The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Good news when it comes to disciplining disabled employees for breaking behavioral or dress code rules: You can and should hold the disabled to those rules, along with everyone else.

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If you haven’t already taken appropriate measures to comply with New York’s new privacy law that took effect in January, do so now before the Commissioner of Labor moves to assess civil penalties. Amendments to the New York Labor Law now require employers to protect employees from identity theft and other potential privacy problems.

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Here’s yet more evidence that organized labor is making a comeback: Teachers at two charter schools in New York City recently voted to bring in a union.

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Carmen Morano, former president and CEO of Bloomfield-based health insurance company PerfectHealth, has sued the insurer, alleging it illegally fired him in May 2008.

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Older employees who learn they might be laid off for economic reasons—especially those who have recently spoken with an employment lawyer—have begun trying an interesting tactic: They’re volunteering to work for less pay. Take those offers seriously.

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A Bronx jury has ordered Bernard Spitzer, father of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, to pay more than $1.3 million to four former employees to settle racial discrimination charges.

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Sometimes, employees suggest telecommuting as an accommodation if they have temporary disabilities. Telecommuting may be possible for some kinds of jobs. But in other cases, the job itself may make telecommuting impossible.

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Sometimes, employees with disabilities don’t choose to let their employers know. If such an employee needs an accommodation such as a transfer to a less stressful position, she may make the request but never explain why. Then, when she is turned down, she may sue and allege she said she needed the transfer because of her disability.

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You don’t always have to promote the best educated or most experienced employee—but you must at least have a good explanation why you chose another candidate.

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Margaret Tarulli, a special officer for New York City’s Human Resources Administration, has filed a sexual assault and harassment lawsuit against her former supervisor.

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