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V. Jonas Urba

V. Jonas Urba

Practice limited to Employment Law across New York State.
  • 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
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New York
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United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
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United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
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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.
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
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New York City Bar Association
Member
Current
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New York State Bar Association # 4974333
Member
Current
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Westchester County Bar Association
Member
Current
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Publications
Articles & Publications
The Glory Days of PUBLIC SERVICE
Westchester Lawyer magazine
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
Urba Law PLLC
Blog
Urba Law PLLC
Videos
Sales professionals in their 50s and 60s are losing their jobs. Many think age discrimination but an employment lawyer might uncover something else.Employment Law Reality Check Sales Professionals Losing Jobs

Sales professionals in their 50s and 60s are losing their jobs. Many think age discrimination but an employment lawyer might uncover something else.

Probationary teachers and administrators may have Taylor Law issues. Collective bargaining agreements should be reviewed.Employment Law Reality Check Probationary Teachers Administrators

Probationary teachers and administrators may have Taylor Law issues. Collective bargaining agreements should be reviewed.

Physician and nurse practitioner non-compete agreements. You likely have one. Ask an employment lawyer to review it with you.Employment Law Reality Check Physician Nurse Practitioner Non compete

Physician and nurse practitioner non-compete agreements. You likely have one. Ask an employment lawyer to review it with you.

Switching employment lawyers. Can you do that if you now feel you made a mistake? What to consider.Employment Law Reality Check Switching Lawyers

Switching employment lawyers. Can you do that if you now feel you made a mistake? What to consider.

No law requires severance pay in New York. Many employees think there are guidelines when none exist in most cases.Employment Law Reality Check Severance Pay in New York

No law requires severance pay in New York. Many employees think there are guidelines when none exist in most cases.

Stressed at work? Don't act before discussing your specific facts with employment lawyers.Employment Law Reality Check Stress at Work

Stressed at work? Don't act before discussing your specific facts with employment lawyers.

New York City's Human Rights Law gives employees much more protection. If you work in any of the 5 Boroughs you are probably covered.Employment Law Reality Check New York City Human Rights Law 2

New York City's Human Rights Law gives employees much more protection. If you work in any of the 5 Boroughs you are probably covered.

Media attention can be a bad thing. Employees sometimes don't consider the down side. Some things to consider.Employment Law Reality Check Media Attention

Media attention can be a bad thing. Employees sometimes don't consider the down side. Some things to consider.

Bullying laws don't exist in most workplaces. Your employer doesn't have to be nice to you and they don't have to give you a reason before firing you.Employment Law Reality Check Workplace Bullying

Bullying laws don't exist in most workplaces. Your employer doesn't have to be nice to you and they don't have to give you a reason before firing you.

Legal Answers
379 Questions Answered

Q. My employer terminated my employment and has not provided written notice of this after more than a week. Lawsuit?
A: As long as you did not commit gross misconduct, applying for unemployment insurance benefits and looking for a new job is probably the way to go. Unless there was discriminatory motive or a breach of contract, what would be the good faith basis for a lawsuit? Frivolous lawsuits can result in attorneys' fees assessed against the party bringing them. Unless some contract (union, private, or government employee legislation) requires notice employers do not have to provide written notice, verbal notice, or any notice at all to "at will" employees. Employers don't even need a reason since no reason is a good reason for "at will" employees.
Q. My employer put me on paid suspension and have not been paying the hours scheduled and also didn’t pay me this week
A: They may have changed their mind which they can do. Call them and ask them. If that does not work file for unemployment benefits after a week. If they have not responded in a week maybe they fired you? Good luck. They dont have to give you notice or reasons for anything unless your union contract, government employer, or private employment agreement require them to do so but you may not be covered by these classes of employees. Which would make you "at will" like the majority of the U.S. workforce.
Q. I am currently employed however I obtained my position through a staffing co. The actual org. States they pay for lunch
A: New York Labor Law prohibits deductions from paychecks except as agreed to by the employee or by court order. Employment agreements and benefits are always subject to change unless you have entered an employment contract or your union contract provides contractual rights. Employment contracts which are enforceable have terms i.e. from New year's day 2020 to new year's eve 2021. Even that may be subject to interpretation. Ask an employment lawyer to review your contract if you have one. Verbal agreements are very tough to prove. Good luck. And even though employers may be permitted to lie to you, you can never lie to your employer because your paycheck comes from them and you owe many common law duties to them whether you know about those duties or not. One big reason why unions will probably come back strong at some point in time.
Q. Will I be criminally charged?? What to do? Please help!!
A: An employment lawyer would carefully review your employee handbook before advising you. This could be completed remotely. You would call and discuss more details, you and the lawyer would agree to a flat fee for such review and legal advice regarding options, and everything including payment and document submission could be done electronically. Many employment law matters can be handled remotely. You should definitely consider the above to make the best choice of how to resolve this. Make sure the lawyer you choose either limits their practice to employment law or it's the bulk of their practice and good luck.
Q. I’m a dancer/actor. My employer wants to weigh me & my castmates (in private,individually) every 2 weeks. Is that legal?
A: Wow. You need to watch this clip first. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nCT8h8gO1g New York lawyers are not licensed to handle matters on international waters and there may or may not be any international laws governing the practice you describe unless you can tie your employment to New York State. Will you interview in, perform in, or be stationed in New York or does the cruise line or hiring entity have ties to New York? You need to find out who might have jurisdiction over such employment and its practices? Good luck. Enjoy the video.
Q. I am fighting an unemployment case I had a hearing and a appeal now it has to go for another motion to dispute
A: You might try a law school clinic which allows law students to learn while helping clients who lack the legal skills necessary to uncover evidence which may have been misinterpreted or not addressed. Of course if the evidence was not introduced into the record that will be problematic. Your problem is that you probably did not vigorously cross examine witnesses and evidence against you. And you might not have addressed key issues although unemployment judges usually ask questions to clarify (i.e. help) parties who are not represented. Lawyers can not charge you unless you win and most of us don't have the time to read transcripts which you should have by now to determine whether we might recover a modest amount of attorney's fees only if we succeed. All legal fees for unemployment hearings and appeals must be approved by DOL. So those of us who occasionally accept such a case do so to make sure a claimant wins, usually in cases where we intend to earn our regular hourly rates which are not that common. Those hearings can provide us with trial runs of how our clients might present and the caliber of employer witnesses for discrimination complaints. When an employer denies an employee unemployment the employer often believes that their legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for termination is strong and they wish to send a message. I have even seen employers go back and reopen claims where an employee was awarded benefits and later the employer obtains information which supports denying benefits and the determination is reversed. New York State generally wants to award benefits unless it believes an employee's actions rose to gross misconduct as supported by the evidence. Credibility determinations are at the judge's discretion and I have participated in telephone hearings where I heard my own client not being truthful and had I not rehabilitated them over the phone (never having even met my own client in person - I have a number of those) they would have lost their claim. It's better to do hearings telephonically because listening carefully without distractions uncovers hesitations, pauses and inconsistencies which can destroy an otherwise valid claim. When you meet a lawyer in person either you or they may want to have a case or a claim when a telephone conference may have been a better option for true objectivity. Neither you nor we can make up facts on which employment claims rest and there are many many factors to consider. Good luck!
Q. Using non-payment of incentive as evidence of hostile work environment and discrimination?
A: I think you need to call some employment lawyers. We would need to inquire much more about the facts which are actually motivating the changes to pay practices.
Q. mediation for pro se
A: A legitimate non-discriminatory reason can wipe out discriminatory motives. It's the employer's motivation which needs uncovering and that is never easy. An employer may even rely on facts which are not true to make termination decisions if the employer believed those facts were true. The employee must show pretext regarding what the employer's actual motivation was. Neither employee nor employer are forced to mediate any claim although a federal court, after a lawsuit is filed, will likely order mediation. Going to mediation pro se, without legal representation, is a terrible idea. Many many cases, even with skilled employment lawyers, are eventually dismissed. But busy employment lawyers will not accept cases with weak facts because even they will consume many hours and the payout, if any, is unlikely to be worth the time invested. If you are unrepresented hopefully this answer has convinced you to retain legal counsel ASAP because discrimination complaints are sometimes made in anticipation of termination which does not make those terminations illegal. Otherwise anyone anticipating termination could prevent their firing by making a grievance.
Q. If a person is sexual harassed at work, supervisor knows, and still works with that person is there a case?
A: Ms. Dyer has provided excellent suggestions to you. Your human resources department and employment lawyers who you will hopefully contact will help you assess whether the conduct is isolated or trivial or whether it's a pattern or practice. Additionally, we also assess whether you are being subjected to retaliation which would be a separate claim. The main reason why speaking with lawyers helps is because there needs to be an assessment of your overall workplace, history, interactions, evaluations; combined they provide a complete picture. Sometimes an employee might focus on one or two incidents possibly overlooking other issues. An experienced employment lawyer can help you determine what the next step might be? There are often several choices.
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Annotations
Bentley v. AutoZoners, LLC
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Do v. Department of Housing and Urban Development
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
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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