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Steven Mitchell
Sack

The Employee’s Lawyer®

Welcome to The Law Offices of Steven Mitchell Sack

Enforcing the workplace rights of thousands of employees, executives and sales reps for more than 44 years.

steven mitchell sack

That Was My Idea!

As an employee, you want to do what’s best for your employer and your company. Consequently, you may suggest or propose more efficient ways of doing business or maybe a new idea in general to help the business and its profits. But what if you don’t get credit for such ideas or suggestions? Are you entitled to be compensated? Maybe, maybe not.

If you believe that you are entitled to receive compensation or recognition for an idea of yours or something you suggested, it is vital to get informed and know your rights as an Employee to ensure your legal rights are protected. Here’s a section of my book “The Employee Rights Handbook” that deals with just that.

Employee Inventions and Suggestions

Workers frequently create valuable suggestions, comments, ideas, designs, manufacturing processes, and inventions. These suggestions often lead to money-saving and money-making devices. If the invention is created while on the job or is used by an employer, is the company obligated to pay the employee for the use of such an idea? Who owns the device or invention created? This section will clarify ambiguous law and give you a better understanding of how to avoid problems and protect yourself in this area. To be able to implement many of the strategies contained herein, it is important to first understand the following basic concepts.

WORK FOR HIRE. A work for hire is defined as a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment or work specifically ordered or commissioned by the employer which the employee creates in reliance upon an express agreement. Thus, for example, when an employee is specifically engaged to do something (such as solve a problem, develop a new product, process, or machine), he or she is provided with the means and opportunity to resolve the problem or achieve the result and is paid for that work, then the employer is generally entitled to the fruits of the employee’s labors. If a worker creates an invention while on the job, therefore, the invention may be owned by the employer under this legal principle.

THE SHOP RIGHT CONCEPT. If an employee is not hired to invent or solve a particular problem, does the employee have the right to claim any rights to his or her discoveries? Maybe, depending upon the particular facts involved. For example, under the shop right concept, when an employee makes an invention or discovery that is outside the scope of his employment but utilizes the employer’s resources (equipment, labor, materials, or facilities) in making the invention, that invention may be owned by the employee subject to a “shop right” on the part of the employer. This shop right in certain instances may give the employer a nonexclusive, irrevocable license to use the invention indefinitely, without having to pay a royalty.

VALUABLE IDEAS AS OPPOSED TO PATENTABLE INVENTIONS. Using a hypothetical case, Gwen develops a manufacturing process during nonworking hours which she thinks will save the company money. She tells her boss and the idea is incorporated into the company’s production process. Gwen is not compensated for the idea. She resigns and sues to recover a percentage of the money saved by the idea’s use. Gwen’s case is not as strong as it appears. The reason is that ideas, plans, methods, and procedures for business operations cannot normally be copyrighted. This is also true with respect to certain ideas as intellectual property. The law generally states that ideas belong to no one and are there for the taking. Additionally, an idea is presumed to be a work made for hire and the property of the employer if an employee offers it voluntarily without contracting to receive additional compensation. Gwen would have a stronger case if she could prove that the idea was her own original, unique creation not requested or developed while working on company time or on the employer’s premises, and that it was furnished because of a specific promise or understanding that she would be promoted or compensated once it was implemented by the employer. Many workers are unknowingly exploited because they give away their ideas without understanding their rights. Review the following strategies if you wish to avoid being exploited in this area.

STRATEGY 1: Articulate your idea, method, or process in writing. This is essential because it is difficult to prove you are the creator of a valuable idea unless it is set down on paper.

STRATEGY 2: Be sure the writing is detailed and specific. This can increase your chances of proving the idea is a protectable property interest. For example, if you write a proposal for a unique and original television show, be sure to fully describe the characters, budget, and script dialogue rather than briefly discussing the concept of the show.

STRATEGY 3: Avoid volunteering ideas. In one famous case a homemaker mailed an unsolicited cheesecake recipe to a baking company. The recipe was used and became a popular moneymaker. Although the woman sued the company for damages, she lost. The court ruled that no recovery was obtainable because the homemaker voluntarily gave her idea to the company. The lesson to be learned from this case is clear. Since employers generally have no obligation to compensate employees for ideas, inventions, or suggestions that are conveyed voluntarily, think twice before doing this, particularly if company policy states that there is no obligation to pay anything if the idea is used, or that any payments made will be purely discretionary (i.e., not linked to any predetermined formula such as a percentage of specific company savings, revenue, or profits generated from the idea).

STRATEGY 4: Avoid signing any agreement or contract with work-for-hire provisions. Some companies request job applicants and employees to sign agreements stating that all inventions authored or conceived by the employee belong to the employer. Avoid this whenever possible.

STRATEGY 5: Negotiate a predetermined method of compensation and articulate your understanding in writing. For example, the agreement should mention the type of idea being conveyed and the manner of compensation for its use, and should stipulate that the employer will maintain the confidentiality of the idea and will not disclose, assign, or transfer the idea or its value to anyone else without your consent. The sample agreement below illustrates these points in greater detail. If compensation is difficult to ascertain at the time the acknowledgment is negotiated, the agreement can state that the employee will be compensated in a manner mutually agreed upon by the parties and that the idea will remain the property of the employee or individual until such formula is determined.

For a full depth analysis on this topic and many more, visit http://legalstrategiespublishing.com/ to purchase “The Employee Rights Handbook” today!

    If you have experienced any of the below, fill out the form to the right to set up your FREE PHONE CONSULTATION:























    What’s Happening at The Law Offices of Steven Mitchell Sack

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    Our Reviews and Client Feedback

    Robert
    Robert
    1711669190
    Steven is an incredible professional! When you call him he, alone, picks up the phone. He is honest, prompt, courteous and extremely attentive to his clients. He restored my faith that the customer-service ethic is alive and well in the legal profession.I cannot say enough about this fine gentleman; look no further!I am proud to call him my attorney.
    Lourdes
    Lourdes
    1710531255
    You WANT Steven Sack on your side!He got RESULTS! At an extremely reasonable rate!He negotiated a better severance package for me, was always responsive, I never had to deal with a paralegal or assistant or anything like that. No. I had an experienced REAL lawyer answering my questions in a timely manner.He kept me apprised of all developments as they occurred. I couldn't possibly recommend him enough! Best negotiation I've ever had!
    Yeoni Heggem
    Yeoni Heggem
    1710248522
    I appreciate his legal counsel. I went through series of abuse at work but it was not something that I could prove easily. I wish I knew him while I was getting abused but I came to find him after I got laid off. Due to the size of the company being one of the largest corp and have extensive legal team and having let go of many other people with me didn't help my case much. I needed to speak to someone who has realistic approaches and can tell me what I can expect. If you speak on the outcome wise, it wasn't any different before and after I paid $300 so some people might see it as waste of $300. For me, Steven's consultancy made me move on and helped me let go of things that I went through. He encouraged me in a very realistic way and I think I will sign my release and move on as company gave me 2 months to find a job plus more severance. I know most people would have moved on but I wanted answer. Steven's answer was very realistic and in fact was sad but that's not his problem to resolve. American corporations can bully an individual and find a way to make it legal. Steven felt bad about what happened but he gave me what the outcome would be like and essentially said it isn't illegal to bully someone and proving it is due to my autism is not something that can be proved easily. I thank Steven for being my therapist on legal part and I believe that was worth $300 for me. Thank you.
    Latasha Forbes
    Latasha Forbes
    1709836467
    I have worked with Mr Sack twice now and he is fantastic. He is quick to respond, extremely knowledgeable and beyond helpful. He is honest in his opinion and clear in his methods. I appreciate him so much and I would recommend him to anyone in need of clear, sound advice and help.
    Doug Geddes
    Doug Geddes
    1709750851
    Steven did an excellent job handling my case. He is very responsive, intelligent and knowledgably. The results were great, and I'm very grateful to have had him representing me.
    Steven Sack is the best attorney I have ever met. As a non resident alien in New York he provided clear advice and was always available for a discussion or strategic decision. My case was complex and had little changes, but he dit it! Without him I would have been completely lost. Never go without him. would be advice. He is the best of the best.
    Working with Mr Steven Sack was very positive. He set clear expections, was punctual and negotiated a positive outcome on my behalf. Thank you
    Ariel Weiss
    Ariel Weiss
    1703427720
    Steven was super easy to work with and got the job done a lot faster than I expected. Was a really painless process and I am super happy with my experience! I highly recommend using him!
    Marlene Romero
    Marlene Romero
    1703196533
    I am grateful that I was referred to Steven Sack by another law firm. I felt my options were limited and that perhaps a satisfactory resolution was impossible. Then I met Steven Sack. Professional, no-nonsense, and extremely empathetic is what I found within 5 minutes of speaking with Steven. His guidance and support in navigating the process was invaluable. His expertise led to a quick and positive outcome - a severance much more than I had imagined. I am grateful for his hard work and dedication to my case. I highly recommend Steven Sack without reservation.
    Omar F
    Omar F
    1702055241
    Steven Sack is an extraordinary attorney and I am fortunate that I was referred to him by another firm. I can't thank him enough for the help he provided during a very difficult time.During my first conversation with Steven I immediately felt protected. He was empathetic, understood what I was going through, listened to me and asked great questions.After gathering all of my information, he immediately jumped into action and handled everything. Throughout the process, he gave me great advice, was incredibly responsive, provided crystal clear information, always kept me updated, and was super transparent about every single detail throughout the entire process.The result was better than I ever imagined it could be and I credit Mr. Sack's expertise and negotiating acumen with making it happen. Thank you, Mr. Sack!
    Katrina Palen
    Katrina Palen
    1696942561
    I highly recommend Steven Sack. You'll get efficiency, experience, and respect.I was a part of a structured layoff and was referred to Steven Sack. I'm really glad I was able to have him look over my contract and termination and give me the peace of mind that I was treated fairly and walked away with the best possible terms. When you're suddenly let go, emotions and stress can run hotter than normal, but Steven is a sensible, realistic, and pragmatic person who respects your situation and helps you understand what's going on. He brings his experience so that you can breathe a little easier in letting him handle the negotiations and what would be stressful conversations to handle yourself. He's communicative and will let you know the status as things progress, so you're not worrying about updates. Again, I highly recommend you reach out no matter your situation as the consultation process is very easy and Steven is very responsive.
    Cody Ciura
    Cody Ciura
    1691612617
    Steven was fantastic in all areas of his representation. He really cares about his clients. Steven is a great communicator and works hard to obtain the best result.
    Andrew Chung
    Andrew Chung
    1690817138
    Steven was very knowledgeable and personable. I was referred through a good friend, and I was impressed immediately. Steven helped me through my process and I was very pleased with the final result. I will continue to ask for his counsel through my career, thank you!
    Woody Curry
    Woody Curry
    1689257235
    From our first interaction I knew that Mr. Sack was the right lawyer for me. He is a man of strong character who truly believes in fighting for what is right. He has a deep passion for the law & his clients. Mr. Sack doesn’t just talk a good game he stands behinds his convictions. He is direct & to the point when speaking with you. He said from the start that he would be honest & straight forward with me & he was, even when I did not necessarily want to hear the truth. He is compassionate & truly listens to his clients, but he will always tell them the hard truths about their case.Mr. Sacks years of experience speak for itself. Within a matter of several phone calls & emails to myself, my employer & their council he negotiated for me a much-improved severance package. A package that reflected my years of dedicated service, & the value I brought to my former employer. I was as a 23-year veteran employee with an impeccable personnel file & a strong reputation both inside the company & within my field.Bottom line, Mr. Sack is a seasoned professional with a direct, no-nonsense, take-charge approach towards working with his clients & negotiating for them. I would highly recommend him & would not hesitate to use his services again.-Christine TenEyck
    I had the privilege of working with Steven Sack as my employment attorney, and it is with utmost pleasure and gratitude that I write this review. Mr. Sack is a true champion who fought diligently on my behalf, ensuring that my rights were protected and interests were served. His unwavering dedication, exceptional responsiveness, and unparalleled professionalism set him apart as a remarkable advocate.From the moment I reached out to Steven Sack, I was impressed by his promptness in addressing my concerns. His responsiveness was nothing short of exceptional. He consistently made himself available to discuss my case, answer my questions, and provide me with the guidance I needed. I always felt valued as a client, as he took the time to listen attentively to my story and understand the intricate details of my situation.Throughout the entire legal process, Mr. Sack exhibited the highest level of professionalism. He approached my case with meticulous attention to detail, leaving no stone unturned. His expertise and experience in employment law were evident as he skillfully navigated the complexities of my situation. With each interaction, he displayed a deep understanding of the law and an ability to explain complex legal concepts in a clear and concise manner, ensuring that I was well-informed and able to make sound decisions.What truly sets Steven Sack apart is his unwavering commitment to his clients' best interests. He consistently prioritized my well-being and fought vigorously to achieve the best possible outcome for me. Throughout the process, Mr. Sack provided invaluable guidance, ensuring that I had a comprehensive understanding of my options and the potential consequences of each decision. His astute judgment and strategic approach allowed me to make informed choices that ultimately led to a more favorable resolution than I had initially anticipated.One aspect of working with Steven Sack that left a lasting impression was his integrity and reliability. He consistently followed through on his commitments, which provided me with a sense of trust and confidence. I was never left in the dark, wondering about the progress of my case, as he provided regular updates and promptly communicated any developments. Mr. Sack's professionalism and reliability instilled in me a sense of comfort and security during what could have been an overwhelming and stressful experience.In conclusion, Steven Sack is simply the best at his craft. His unwavering commitment to his clients, his exceptional responsiveness, his unmatched professionalism, and his ability to provide the best possible guidance are qualities that make him stand head and shoulders above the rest. I am eternally grateful for his outstanding representation, as it resulted in a better outcome than I could have ever imagined. If you find yourself in need of an employment attorney, I wholeheartedly recommend Steven Sack. With him by your side, you can rest assured that you will receive top-notch legal counsel and an advocate who will fight fiercely for your rights.
    Katrina Murray
    Katrina Murray
    1687950829
    This review comes less than 1 week of meeting Steven. From the first telephone call he was confident, professional and honest. He comes with experience that equal results. I was referred to Steven by another law firm for his expertise with my employment situation. I’m so happy the connection was made. I was given an appointment for the same evening for a consultation, though I opted for another day. In less than 72 hours..Huge progress was made. I have a ways to go but I’m convinced that I’m in good hands with Steven. I also received a FREE signed hardcover copy of Steven’s best selling book “FIRED!”. Thank you Steven you are THE BEST.. hands down.
    Christian Clare
    Christian Clare
    1685403495
    Steven Stack helped me with an unfair severance package.I had one session with him and he helped me get triple my severance and additional bonuses by taking his advice and reading his book. If you have an unfair severance, his time and advice is worth it.Steven does good work. He's the real deal. I'm so grateful for his generosity with his time, and helping people in cases big and small.
    I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Steven Mitchell Sack, Esq. this year.Steven is honest with his clients, sets realistic expectations about a case, and always follows through on his promises.I was referred to Steven by a friend of mine, his former client, and now I myself can highly recommend Steven to anyone seeking legal help in labor relations.
    Steven was straight to the point, thorough and extremely respectful regarding all matters surrounding my employment termination. As a young person who had never hired a lawyer before, I am very thankful that I found Steven and that he was on my side. Steven valued my concerns and was a pillar of education and support for me. Steven Sack is the attorney you want to represent you, I cannot thank him enough for all of his help.
    Marissa Alaniz
    Marissa Alaniz
    1682088068
    Steven was so helpful and patient. I had never been terminated from a job or worked with a lawyer before, so I had a lot of questions and anxieties. He not only explained my rights and helped ease my concerns around the situation, but he was even able to negotiate a better severance contract for me. He is incredibly responsive and I look forward to reading his book.
    cheryl klein
    cheryl klein
    1681421935
    I retained Steven Sack and he is a class act. His knowledge and advice was far beyond what I expected. I had learned so much. I am so happy to have found him. He is the real deal. You will be glad to have him on your side.
    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    1680819625
    Steven Sack is a an incredible Lawyer. Very professional, kept me updated thru the whole process. Can’t thank him enough. I recommend him. 5 stars are not enough.
    Lola
    Lola
    1679687265
    I had a great experience with Steven Mitchell Sack. He was very empathetic, detail oriented and extremely knowledgeable of employment law. He returned my calls and e-mails quite promptly, and was very clear and honest with what to expect. When it came to negotiating my severance package, this attorney came through for me. He’s tough, but knows how to talk to lawyers, particularly in my case as we were dealing with a huge company. Thank you Steve, I’m so appreciative of your help.
    hazal kork
    hazal kork
    1677624757
    Steven really knows what he is doing, and he helped me get justice, cared and understood about what really happened. Will recommend him to any friend who might need it in the future.
    Renee P
    Renee P
    1677531667
    Steven is an outstanding lawyer! He exceeded my expectations. He not only made me feel comfortable discussing my case from the start but was also very honest, attentive and does what he says! He is truly the BEST!!
    Rob Long
    Rob Long
    1677167052
    Steven pulled victory from the clutches of defeat. My situation was grim and I had no leverage in negotiating my severance. Steven stepped in, didn't over promise, and got me much better terms. He's great. An absolute miracle worker.
    Mr. Sack helped me get a severance when my employer had no intentions of providing me with one, after I was terminated. He tells you the truth; no bs, even though it might not be what you want to hear. He always answered my calls personally and exlpained next steps in details. He fought for my rights, and I'm very pleased with the outcome. Highly recommend!!
    Cenk Dölek
    Cenk Dölek
    1676157347
    Steven Sack is not only very knowledgeable in his profession, he is also a good person, someone who believes in and lives by certain values and principles. He was very professional, guided me as I needed, a true expert by all means. Looking forward to reading his latest book!
    Ka Kong
    Ka Kong
    1676137967
    Mr. Steven Sack has played an integral role in negotiating my severance package from my employer. He is an expert attorney on employee rights and works diligently on his client's behalf to achieve the most favorable outcome. I have never met a lawyer who has shown such dedication to his client.
    Ricky Sharma
    Ricky Sharma
    1675876149
    Steven is an incredible person that also happens to practice his craft on a level that will impress you out the gate. Hiring him and talking to him will immediately give you peace of mind. One thing to be careful of is that after working with him you will start expecting more from every other lawyer you ever work with!
    David LaCombe
    David LaCombe
    1675382537
    Steven Sack exceeded my expectations when he represented me in negotiating the terms of my severance. Steven is incredibly competent, and what I appreciate most about him is that he is a gentleman.Steven is punctual, thorough and he always kept his word. If he says he is going to do something, he does it.I recommend Steven without exception. He earned my complete confidence.
    J Guttenplan
    J Guttenplan
    1675289769
    Steven is amazing. When working with him he is easy to understand, transparent, and does what he says he's going to do. He actually answers his phone when you call and gets back to you promptly -- a quality that's becoming quite rare these days!I'm very glad I was referred to him.
    Eddie Vargas
    Eddie Vargas
    1669919365
    I had the absolute pleasure of being represented by Steve and it was definitely more than a great partnership. He was with me throughout the entire process and the communication was absolutely stellar. Highly recommend Steve and his professional skill should you ever be in need of legal counsel or representation. Thank you Steve!
    J M
    J M
    1669067663
    Jeff R
    Jeff R
    1667326739
    Steven is a highly competent lawyer and extremely effective at what he does. Steven was referred to me and I will gladly refer him to others in the future.
    Steven is an incredible attorney and I highly recommend him!He always made himself available whenever I needed him, and he did exactly what he said he was going to do. He also stayed on top of my case with diligence, and consistently followed up with me regarding updates. I found him to be straightforward, honest and very knowledgeable. He is also a very nice guy and made me feel like someone was on my side and was going to help, and he gave great advice on how to move forward. I will certainly reach out to him if I ever need him again. Thanks greatly Steven!Vanessa S.
    A E
    A E
    1664895308
    Steven is fantastic. Efficient, concise and caring. Would 100% recommend.
    Bravheart
    Bravheart
    1664296141
    Steven Sack was very Professional, Sympathetic and truly cares about people he was very vital in helping me in resolving my issue Steve Sack truly loves his job & stress free. He was extremely responsive worked quickly, negotiating on my behalf. And it was worth it! I would definitely use him again with no hesitation!
    Brian Dunne
    Brian Dunne
    1663353965
    Steven is a highly professional and effective attorney. He is knowledgeable, honest, and transparent. I highly recommend working with him on employment contracts and any other related matter.
    Akbar Jaffer
    Akbar Jaffer
    1663282887
    I first heard of Steven on a morning radio show talking about his new book, Fired! Coincidently soon after that I needed somebody like him.Steven is super smart, very knowledgeable, thorough, and understands what a person is going through who is either accepting an offer or just got laid off or fired. He was very prompt to respond and turned things around within hours. Best part, his hourly rates are very reasonable.Steven is now on my permanent call list for all things employment law.
    Liz H.
    Liz H.
    1662499717
    Mr. Steve Sack did a great job with negotiating my employment separation agreement. He was able to get me more money in severance and an additional week of PTO. In addition, he was diligent with constant follow-up on my behalf with my former employer's attorney (who were very slow to respond), and with me for revisions in the agreement and obtaining the proper signatures over the course of several months. I would definitely recommend him.
    Lindsay H
    Lindsay H
    1660568863
    Steven was an amazing attorney to work with. He worked quickly during a time-sensitive matter. His communications and responsiveness were impeccable. Steven went above and beyond and even helped me after our contract was complete. He truly cares about his clients and I will be using him again.
    Mary MacDonald
    Mary MacDonald
    1659459419
    Steve Sack truly loves his job and cares about people. He was extremely responsive on all occasions, worked under a tight deadline, and made me laugh along the way. I felt completely at ease having Steve negotiate on my behalf...such a relief to not try to do that myself. And it was worth it! A true professional. I'd use him again in a heartbeat and have already recommended him to others.
    Nicole
    Nicole
    1659034436
    Steven made the process of navigating my employment situation very easy. He heard my concerns, was responsive, easily accessible and answered every question that I had. He explained to me what to expect every step of the way and his advice was spot on. Steven truly cares for his clients and has their best interest at heart. I highly recommend working with Steven.
    Maureen Wolf
    Maureen Wolf
    1656449950
    I was very happy with Steven and his service. He was easily accessible and responded promptly. I can certainly recommend him. Liked his book too.M.W. Fairfield County, CT
    Mr. Sack was absolutely incredible to work with. He was honest and communicative throughout every step of the process. I 100% recommend working with him!
    JA C
    JA C
    1648837691
    Steven Sack is like a David to Goliath. He is a rock star employment attorney with a big heart. He immediately took my call and negotiated my agreement. This man really cares about the people's rights. Knowledge/intelligence is his super power. God gifted Mr. Sack! Everyone should read his books to better protect yourself. Thank you.
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