The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

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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Don’t assume that every injury is a disability. Many times, injuries heal within a few weeks or months with proper treatment and don’t end up as disabilities protected by the ADA.

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You’re risking trouble if you don’t have an anti-harassment and discrimination policy that allows employees to report discrimination and harassment.

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When a New York City employee purports to report wrongdoing on the part of the city government, all that’s required is a good-faith belief that the alleged conduct constituted an “improper governmental action.” It’s illegal to retaliate against an employee who makes such a report.

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Don’t think that just because an employee can’t find an attorney to represent her, you’ll easily get a case dismissed. When employees act as their own lawyers, courts try to give them a fair chance to make their case without benefit of counsel. As the following case shows, that can include giving pro se plaintiffs detailed instructions on how to make a winning argument.

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Employers that create and implement clear, well-publicized policies for reporting sexual and other forms of harassment can defeat many co-worker harassment claims. The key is to come up with a specific process featuring more than one avenue through which employees can complain. Then let employees know it’s there for their use.

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An employee who sues under the EPA can’t pick and choose to whom she compares herself—for example, by selecting a man who holds the same job who happens to make more. She must consider all men and women in the same job classification.

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How you look into misconduct can have huge legal implications for your company. Get the process right the first time.

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