The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Do you cut slack for some employees when enforcing your grooming policies? If so, there may be a race discrimination lawsuit in your future.

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Not long ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it harder for em­­ployees to prove retaliation under Title VII anti-discrimination provisions. Under the New York City Human Rights Law, employees need only prove retaliation was an important motive in an adverse employment decision, not the only one.

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Some very small employers are truly so tiny that they’re not covered by Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rules.

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Sometimes, supervisors say stupid things. How you respond may mean the difference between winning or losing a lawsuit based on those comments.

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A midtown-Manhattan bar faces charges it forced waitresses to kiss one another and wrestle in cranberry sauce while patrons took pictures and videos.

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A young man who volunteered at a school in hopes of building his résumé is not an employee as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act according to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Here’s something to consider when you decide to add an arbitration clause to applications and require employees sign them as a condition of employment: You may end up forcing the em­­ployee into arbitration, but still become embroiled in other related litigation.

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Even a small gender-based pay differential may be­­come the foundation of a class-action lawsuit.

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Sometimes, like life, supervisors are unfair. But unless there’s some other problem, being treated unfairly isn’t grounds for a lawsuit. Employees have to show that something illegal motivated the unfairness, such as racial or gender bias. Just saying that was the reason isn’t enough, either.

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Some employers mistakenly think that if they terminate an em­­ployee who isn’t yet eligible for FMLA leave, the employee can’t sue. While you may not be violating the FMLA, you may violate other laws that protect the worker.

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