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Employers

Monday, July 17, 2017

New I-9 Form Released

Today, a new version of the Form I-9 was released by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  The I-9 is a form that must be used by employers to document their efforts to verify the identity and employment eligibility of its employees.  The new version of the form can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.


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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.
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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that prior interpretations by the Wage and Hour Division on independent contractors and joint employment were being withdrawn.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

 


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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.


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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.
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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


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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.


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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.


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Employment Contracts 101


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.


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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

EEOC Proposes Enforcement Guidance on Workplace Harassment


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.


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Monday, January 23, 2017

Employers Must Use New I-9 Form


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.


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