Teacher fired for showing high schoolers a dismemberment video

Author: Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC
“Teachers Rights Attorneys”

Employment Attorneys in New Yrok


A Montreal teacher was fired from his position after showing his students a video containing the killing, dismemberment, and cannibalism of a gay porn actor. The actor/student Jun Lin was supposedly killed in May of this year in a horrific manner. On June 4, 2012, German law enforcement arrested the suspected killer Magnotta. The killer had posted the video online, which is how it came to be presented in a Montreal school. The history teacher regularly talked about current events and played the video in class upon the requests of the students. The vice principal overheard students talking about the video at which time the teacher was immediately suspended and later fired from his job.  Full article.

New York, teachers are evaluated by state education officials and the teachers’ unions compromised on the framework of a system to evaluate teachers based on their classroom performance, their success at raising students’ test scores, and other measures.  Barring an employment agreement or contract stating otherwise, New York is an “at-will” employment state. This means that an employer can fire an employee for almost any reason. Most non-tenured teachers are at-will employees. As such, they are not granted special protections against termination. If you signed a contract with the district, you may have additional rights, but these agreements generally will not change your at-will status. You may also have additional rights as provided by the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by your union and the district. An attorney experienced in employment law can review employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements to see what protections, if any, the contracts provide.

The attorneys at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C., represent students, teachers, professors, adjunct faculty, administrators, board members and others who work in the primary or secondary levels of education, and who have been mistreated in some way by their employers. Generally, our education and tenure law practice is devoted to clients on Long Island and elsewhere in the New York City area.  Please contact Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC for a free consultation.


New York Employment Law Attorneys,Waiters Rights:NY Caterers Fighting to Dismiss Claims

Author: Jeffrey K. Brown: Waiters Rights
Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC: New York Employment Law Attorneys

Jeffrey K Brown, Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC

NY caterers fighting to dismiss current unpaid tips claims by employees and former employees

With the help of the NY senate, New York area catering halls have proposed two bills to avoid paying their workers’ for existing claims regarding unpaid tips which were taken as “mandatory gratuities” from catering customers.  The two bills currently being considered in Albany would retroactively end the claims of workers in many recently filed lawsuits in New York, where employees and former employees are seeking payment of unpaid gratuities under Section 196(d) of the state Labor Law.

Jeff Brown, a partner at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C., represents workers in many of the lawsuits that have been filed against caterers across the New York area.  “They want the law to say ‘you can’t be sued from today going back, but you promise not to do it going forward… And they were hoping to sneak this by in the legislature without anyone noticing it. Meanwhile the workers will be left in the cold” said Mr. Brown. Lenard Leeds, also a partner at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C., added, “These greedy owners simply do not want to pay the workers the gratuities that they rightfully earned, that the owners collected, and that the courts have held must be paid… They want to retroactively say they have done nothing wrong – even though that’s not what the law and the courts have said.”

Under Section 196-d of the New York State Labor Law:  “No employer or his agent or an officer or agent of any corporation, or any other person shall demand or accept, directly or indirectly, any part of the gratuities, received by an employee, or retain any part of a gratuity or of any charge purported to be a gratuity for an employee. This provision shall not apply to the checking of hats, coats or other apparel. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as affecting the allowances from the minimum wage for gratuities in the amount determined in accordance with the provisions of article nineteen of this chapter nor as affecting practices in connection with banquets and other special functions where a fixed percentage of the patron’s bill is added for gratuities which are distributed to employees, nor to the sharing of tips by a waiter with a busboy or similar employee.”  Read More

Our lawyers excel at helping its clients collect the compensation they have earned and the justice they deserve.  If you or someone you know has been faced with a labor dispute, unpaid overtime, wage dispute, employer discrimination, or just looking to speak with an employment attorney, please contact our law office, Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC, 1-888-5-JOBLAW, at One Old Country Road, Suite 347, Carle Place, NY, 11514-1851.

New York Employment Retaliation Attorneys,Leeds, Morelli and Brown files lawsuit with the state Human Rights Commission

Author: Jeffrey K. Brown: Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC
“New York Employment Retaliation Attorneys”

Jeffrey K Brown, Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC

LI mom fired after donating kidney to her boss

Debbie Stevens, a 47-year-old divorced mother of two from Long Island, New York, has been fired from her job her at Atlantic Automotive Group after donating a kidney to save her boss’ life.  In a Complaint, filed with the state Human Rights Commission, Stevens claims that she was set up by her boss, Jackie Brucia, 61.  Brucia allegedly took advantage of Steven’s generosity, convincing her to donate a kidney.  Despite not being a match, Stevens was able to donate her kidney to a person in St. Louis, Missouri and, in exchange, Brucia received a kidney from a donor in San Francisco, California.  After the surgery, Brucia began to yell at Stevens in front of co-workers.  Eventually Stevens’ office and overtime were taken away and she was demoted to a dealership 50 miles from her home in a high-crime neighborhood that co-workers jokingly called “Siberia.”  Full article.

Stevens is represented by attorneys Lenard Leeds and Jeffrey K. Brown, managing partners at the Law Firm of Leeds, Morelli and Brown, P.C.  Mr. Leeds is on record stating that he plans to file a discrimination lawsuit on Stevens’ behalf against Atlantic Automotive Group.  The Complaint will likely seek millions of dollars in compensation.

Employer retaliation constitutes any adverse action taken by an employer when an employee has filed a complaint against the employer. Different forms of retaliation include harassment or discrimination, as well as getting fired or being punished by an employer. According to the United States Department of Labor, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. This law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In addition, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. This law is enforced by the Civil Rights Center. See: more information.

As an advocate for employee rights in New York, Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C. works to achieve successful judgments that are in the best interests of their clients. If you or someone you know has been affected by employment discrimination or seeking a class action please feel free to contact Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C. at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.

Supreme Court Grants ‘Ministerial Exception’ to Employment Discrimination Laws

Author: Jeffrey K.Brown, Leeds Morelli & Brown

Jeffrey K Brown, Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC

A recent decision of the Supreme Court will drastically change the standard of employment laws with respect to religious groups.  For the first time, the Supreme Court has recognized a “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws.  The High Court has ruled churches and other religious groups must be free to choose and dismiss their leaders without government interference.  Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., recognized the importance of the federal employment laws, however, he stated, so too is the “interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith and carry out their mission.”  While the scope of what constitutes a minister is not well defined, many speculate this will affect ministers, priests, rabbis, other religious leaders, as well as those teachers in religious schools with formal religious training who instruct students about religious matters.  Full article. Decision: Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. E.E.O.C.

In the workplace, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.  The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.  Please visit the EEOC’s website for further information: eeoc.gov.

The attorneys at Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC believe that discrimination at work, or anywhere else, has no place in a free and democratic society. Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC has worked with many clients represented on Long Island, throughout the New York City area involving employment discrimination. For a free consultation, please Contact Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC at 1-888-585-4658.

New Connecticut Law Mandates Paid Sick Leave for Employees

Connecticut First State to Pass Paid Sick Leave Bill; NY Employers Wary of Similar Legislation as More Cities and States Debate Similar Measures
Author: Stephen D. Hans & Associates. P.C.

On June 4, 2011, the Connecticut state legislature passed a law mandating paid sick leave for certain employees of private companies operating within the state. Although Washington, DC and other cities, including San Francisco and Milwaukee, have similar legislation, Connecticut could be a trendsetter in the mandatory paid sick leave arena, as other state legislatures consider passing similar measures.

The Connecticut law, which was vigorously opposed, passed in the State Senate by only one vote, is limited in scope to service-sector employees, exempting all of the state’s manufacturing workers from coverage. Additionally, the state’s smallest businesses will not be affected, as the bill only applies to employers with at least fifty employees. Employees of non-profits, day laborers, temporary workers and independent contractors will also not be covered.

However, all other covered private employers in Connecticut will now have to provide their service employees with one hour of paid sick time for every forty hours worked, up to a maximum of five sick days per year. While the measure appears to be generally reasonable in scope, it comes at a fragile time in our nation’s economic recovery when states, including Connecticut, should be focusing on trying to create jobs and minimize economic burdens on businesses.

Employers in New York City will know that the City Council has frequently debated passing its own mandatory paid sick leave legislation for private employers over the past few years. Read More