrics for time clocks, for entry to secure areas and to login to phones and computers. To this degree, biometrics directly relates to employment situations.

States with Biometric Privacy Laws

While new technology is often uncharted territory from a legal perspective, three states have already adopted biometric privacy laws: Illinois, Texas and Washington. What the laws have in common is requiring consent before collecting biometric information. Illinois law is the most restrictive and requires employers to destroy the employee’s biometric information after a certain period of time if no longer employed by the business.

New York City Proposed Biometric Privacy Law

The National Law Review published an article in January 2019 that described the proposed bill under consideration by the New York City Council. The bill would require businesses to give notice to customers if they are collecting biometric identifier information, and it included a provision that if a person’s information was collected, retained, converted, shared or stored in violation of the law, the person had the right to take legal action.

Under the proposed NYC law, business owners using biometrics would be required to do the following:

  • Post a clear and conspicuous sign in plain language that explains the business is collecting, retaining, converting, storing and sharing biometric information.
  • Business must also make the following available online:
  • How long they are retaining or storing the information
  • The type of biometric information collected
  • Purpose of the collection
  • Privacy policy regarding biometric information
  • Whether they are sharing information with third parties

At this point, employers should be aware of the fact that a biometric privacy law has been proposed. Currently, NY State Labor Law Section 201-a states that unless allowed by law, no employer can require a person to be fingerprinted as a condition for securing employment or continued employment.

Our attorneys at Stephen Hans & Associates stay up-to-date with legal changes that affect employment. We represent business owners in employment litigation matters.

JUSTICE FOR CHILDHOOD VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW NOW ABOUT NEW YORK’S 2019 CHILD VICTIMS ACT

Christopher L. Van De Water, Esq.On Thursday, February 14, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law one of the most important pieces of Civil Rights legislation in years, the Child Victims Act, ensuring that child abusers are held accountable in a civil court of law.  Finally, those survivors who have endured unimaginable pain and abuse have a path not only to justice, but perhaps also healing and closure.  As Governor Cuomo himself succinctly stated on that date: “This bill brings justice to people who were abused, and rights the wrongs that went unacknowledged and unpunished for too long.  By signing this bill, we are saying nobody is above the law, that the cloak of authority is not impenetrable, and that if you violate the law, we will find out and you will be punished and justice will be done”.  In short, the Child Victims Act provides long-awaited relief to child victims of sexual abuse by amending New York State’s antiquated laws to ensure that perpetrators of sexual abuse offenses on children are held accountable for their actions, regardless of when the crime occurred.   Under the former law, victims of sexual abuse as children had to bring a lawsuit within three year’s of the victim’s 18th birthday, an injustice that led to many victims finding the strength to come forward only learning too late that they were time barred from bringing a civil action against the heinous perpetrators of these crimes.  No more says the New York legislature!  A one-time window has opened for victims to file civil lawsuits for the immense emotional fallout associated with cases involving the sexual abuse of a child.

Here is what you need to know NOW about this important legislation and how it affects a victim’s exercise of their rights in a court of law. The Child Victims Act:

  • Allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit any time before they reach 55 years of age;
  • Provides victims whose claims have been time-barred with a new opportunity for their day in Court by opening a one-time one-year window for them to finally commence a lawsuit;
  • Increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable by extending New York’s statue of limitations to allow for criminal charges to be filed until a victim turns 28;
  • Eliminates the need to file a Notice of Claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor;
  • Requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors; and
  • Authorizes the Office of Court Administration to promulgate rules and regulations for the timely adjudication of these revived actions in a Court of Law.

The one-time one-year look back period opens during the summer of 2019, so it is very important for victims of child abuse to consult with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible to discuss their rights and develop a plan for your vigorous representation.  Stay tuned for more from the Courts on the promised procedural rules and regulations, which will be integral in successfully litigating these cases and will likely be tailored toward early resolution and settlement.

Author: Christopher L. Van De Water

The Van De Water Law Dirm-Christopher Van De Water

Compass Operations Business Consultants, Patrick Bergen, Tom Catalano

Compass Operations

This Saturday, April 27 at 6:30am EST Compass Operations will be appearing on Live it Up! with Donna Drake airing on CBS affiliate WLNY Channel 10/55. We discuss key elements to starting your own business along with growth strategies guaranteed to move your business forward.

 

In addition to the above, our segment will be airing in NY, NJ, CT, Boston and St. Louis on Optimum, Cablevision, Comcast, FiOS, Time-Warner, Dish, and Direct TV. For a full listing of locations and channel, please follow this link: WLNY Locations and Channels.

“We offer proactive, results-oriented and cost-conscious business consulting services, identifying areas for growth and development, creating realistic and tangible solutions to help your business move forward, and overseeing implementation of all recommended strategies and initiatives. We view ourselves as partners in your success, serving as a value-added extension to your internal team. We also understand that every business is different, so we’ll tailor our strategies to meet the specific needs of your company.”   Patrick Bergin

Teaming Up to

Move Your Business Forward

At Compass Operations, we are committed to using our extensive experience and knowledge to help you take proactive measures to build and broaden market share, enhance profitability and ensure competitive advantage. To learn about the wide array of business consulting services we provide to companies worldwide, contact us or call our New York City office toll free at 866-705-2668.

 

Frequently Asked Questions—New York Workers’ Compensation

Mike Pyrros, Construction Site Accidents and Workers Compensaton ClaimsIs Workers’ Compensation Your Exclusive Remedy?

When you’ve been hurt on the job in New York, you have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits to cover lost wages and income, as well as any medical expenses incurred. Is that your only legal recourse? Let’s look at some of the other types of benefits or compensation and determine if they affect your right to workers’ compensation benefits.

Q: Can I choose to file a lawsuit instead of a workers’ compensation claim? Read More

Q: Can I file a civil suit and a workers’ compensation claim for the same injury?    

A: Yes, provided you can show that your employer had some responsibility for your injury and that an unrelated third party also caused the accident in some way. Don’t expect to collect more than once for a specific loss, though. For example, if your medical expenses were reimbursed by workers’ compensation, you cannot recover those same losses in a personal injury lawsuit in court.

Q: Why would I choose to file a workers’ compensation claim instead of a civil lawsuit? Read More

Q: Can I receive unemployment compensation and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time? Read More

Experienced Queens, New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

At the law office of Pyrros & Serres, we offer more than five decades of combined experience to people throughout Queens and across the New York City metropolitan area who have suffered a workplace injury or illness. We emphasize personal service and attention, learning the details of your injury, as well as your goals, so that we can tailor our counsel to get the results you want. Many of our new cases come as referrals from doctors, lawyers and satisfied clients.

We offer comprehensive counsel to men and women who have suffered any type of work injury:

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York

Are Cashless Restaurants Legal?

Could Going Cashless Result in Legal Problems?

Going cashless is an emerging trend that business owners and restaurateurs are discussing, contemplating and testing. Some businesses have already gone cashless.

What Are the Advantages of a Cashless System?

According to CBS News some ideas in favor include:

  • Safer establishments due to no cash on hand
  • Direct reporting into the accounting system
  • More taxes getting paid

What Businesses Have Been Considering Going Cashless?

Bluestone Lane Coffee along with the salad chain Sweetgreen, both located in Philadelphia have gone cashless. They comprise a total of six stores. Nationwide chains including Dos Toros, Dig Inn and Tender Greens no longer accept cash. Companies that have experimented with cashless stores include Starbucks, Milk Bar, Amazon, Walmart and Shake Shack.

Is a Cashless System Discriminatory?

Pew Research conducted a survey that found the following demographics rely on cash for almost all of their purchases:

  • 34% of African Americans
  • 17% of Hispanics
  • 29% of people earning less than $30,000 a year

Are There States or Cities that Have Passed Laws Banning Cashless Restaurants?

Restaurant Business reported that the city of Philadelphia passed a law, becoming the first city in the U.S. to ban cashless systems for local restaurants and businesses. The law goes into effect July 1, 2019.

Massachusetts also banned restaurants and other retail businesses from refusing to accept cash payments. New Jersey recently passed a law, on March 18, 2019, that required businesses to accept cash. The law goes into effect immediately, and businesses face a $2,500 fine for the first offense and a $5,000 fine for the second offense.

Lawmakers in New York City are currently working to pass a bill that will prohibit retail businesses from refusing cash payments.

Is suing a business for going cashless potentially a new form of discrimination lawsuit? While no lawsuits of this type have been reported in the mainstream media, media outlets are publishing articles arguing that the practice is discriminatory.

If you are considering making the change, it is wise to consult with an attorney and seek legal advice.

At Stephen Hans & Associates, we work with employers to help them comply with employment laws and to deal with employment issues.

What type of Video is in Your World of imagination? Why Videos Enhance Websites

Video Marketing: Put Videos on Your Website and Attract More Visitors

What type of Video is in Your World of imagination?

Videos make websites more effective. What better way to tell a story? Even if you have a 2-minute video (the preferred video size), your video can still tell a story.

Telling stories is the current trend in websites, and the sophisticated name for this is “brand storytelling.” Throughout the ages, mankind has loved stories, and many have been passed down from one generation to the next. According to Forbes magazine and other marketing sources, brand storytelling is the future of marketing.

Big screen cinemas and television have set the stage for today’s videos. At this time, we are a visually focused society and enjoy moving pictures with sound. A video on a website is the next best thing to being there.

Statistics Support the Popularity of Website Videos

According to the website called Impact, here are some noteworthy statistics about videos:

  • Every day 75 million people in the U.S. watch videos
  • When you mention “video” in an email subject line, the click-through rate increases by 13%
  • People watch 50% of all videos on mobile devices
  • Internet video traffic will comprise 80% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2019
  • The most engaging videos are videos up to 2 minutes long

Which Should You Use? YouTube or Vimeo?

The two most popular video platforms for websites are YouTube and Vimeo. Critiques of both video platforms say that deciding which one is best depends on how you’re using it. Some of the Pro’s and Con’s are as follows.

  • YouTube is free, and you can upload unlimited videos. The default video length limitation is 15 minutes, but you can easily extend that limit. YouTube reaches a larger audience than Vimeo and has a community of more than 1 billion users (one-third of the Internet users). The down side is that YouTube is not a good platform for hosting private videos. Suggested videos come up at the end of the video, and you cannot disable this feature.
  • Vimeo offers an ad-free video platform. Vimeo also offers a free plan. However, its limits are 500 MB storage per week and 25GB a year. Various plans have monthly rates for greater storage space and other features. Vimeo has a much smaller audience than YouTube, but even so, it reaches more than 170 million users. It has a Groups feature where users can create and participate in groups. You can keep the videos private, which is ideal for instruction video classes and paid services offered through videos. You can also limit sharing videos and share only with users you follow and password protect the videos.

The Ever Changing World of Web Design & WebsitesWhat type of Video is in Your World of imagination?

Web Perseverance is an Internet marketing company. We help businesses create strategic and productive marketing on the web

Race Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Brooklyn-Based Real Estate Law Firm, Wenig Saltiel LLP, Its Partners And Of Counsel

Author: Louis M. Leon, Associate Attorney

Race Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Brooklyn-Based Real Estate Law FirmOn April 5, 2019, the Law Offices of William Cafaro filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn against Wenig Saltiel LLP, Ira Greene, Jeffrey L. Saltiel, and Meryl L. Wenig (a real estate law firm, its partners, and Of Counsel) alleging that they subjected Plaintiff (an African American female) to a despicable hostile work environment on the basis of her race; retaliated against her for opposing discriminatory practices; and terminated her employment because of her race and/or in retaliation for engaging in protected activity.  The case is known as Shonda Fernandez v. Wenig Saltiel LLP, Ira Greene, Jeffrey L. Saltiel, and Meryl L. Wenig.  Case No. 19-cv-01979 (ENV)(RML).  Click here for a copy of the filed complaint

The complaint thoroughly outlines Defendants’ alleged egregious and inexcusable conduct, which they purportedly perpetrated and/or condoned, including but not limited to Wenig Saltiel LLP’s Of Counsel regularly (1) watching videos of African Americans being raped, hung from trees, and set on fire, all from his office computer and within earshot of the rest of the staff; (2) declaring the inferiority of racial minorities in the United States of America; and (3) disparaging African Americans in the legal profession, including a well-respected female African American judge in Surrogates Court, Kings County, solely on the basis of their race.  The complaint further outlines Plaintiff’s repeated and desperate attempts to have the Firm address the Of Counsel’s alleged behavior as well as the Firm’s alleged retaliation against her for daring to speak up.  We will provide updates as the case progresses.

If you believe your employer has discriminated or retaliated against you, please contact the Law Offices of William Cafarotoday for a consultation.

Law Offices of William Cafaro