Approximately 45,000 unionized workers at Verizon walked off the job on Sunday, August 07, 2011, after contract talks stalled over the weekend. Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers state the company is demanding rollbacks of wages, benefits and union rules while posting profits of up to $6 billion. The CWA, representing more than 30,000 workers, accused Verizon of wanting to subcontract jobs to nonunion workers and outsource others to places like Mexico and the Philippines. Verizon said it needs workers to pick up a share of health benefits, which it says cost it $4 billion per year for 800,000 employees, retirees and their families. Full article.

Unless an employee is contracted to stay with a company for a specific period of time, New York law establishes employees as “at will.” This means an employer has the right to discharge an employee at any time for any reason without a contract restricting termination. This also protects the employee’s right to resign at any time. An employer may fire an employee for “no reason,” or for a reason that might seem arbitrary and unfair. The employee is equally free to quit at any time without being required to explain or defend that decision. There are a few exceptions to New York’s at will employment. The most significant being discrimination based upon race, creed, national origin, age, handicap, gender, sexual orientation or marital status. Additionally, an employer cannot fire an employee for political or recreational activities outside of work, for legal use of consumable products outside of work, or for membership in a union. Further, no employer shall penalize any employee for making a complaint to the employer, to the Commissioner of Labor, or to the Commissioner’s representative, about any provision of the Labor Law. For more information: www.labor.ny.gov.Leeds Brown Law, PC is a law firm that practices in the area of employment law. Our firm has had considerable success in matters of employment discrimination throughout Long Island and the New York City area. For more information, contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.