New York City Wage and Hour Violations: Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

If you are a New York employee who has been subjected to wage and hour violations – e.g. your boss withheld tips illegally or compelled you to work overtime in violation of explicit company policy or of New York Labor Laws – you probably feel pretty helpless and confused right now.

On the one hand, intellectually, you understand that you should be entitled to fair treatment and fair pay. On the other hand – or at least you tell yourself this – your situation is “complicated.”

Perhaps you’re angling for a promotion and you don’t want to “make waves” by complaining about the wage and hour violation. Perhaps you’re just terrified of your boss. Perhaps you were raised to “tough it out” when things get rocky. In any case, you are aware of a subtle dissonance in your life. You know you deserve better. But you’re not sure how to break out of the cycle and demand better treatment… and potentially get compensated for damages that you’ve endured.

Change Begins Within:

Our perceptions of ourselves can profoundly influence how/whether we take action to protect our needs. Many of our key beliefs are held at the subconscious level. In other words, we’re not even aware that they exist. But they do exist, and they impact our day-to-day associations, relationships, and actions. Unless and until we can root out the negative beliefs we have about our ourselves – about what we deserve and about what we should expect from others – we may find it very difficult to progress in our careers.

Example of a Subconscious Script:

For instance, say you have a subconscious script running that goes something to the effect of: “I’m a slacker employee, and I always screw up.” That “below the surface” belief will almost certainly thwart your attempts to end any mistreatment. Think about it. If you believe that you’re really the true of the problem, why even bother filing a complaint with HR? What good will it do to you to connect with a reputable New York employment law firm?

On some level, you would probably dispute this belief. And if you looked at the belief objectively, you would probably see that it’s founded on a false premise. But the point is that, if your self-defeating subconscious scripts run the show, you may find it hugely challenging to escape abusive or unfair treatment at work… and to prevent yourself from getting trapped in future toxic work relationships.

Moving Beyond the False Beliefs about How You Should Be Treated at Work:

The process of recovering from a traumatic workplace event – be it sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation, or what have you – can take a long time. But as the old adage goes, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Take small, decisive, positive steps in the right direction, and you’ll eventually get to a far better place, not only with respect to your career but also with respect the rest of your life. Connect with the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum at (212) 688-5640, or visit, to learn more.