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V. Jonas Urba

V. Jonas Urba

Employment Law Reality Check
  • Employment Law, Arbitration & Mediation
  • Massachusetts, New York
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Summary

I'm an employment lawyer with 30 years of experience based in the greater New York City area.

I have worked as a state prosecutor and as an in-house, human resources attorney. I have been associated with a number of small law firms in addition to a 200 lawyer firm. I was the human resources director conducting internal investigations for a professional employer organization. I have founded and directed 3 law firms in 3 different states.

I am very familiar with the financial services, health care, union represented civil service, manufacturing, higher education, and sales industries. In addition to federal court litigation, mediation, and arbitration I help employees and small employers with the application of employment policies and procedures. More employers choose to apply covenants not to compete, enforce trade secrets and duties of loyalty, in order to protect legitimate business interests.

One of the most challenging things we do as employment lawyers is the reality check. We tell employees that unless they work for the government, are covered by union collective bargaining agreements, or have entered private employment contracts, their employers don't need a reason to fire them. That's correct. An employer does not have to give most employees any reason when firing them. Many employees find this surprising.

I search for sufficient facts, usually proven with circumstantial evidence, to determine whether potential clients might have suffered discrimination prohibited by Title VII, the ADA, FMLA, ADEA, EPA, FRA, PDA, or unpaid wages covered by the FLSA or New York's Labor Laws.

Practice Areas
  • Employment Law
  • Arbitration & Mediation
Fees
  • Free Consultation
    Initial telephone conference.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    All major credit cards.
  • Contingent Fees
    The facts of each case determine whether contingent fees are appropriate. Litigation always costs money and someone must pay. The type of case and amount of potential damages determine fees.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Fees can be flat fees, hourly fees, contingent fees, or hybrid agreements. They can include reduced hourly and multiple other combinations.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Colorado
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Florida
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Massachusetts
New York
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Labor and Employment Attorney
Urba Law PLLC
- Current
My practice is limited to labor and employment law matters. I litigate in federal court, represent clients at administrative proceedings, and have been certified as a court mediator. Most clients do not wish to spend years in court although sometimes that is the only option.
Discrimination Attorney
Law Offices of Jonas Urba, P.A.
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Represented the most discriminated segment of the population at that time.
Labor and Employment Attorney
Modern Business Associates, Inc.
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EEOC, Title VII, Department of Labor, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, employer policies and procedures, unemployment, internal and external employee conduct investigations
Labor and Employment Attorney
Fowler White Boggs Banker, P.A.
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Represented carriers and employers.
Labor and Employment Attorney
Miller Kagan Rodriguez & Silver, P.A.
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Represented carriers and employers.
Labor and Employment Attorney
Law Office of Jonas Urba, P.C.
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Employment discrimination, EEOC, Title VII, ADA, severance agreements, agency administrative actions, unemployment, sexual harassment, FLSA, FMLA
Labor and Employment Attorney
McCrea & Keck, LLC
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Represented carriers and employers.
Assistant General Counsel
State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation
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Civil servant. Represented management and human resources in agency administrative actions, public employees relations commission actions, federal, state, and administrative forums.
Labor and Employment Attorney
Law Office of Joseph A. Vassallo, P.A.
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Represented injured and disabled employees at administrative agency actions and drafted documents to resolve claims.
Assistant State Attorney
20th Judicial Circuit Office of the State Attorney
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Prosecuted criminal cases.
Education
Valparaiso University School of Law
J.D. (1988) | Law
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University of South Florida
MBA (1983) | Business Administration
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Indiana University - Indiana University-Bloomington
B.S. (1980) | Psychology, Business Administration
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Awards
Jonas Urba mentioned for helping a pregnant Planned Parenthood employee
New York Times
The New York Times published a story about pregnant employees losing their jobs at Planned Parenthood. The Times mentioned that I had resolved such a claim.
Highest Scholastic Achievement
Valparaiso University School of Law
Professional Associations
National Employment Lawyers Association, New York
Member
Current
New York City Bar Association
Member
Current
New York State Bar Association # 4974333
Member
Current
Westchester County Bar Association
Member
Current
Publications
Articles & Publications
Do Statutory Rights Mean What They Say?
Florida Bar - Administrative Law Section Newsletter
Speaking Engagements
Strategies to Protect Non-Traditional Families, University of Miami Law School / NCLR, Miami, Florida
NCLR
Florida continuing legal education workshop / seminar. Panel member / speaker.
Certifications
Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil and County Court Mediator (2004 - 2010)
Florida Supreme Court
Websites & Blogs
Website
The Urba Law Firm
Blog
Legal Answers
308 Questions Answered

Q. Can my employer press charges against me if they have webcam recordings from me at work?
A: Read your employee handbook. Bullying laws do not apply in workplaces unless you work in a school. There are no civility codes at work unless your employer has policies to prohibit such conduct. Was the "bullying" because of your age, race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, etc.... classes to which you belong as protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, NYC Human Rights Law, NYS Human Rights Laws or other? After you report inappropriate conduct at work human resources must investigate to determine whether the conduct is prohibited by any laws and whether it was severe or pervasive and then take action. Conducting your own investigation is similar to trying to do the work of your human resources department. And, of course, you can not discuss any ongoing investigation with anyone or that might be insubordination. I often tell employees that there is nothing I can say to force their continued employment. There is also little an employer can do to force you to stay there. Sometimes, employees do better getting other jobs if the "fit", as many like to call it, is not right. Bad behavior usually starts at the top. If top management is not "nice", which they do not have to be, then the chances that lower level managers will act differently is pretty slim and your immediate supervisor is often the best clue as to whether you should seek alternative employment.
Q. Employer was due to pay out a referral bonus to me. They laid me off and now refuses to pay. Is this legal?
A: You should pay an employment lawyer to review whatever you signed and whatever documents promise you what you think you are owed. Otherwise contact the Department of Labor.
Q. I want to know if they are suing him or just the health care institution or both/? Do we need a personal lawyer?
A: If your employer is named in the lawsuit then take the papers to the employer since you still work there. Your employer can not possibly defend you if they have no idea you were served. And if they find out you were served and did not tell them that could be a breach of some policy to notify your employer. The employer will or should tell you if you: 1) Need to worry 2) They will not defend you 3) You need to retain your own lawyer If you don't get answers to these questions pay for private counsel - IMMEDIATELY! Waiting or pretending that this is not happening and wishing for the best is not an option. Call your local county bar association to find a lawyer and pay for a consultation if you have any doubts about keeping your job, keeping your property, etc..... The worst thing is to do nothing or pretend you were not served - lawyers need to see the papers!
Q. I was let go from my company on Wednesday Dec 12,2018. Today Dec 14,2018 is payday for hours worked Dec 3-Dec 7,2018 .
A: You might consider googling New York state department of labor unpaid wages and that search will likely produce a claim or complaint form to recover unpaid wages. Doing that will take time. But a lawsuit would be time consuming and more expensive. Good luck.
Q. Is it sexual harassment if I ask a coworker who's technically not at the same management level as me out on a date?
A: Isolated or scattered remarks even if unwelcome are almost never severe. Harassment must be severe or pervasive meaning it's recurring. Of course your employer might have a dating policy and violating that is at your own risk. You might want to run it by HR. I have heard of some employers in NYC asking employees who date to sign "love contracts." I think that's ludicrous and probably not enforceable but if your company requires that think about it if you value your job or if you object to signing something like that. If the person says no, dont proceed further. If the relationship affects the performance of their or your work you could both lose your jobs.
Q. can an employer force a worker to work in a colder environment than normal without supplying proper insolated wear?
A: Under New York's new paid family leave law your employer will have to pay for 50% of your sick time for 8 weeks this year if you get ill. So providing you with proper work attire is simply smart business. They may not have to do so but it could cost them more long term.
Q. if you feel your employer is asking you to do something that puts your health and safety at risk, can you say no?
A: If you need a medical accommodation that is reasonable ask for it. If your employer tells you that your request causes them an undue hardship they may have a point. If your request causes an undue hardship for them and you can not negotiate some middle ground you may have to look for another job. Good luck.
Q. I hold the title of School Secretary (NYS). The school I was assigned to was for the position of School Secretary.
A: You should ask your union that question. Assuming you are not happy with the position change and reduced pay you should apply for other jobs immediately. It's always better to be employed when you land another job. Have you asked the principal whether there are skills which you could improve? We all have to learn new things constantly. Those skill enhancements may help you land another job. Good luck!
Q. Is it legal in NY state for an employer to have a third party (another employee) send emails as if they were me?
A: What are your damages? Who, could you prove, was responsible for sending emails that caused you to incur some type of financial loss? And that person or persons have assets assuring you that were you to recover against them on some tort or other theory they could or would pay? Apparently something false was stated in those e-mails, that you suspect others believed, and that others believed you wrote, and you now want to clear your name, so that you can recover the damages you will prove you suffered, because of the false information which harmed your reputation or caused you to lose some opportunities?
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Contact & Map
Urba Law PLLC / Employment Law Reality Check
520 White Plains Rd., Ste. 500
Tarrytown, NY 10591
USA
Telephone: (914) 366-7366
Cell: (914) 826-7721
New York City Bar Association
42 West 44th Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10036
USA
Telephone: (914) 366-7366