Areas of Practice

Wage and Hour:

Litigating wage and hour cases is a key component of Kakalec Law’s practice. Tricia Kakalec has deep experience and expertise representing workers who are victims of wage theft and who have claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, New York Labor Law, and other state and local laws.   Kakalec Law brings both individual and class cases, and negotiates settlements apart from litigation.

Among those we represent:

  • Employees who are illegally treated as independent contractors (and are not paid overtime as a result);
  • Employees who are treated as “exempt” salaried employees, even though they do not meet the legal test to be exempt from overtime pay
  • Employees not paid for all of the time that they work (“time shaving”) – including work time before and after they are “on the clock”
  • Tipped employees paid illegally-low wages or improperly forced share their tips
  • Employees on public works projects – such as schools and other government buildings – who are not paid the required prevailing wage for this work; and
  • Employees simply cheated out of minimum wages and overtime pay

Tricia kept all of us very well informed as to the ongoing status of the case throughout its course. When we met with our employer and the mediator I felt that Patricia led us through the process with great care. She ensured that our interests and concerns were addressed and that we achieved the goals we had set in a reasonable and achievable way.  I highly recommend Tricia, she truly has an employee’s best interests at heart. (J.D.)


Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation:

We represent employees who were discriminated against or harassed because of their race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, pregnancy, or status as a victim of domestic violence.

From listening sensitively to our clients’ experiences to advocating zealously for our clients in the administrative process and in court, Kakalec Law is committed to helping our clients fight for workplaces free from discrimination and harassment.   Our representation includes filing administrative complaints under city, state, or federal law; litigating these cases in court; and negotiating settlements outside of court.

We also represent employees who have been sexually harassed, or who have been retaliated against for complaining about discrimination or harassment, and we handle cases involving the Family Medical Leave Act.

I was looking for an attorney because I had an issue with a former employer and thought that I was being treated unfairly due to my race. Patricia helped by reviewing my case and all of the information then gave me the best course of action. But more importantly, she was kind and thoughtful about my experience, as it was very difficult for me.  I would tell anyone looking for an attorney to consider Patricia Kakalec, she is thoughtful, insightful, and talented. She will put her best foot forward and fight for her clients.  (F.J.)


Employment counseling:

At Kakalec Law we provide guidance and counsel on matters that come up in the course of employment.   Whether an employee wants to understand the consequences of a non-compete clause, needs assistance reviewing or negotiating an employment contract, or wants to discuss a thorny situation at work, we help employees understand their rights on the job so they can make the best decisions for their unique situations.

We also help employees who are separating from employment. We meet with employees to cut through the “legalese” in proposed severance packages, and negotiate with employers about the terms of severance.

The weeks after I lost my job were an uncertain and stressful time. I knew I needed an attorney to help me negotiate the terms of separation with my former employer, and I’m fortunate that a friend put me in touch with Patricia. Her patience with my many questions and her expert counsel were very reassuring throughout the process. I’m confident Patricia negotiated the best possible resolution on my behalf and I could not have been more pleased with the outcome. (M.D.)


Other:

Kakalec Law also handles other types of employment matters, such as representing whistleblowers and litigating about employment contracts.   If you have an employment issue, we may be able to help.   Contact us at 212-705-8730 or by email to Patricia@KakalecLaw.com or Jennifer@KakalecLaw.com.