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Pro Bono Barrister: Third Ave. business leaders view thorny employment laws

Attorney Bob Howe

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

No sooner had attorney Bob Howe returned to Brooklyn than, as president of the Third Avenue Merchants, he hosted a timely "Employment Law Forum.” The program’s purpose was to inform local businesses of some dramatic changes in employment law that will accord employees enhanced legal status. This is related to the de Blasio Administration’s determination to battle "income inequality."

Business owners and local lawyers received a very provocative presentation by a nationwide law firm that is focusing on new problems facing small businesses starting this year. In a well-designed, bullet-point lecture, attorney Daniel Gomez-Sanchez of the nationwide firm of Jackson-Lewis, which predominantly represents employers, held the rapt attention of his audience, many of whose members are business proprietors.

"While many local business owners believe they often received short shrift under the Bloomberg Administration," one lawyer in attendance said, "after hearing Gomez-Sanchez, it seems that the incoming laws and regulations are too complex, are very onerous and and will be a burden on local businesses."

Jackson-Lewis is one of the more aggressive firms on the defense side, and their program last Tuesday kept with the theme of the message received by hundreds of small business owners: "Don’t Let the Department of Labor Be Your Valentine’s Day Date!"

They reviewed "Employer Policies—A Weapon and a Shield," showing employers that "Effective and appropriate policies can help defend lawsuits and limit liability."

Noting that even homeowners who employ only a nanny to take care of their children on a fairly regular basis could well be put at new risks in their Wage & Hours segment. Gomez-Sanchez discussed "Overtime pay and exemptions: increases to the minimum wage.” He even outlined new “key targets the Department of Labor has set its sights on for 2014."

Howe thanked Northfield Bank for sponsoring the evening at Cebu Restaurant on Third Avenue, hosted by Michael Esposito. Special recognition went to sponsor Northfield Bank Manager Brian Chin, who also serves as co-treasurer of the Merchants of Third Avenue, and his astute assistant E.J. Cambio. Many Northfield executives also took part, including Robin Lefkowitz (senior vice president/director of Business Development), Judith Calabrese (vice president/director of Human Resources) and Melissa Sperrazza (Human Resources).

Final Salute To Justice ‘Cappy’ Bernstein.

We note with regret the passing of retired Justice Aaron D. "Cappy" Bernstein on Feb. 11 with services the following day at Parkside Memorial Chapel on Flatbush Avenue. Veteran trial attorneys will recall that he brought his wry sense of humor to the courtroom each and every work day and tried to be fair to all parties while handling some very challenging cases.

February 17, 2014 - 3:00pm


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