New York Employment Law Blog
Sunday, April 9, 2017
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
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
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 . . .
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Social media has become a big part of many employees’ everyday lives. It is accessible at virtually all times, and there is no limit to the information that individuals can share and consume. Social media and employment obligations occasionally butt heads based on what employees post or share on their personal (or even business) pages.
There have been situations where employees have lost their jobs due to what they have posted or shared on social networking sites. In reviewing these stories, you may have wondered—can employers really terminate an employee based on what they post on social media? Do employees have any protections to prevent this type of termination? An Read more . . .
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Like many states, New York has mandatory overtime laws that employers must follow under most circumstances. Generally, you should be paid your full wage plus half of your hourly wage for each hour you work over 40 hours. The 40 hours is based on a payroll week, not because you work over eight hours per day or because you work on a weekend.
If an employer does not pay you these overtime benefits, you may have a legal claim for Read more . . .
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Does my business need to rely on employment contracts?
Business owners face a number of challenges, not the least of which is the potential for employee lawsuits. One way to minimize their legal liabilities is to put in place comprehensive employment agreements. In short, a well thought out agreement will clarify the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees.
Obviously, employment contracts are not necessary for all employees, but rather executives, senior management, sales people and others who have a decision making role or an ownership interest. Let's take a look at some of the key elements of an employment agreement.Read more . . .
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
How can my business prevent harassment in the workplace?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently proposed enforcement guidance to address unlawful workplace harassment under federal anti-discrimination laws.
This proposal is based substantially on an EEOC report issued in June 2016 which encouraged employers to establish and implement comprehensive anti-harassment policies, communicate these policies to employees, provide anti-harassment training, and conduct regular self assessments to prevent harassment.
In short, the guidance seeks to clarify the legal standards regarding harassment claims based on race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age, and genetic information. The EEOC proposal clarifies the agency's position on a wide range of topics and covers specific examples of conduct that would and would not constitute unlawful discrimination.Read more . . .
Monday, January 23, 2017
Starting on January 22, 2017, employers must start using the new Form I-9. This replaces the version of the I-9 Form dated 03/08/13. If employers continue to use the old form, penalties may be assessed. The new I-9 Form is located on the U.S.Read more . . .
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Work history, background and education credentials are among the top most often-requested bits of information solicited in a job interview. Intertwined with this conversation is usually the inquiry into salary requirements or salary history – which typically sets the tone for the subsequent pay rate accompanying an incoming job offer. However, lawmakers in states across the U.
Read more . . .
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
There is, of course, no “national language” in the United States – despite what some may argue. Nonetheless, the popular food chain Chipotle has allegedly implemented an “English only” policy in all its restaurants across the nation – including areas with a predominantly Spanish-speaking clientele and resident base. Now, a former employee of the chain has initiated a lawsuit alleging discrimination based on nation origin, which is a protected class under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Read more . . .
Monday, November 28, 2016
What is the status of the Labor Department's overtime rule?
In May, we reported on the sweeping changes to the so-called white collar exemptions to the overtime rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for executive, professional, administrative and highly compensated employees. Now, a federal judge has blocked the Obama Administration's attempt to extend overtime pay to an estimated 4 million salaried workers.Read more . . .