The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

It may seem wrong for an employee who is out on disability leave to work another job. But firing her for allegedly lying about her medical condition may backfire in the form of a disability or retaliation claim.

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A court has ruled that the Teamsters union can’t scuttle the sale of Will Poultry, a Buffalo food distributor.

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Following on the heels of several highly publicized lawsuits filed by unpaid or underpaid interns, Elite Model Management has tentatively agreed to a settlement with a class of interns who claim the agency either didn’t pay them or paid them less than the minimum wage.

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If an employee requests a transfer, be sure to document that he did so.

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Here’s a reminder for supervisors who participate in disciplinary decisions: Tell them to keep their personal feelings about the employee to themselves and resist the urge to bring in stereotypes. No one, for example, should comment on the employee’s nationality, national origin or other protected characteristics.

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The National Labor Relations Act guarantees employees the right to discuss working conditions and organize. The language contained in your employee handbook can put you on the wrong side of the law.

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One of the best ways to prevent age discrimination is also one of the simplest: Make your hiring process age-blind by removing age tipoffs from your application.

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Do you work in an HR department that still hasn’t gotten around to creating an employee handbook? Don’t despair. As long as everyone in HR and management makes sure employees know the company won’t tolerate sexual harassment and encourages immediate reporting of harassment, you can probably escape liability by acting fast on any reports you do receive.

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Following a rash of sexual harassment complaints against state legislators, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed an independent investigator for complaints against members of New York’s legislative and executive branches.

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When an employee is fired, he or she has nothing to lose by suing you. That’s why you should assume that every employee will do just that and prepare accordingly. That includes making sure you have documented every step of the disciplinary process, providing details and dates.

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