The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

If you have employees like that, carefully document the behavior. Then apply appropriate discipline, especially if the employee is insubordinate. Just make sure that everyone else with a similar work record is also punished the same way.

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The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a new set of guidelines that clarify when employers can classify workers as independent contractors.

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New York’s Wage Board has endorsed a recommendation to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 per hour. The new hourly rate will apply to employees of chains with at least 30 locations in New York.

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HR professionals consistently rate FMLA administration as one of their most difficult tasks. New court decisions constantly affect the FMLA landscape.

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In two recent cases decided in July, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has held that in many instances, unpaid interns may not necessarily be employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.

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Under recently signed legislation, New York City will begin a year-long employment tester program in which paired job applicants with similar experience and qualifications will express interest in the same job. One will belong to a protected class and one will not.

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Employers that use general tests to screen applicants run the risk of facing a disparate-impact discrimination lawsuit. If that happens, you will have to prove that the test measures qualities that relate to actual job duties.

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OSHA’s role is expansive and includes regulating everything from heat breaks to bathroom access. It issued “A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers” on June 1.

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Some supervisors hesitate to discipline employees who have asked for FMLA leave or seem likely to need it soon. Reassure them that they can and should discipline those who break company rules or perform poorly, even if they are ill or may need FMLA leave. The key is to focus on behavior.

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Former CBS News entertainment reporter Ken Lombardi claims two male bosses groped him and made unwanted advances, and a female boss refused to investigate his charges. According to lawsuit documents, Lombardi claims that Duane Tollison, then a senior producer, drunkenly groped him and kissed him on the neck at a holiday party.

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