The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Employees who take protected FMLA leave are entitled to reinstatement to the same or a substantially similar job once cleared for work after their leave is over. Reducing the employee’s hours on return could be seen as interference with FMLA rights.

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The New York Police Department will pay a female officer $110,000 to settle charges a superior officer harassed her and then retaliated when she refused his advances.

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If, after FMLA leave, an employee asks for more time off or to work from home, handle the request just like you would another disabled employee’s reasonable accommodation request. Verify the disability and discuss possible accommodations before you reject the request. Otherwise, a jury may hold you liable.

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Two participants in Merrill Lynch’s management development program are suing the firm, alleging they were not paid for overtime they worked during the intensive training period.

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When a worker is fired, he or she may look for a potential lawsuit. A visit to a lawyer may be enough to stir memories of alleged discrimination. Every little incident then becomes the basis for a discrimination claim. Fortunately, unless the fired worker complained earlier about the alleged discrimination or has a plausible explanation for why he didn’t, courts toss most such cases out.

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Do you routinely conduct credit checks on job applicants? Are you located in New York City? Then here’s a heads-up: The New York City Council has overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law that would bar most city employers from using credit checks as part of their hiring process.

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Apparently, TV personality Stephen Colbert wasn’t kidding about mistreating Jay the intern. Colbert’s former employer, Viacom, has agreed to settle claims by current and former interns at its Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon properties.

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A white police officer’s suit against the city of Ithaca has been dismissed. The officer alleged racial discrimination after he lost a promotion to a black officer.

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Employers aren’t supposed to retaliate against employees who file wage-and-hour complaints against their employers. For quite some time now, there has been confusion over two things: first, whether the employee has to make a written complaint, and second, whether the complaint has to be made to a governmental agency like the Department of Labor. Now the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers New York employers, has settled the issue.

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Supervisors and HR pros need to understand what they can and cannot do with time records. Problems can lead to legal disputes under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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