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The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

New legislation that went into effect April 10 is intended to curtail misclassification of transportation industry workers as independent contractors instead of employees.

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The EEOC had one of its long-running cases dismissed after a federal judge in Buffalo criticized the commission’s handling of a discrimination case against Sterling Jewelers.

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Some employees seem to think that any uncomfortable situation at work can become the basis for a lawsuit. Fortunately, they are wrong. Co-workers don’t always get along, but that’s hardly grounds for a hostile work environment charge.

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Here’s a tip that can save you from a needless lawsuit: Make sure managers and supervisors aren’t using their own judgment about who deserves a job accommodation for medical reasons.

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Sometimes, employers don’t learn about alleged discrimination or harassment until an employee brings up the claim when facing discharge for other reasons. If that happens, how should you respond?

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United States v. Windsor struck down a Defense of Marriage Act provision that interpreted “marriage” and “spouse” to be limited to opposite-sex marriage for the purposes of federal law. Now the Department of Labor has issued rules extending FMLA protections to same-sex married couples.

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When harassment allegations surface, we often advise separating the two parties to minimize chances of more misbehavior. Sometimes, employees find their own ways to keep away from harassers. However, business realities can make that unsustainable.

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McDonald’s workers in three states have filed class-action suits alleging the company super-sized its profits at the employees’ expense.

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While it’s always unacceptable, just because a man hits a female co-worker doesn’t mean she has a sex discrimination or harassment case.

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You probably tell supervisors they shouldn’t punish employees for filing internal or EEOC discrimination complaints. That doesn’t mean employees who complain won’t perceive re­­tali­­ation in every slight change in their work situation. How you react can mean the difference between winning or losing a retaliation lawsuit.

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