The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

How you handle a sexual harassment complaint can mean the difference between a quick lawsuit dismissal and protracted litigation. Prompt action is essential.

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Have you ever worried that, after terminating an older worker, replacing him with a younger one might look like age discrimination? That concern is likely unfounded if you had a legitimate, business-related reason for the earlier termination.

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The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a restraining order against BabyVision Inc. in Poughkeepsie after workers reported being threatened and intimidated by the company’s two owners.

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Some supervisors and co-workers who don’t have children may resent having to pick up the perceived slack while the new mom or dad is home with their bundle of joy. The same may be true if other employees view someone’s FMLA use as frivolous or unnecessary. When co-workers or supervisors ridicule other employees for using FMLA leave, that may be retaliation.

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Here’s a reminder for the next time you provide harassment and discrimination training: Tell managers and supervisors that they should never comment on an em­­ployee’s religious preferences or make any assignments based on notions about certain religions.

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New York City-based BNV Home Care faces an EEOC lawsuit after staff members complained that the company sought extensive family health histories as part of an “employee health assessment.”

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Ordinarily, if a subordinate sues for alleged sexual harassment under Title VII, there is no personal liability for that supervisor. However, if the employer is a public agency or governmental unit, the rules change.

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The EEOC has filed suit against the owner of Seapod Pawnbrokers, a chain of pawnshops in Brooklyn and Queens. The owner allegedly made disparaging remarks to his largely Hispanic female employees.

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Employees only have 300 days to get their EEOC complaints in after being fired or otherwise being hit with an adverse employment action.

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The threat of an Ebola outbreak has dominated the news for months. With the possible exceptions of health care-related organizations, it’s unlikely that most employers will ever have to deal with the disease. However, it’s a timely reminder that even relatively common maladies (such as the flu) can wreak havoc on business operations.

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