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New York Employment Law Blog

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Look at Age Discrimination in Silicon Valley


Is age discrimination a problem in the tech-sector?

As parts of the workforce grows older, age discrimination lawsuits are becoming increasingly common, particularly in industries in which employers tend to be younger, such as the tech sector. In fact, according to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), there have been 90 age-related lawsuits filed against a number of leading technology companies in Silicon Valley.

The wave of lawsuits has been filed against tech giants such as Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Apple, Google and Oracle, most of which claim wrongful termination, and all of these entities have denied claims of age discrimination.


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Sunday, November 27, 2016

What is a Hostile Work Environment?


The contemporary workplace is rapidly evolving, but this does not mean employees can escape bad bosses, or rude colleagues. Many people mistakenly believe that a hostile work environment is one that is merely unpleasant, however, this is not the case. There are certain legal criteria that determine when a workplace is considered to be hostile.

Legal Criteria for a Hostile Work Environment

Generally, a hostile work environment is one in which the behavior, action or communication of a boss, supervisor, manager or coworker makes it impossible for an employee to perform his or her job. In addition, the hostility must be associated with legally prohibited behavior such as discrimination,


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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Protecting Freelancers in New York City from Wage Theft


What is the Freelance Isn't Free Act?

Freelancers who work in New York City often joke that the operative word in freelance is "free." This is so because they often face long delays getting paid for their work. Not only are they not paid in a timely fashion, it is not uncommon for freelancers and independent contractors to get stiffed. That's the bad news. The good news is that help may be on the way.


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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

OVERTIME RULE BLOCKED


Many employers have been preparing for the United States Department of Labor’s (the “DOL”) new federal overtime rule, which was set to double the salary threshold exemption from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year effective December 1, 2016.  However, a Texas federal judgment blocked the rule on November 22, 2016 by issuing a preliminary injunction finding that the DOL exceeded its authority by raising the salary threshold too high and by providing for automatic adjustments to the threshold every three years.  As a result, the DOL is now enjoined from implementing and enforcing the rule pending further order of the courts. 

The case is


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace


How can employers help prevent sexual harassment in the workplace?

Sexual harassment in the workplace can be detrimental to the business as a whole. Not only does it create discomfort, dissent, and often fear, among employees, but it interferes with company efficiency and can create significant legal exposure for employers. If you are an employer handling complaints of sexual harassment or simply looking to be proactive in establishing appropriate boundaries in your workplace, you should consult a talented employment lawyer experienced in such matters.


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wahlburgers in Coney Island Faces Wage Theft Allegations


What are my rights if my employer does not pay me for my time worked?

Brooklyn restaurant Wahlburgers, subject of the popular A&E reality show, is facing a lawsuit from five former employees who claim the restaurant routinely denied their wages.  The Wahlburgers chain launched in 2011 outside of Boston.  Just last year, the chain expanded to include a Coney Island store.  Since its opening, however, employees allege that the restaurant has broken numerous federal and state labor laws and withheld wages from hundreds of employees. 

Former employees have filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court.


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Sunday, August 28, 2016

EEOC Extends Title VII Protections


Can a discrimination claim be brought based on sexual orientation or gender identity?

In July, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a bulletin clarifying the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title VII of Civil Rights Act includes employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation and that it intends to enforce the law accordingly.

This action is designed to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination and retaliation regardless of state and local laws to the contrary. While local and state laws already in place prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity still stand, the EEOC will enforce these prohibitions  in jurisdictions that permit, or do not prohibit, these forms of discrimination.

The Backdrop

The EEOC has long been working toward covering members of the LGBT community under Title VII's sex discrimination protections. The bulletin is the culmination of the agency's 2012-2016 Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) which made a priority of covering LGBT individuals under Title VII.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

The “Child Care Gap” And Employment Discrimination


If you believe you have been affected by employment or gender discrimination, you should consult your attorney to learn about your options.  Despite having great credentials, you may be struggling to find a job and to provide for your children.  Mothers attempting to return to the workforce often find difficulty in securing employment. 

This happened to one New York woman who took a ten-year break in order to provide for her children.  After many failed interview attempts, the mother of three began to lose hope.


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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Transgender Employee Sues Abercrombie & Fitch Over “Look Policy”


Can my employer force me to look or dress a certain way?

A former employee is suing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch for $35 million because, he claims, the Manhattan store attempted to force him to wear women’s clothing and ultimately fired him when he failed to comply.  The former employee is transgender and born female, but identifies as male.  Abercrombie & Fitch was aware of this during the hiring process and told the employee he could wear men’s clothing as he desired.  Later, however, the Fifth Avenue store informed the employee that he could only wear women’s clothing due to the company’s “look policy.”   When the transgender employee refused to wear women’s clothing, he was fired.


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Domino's Faces Wage Theft Charges in New York


Did Domino's violate state and federal labor and wage laws?

The parent of Domino's Pizza and three franchisees operating 10 shops in New York were recently hit with a wage theft lawsuit by the New  York Attorney General.

The suit claims that Domino's paid workers less than minimum wage, failed to pay overtime, took inappropriate tip credits, and failed to reimburse employees for using their cars or bicycles to make deliveries. In sum, the suit alleges that workers were deprived of at least $565,000 in wages and other compensation.

In a statement, Domino's head of investor relations said that the lawsuit "disregards the nature of franchising and demeans the roll of small business owners." The company contends it does not have a joint legal responsibility with the franchisees.


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Google Facing Age Discrimination Probe


Is age discrimination a serious problem in the tech sector?

The tech sector is known for its innovative entrepreneurs that have changed the contemporary business landscape and reshaped traditional notions of corporate culture. At the same time much of the work force is comprised of workers under 40 years of age and some observers argue that there is widespread age discrimination in the industry.

Now, a federal lawsuit has revealed that the search engine giant Google is under investigation for alleged age discrimination by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In a recent filing, a plaintiff accused Google of stonewalling the probe by the federal agency.

The plaintiff is a systems engineer who was interviewed on a number of occasions between 2007 and 2014.


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