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New York Employment Law Blog

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New York City’s Fair Workweek Law


Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed the Fair Workweek legislation, which is a series of laws that go into effect on December 1, 2017.  The laws are designed to create more predictable work scheduled for fast food workers in New York City.

Law Number 1 requires fast food employers to provide written notice to the employee of his/her work schedule, including regular and on-call shifts, at least fourteen (14) days before the employee’s first day of the new schedule.  The written notice must be posted in a conspicuous place at the workplace visible and accessible to all employees.  As well, the schedule must be transmitted to each employee, including by email if that is a method regularly used to communicate with employees.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 19, 2017

Protection from Discrimination for Employees Battling Cancer


It should go without saying that employees battling cancer are entitled to equal protection from discrimination and adverse treatment in the workplace. However, sadly, this is not always the case – and cancer-based discrimination cases are unfortunately on the rise. Recently, the Journal of Oncology Practice published a groundbreaking study concerning the effects of a cancer diagnosis on an employee’s workplace well-being.


Read more . . .


Monday, June 12, 2017

The United States Department Of Labor Withdraws Prior Interpretations On Independent Contractor And Joint Employment


On June 7, 2017, the United States Department of Labor (the “DOL”) announced that prior interpretations by the Wage and Hour Division on independent contractors and joint employment were being withdrawn. The guidance on independent contractors came from an Administrator’s Interpretation released in 2015, in which the DOL concluded that under the broad definition of “employ” under the Fair Labor Standards Act, that “most workers are employees under the FLSA.”  In 2016, the DOL released its guidance on joint employment, concluding that virtually all related employers that exercise control over a worker are joint employers, so that there is overtime liability for aggregated hours between the joint employers

 


Read more . . .


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Employee Discipline and Wrongful Termination


You may have a claim for wrongful termination if your firing is considered illegal. A termination may be illegal for a variety of reasons—from discrimination to retaliation for asserting your rights.

In most situations that involve discipline, a termination will not be illegal.


Read more . . .


Monday, May 15, 2017

Freelance Isn’t Free Act Goes Into Effect in New York City


Today, the Freelance Isn’t Free Act (“FIFA”) went into effect in New York City.  The law requires parties that engage “freelance workers” to reduce an agreement to writing when the value of the service provided is $800 or more.  Under the law, a “freelance worker” is “any natural person or any organization composed of no more than one natural person, whether or not incorporated or employing a trade name, that is hired or retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to provide services in exchange for compensation.”  

The $800 valuation is determined by looking at the services for the project at issue, or when aggregating all the contracts for services between the parties in the preceding one hundred twenty (120) days. 

The written agreement must include, at a minimum, the following information:

  • the name and address of both the hiring party and the freelance worker,
  • an itemized list of the services that will be provided and the value of those services,
  • the rate and method of compensation, and
  • the date on which payment is due or the mechanism by which such date will be determined.
    Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

An Overview of Your Rights Under the Family Medical Leave Act


The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that allows you to take 12 weeks of unpaid time from work in certain serious health situations that affect you or your family. The FMLA allows you to leave your job for a period to address your own health problems or health problems related to your parent, child, or spouse without worrying about whether you will have a job to come back to after the crisis is over. You can take leave all at once, or you can take it intermittently over a period of time.

You must meet certain requirements to use


Read more . . .


Friday, May 5, 2017

New York City Bans Questions About Salary History


On May 4, 2017, May Bill de Blasio signed a bill into law that prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history on employment applications, and anytime thereafter in the employment process.  The law is aimed at reducing the salary gap between men and women by ensuring that women who start with lower paying jobs will not be faced with continued pay inequities because of prior salaries.   

An employer is also prohibited from conducting any form of search through publicly available information on a prospective employee’s “salary history,” which includes not only an applicant’s current or prior wage but also benefits and any other form of compensation he or she may have received.  Furthermore, the law also makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to consider an applicant’s salary history in determining the salary, benefits, or other forms of compensation for that applicant.  Thus, if the employer already knows the applicant’s prior salary history, it cannot use that information to determine benefits.


Read more . . .


Monday, May 1, 2017

HIV-based Employment Terminations on the Rise: Know your rights


Despite major advances in the treatment and maintenance of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), social and cultural stigma still remains – including discrimination by current and potential employers in the workplace. Sadly, reports indicate that HIV-based employment discrimination actually rose in 2016, putting it at the forefront of equality issues for hardworking Americans.

In 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission launched a lawsuit against the Subway Corporation following its decision to terminate an employee based – at least circumstantially – on that employee’s status as an HIV-positive person.
Read more . . .


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Employee Misclassification in New York


Workers can generally be classified into two groups: employees and independent contractors. The difference between the two types of workers is important under the law because employees have far more protections and rights than independent contractors. Employers must also pay more for employees in terms of taxes and insurance.

In some situations, employers purposely classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees because they want to avoid the extra reporting requirements, obligations, and expenses associated with having employees. This practice is often referred to as “misclassification,” and it is illegal.


Read more . . .


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Major Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against National Jewelry Chains


Despite the endless barrage of commercials swooning “he went to Jared” and “every kiss begins with Kay,” said national jewelry chains are facing major discord with their employees – as described in a recent class action discrimination lawsuit filed in February 2017. According to the Florida-based petition, as many as 69,000 men and women are alleging that the corporate culture was one of groping, fondling and uninvited sexual advances – reaching from local store employees up to the corporate executive level.

According to one account, a 25-year old Florida-based employee was fired upon suspicion of theft after she refused the sexual advances of her superiors.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Title VII Held to Cover Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Seventh Circuit


On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held – in the case of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana – that discrimination based upon an employee’s sexual orientation is prohibited by Title VII.  The relevant facts of the case were that the plaintiff (Hively), a professor at the college, did not have her employment renewed with the defendant-college.  She claimed that it was because she is a lesbian.  The Seventh Circuit is the first court to make such a holding, finding that an interpretation of the law extends to protect gays and lesbians from employment decisions based on their sexual orientation.  In fact, as recently as last week, the Second Circuit (the Circuit that covers New York State) – in the case of Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, Inc. –  held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not protected by Title VII.


Read more . . .


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