The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

A former New York Police Depart­­ment officer of mixed-race ancestry is accusing the department of tolerating racial bias, alleging that co-workers on the NYPD’s elite scuba diving team harassed him.

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NBC has agreed to settle Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit filed by interns who worked on “Saturday Night Live.” The interns filed a class-action lawsuit against the network last year, alleging that NBC used interns in place paid workers, a practice the FLSA forbids.

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An employee who quits because he thinks he may be fired isn’t usually eligible for unemployment benefits. If there was still work available, quitting would have been unreasonable.

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Judges understand the difference between an unfair boss and an illegal practice. They won’t hold you liable for all bad decisions—just the discriminatory ones.

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Now that every paycheck can become the basis for a new equal pay claim, smart employers are proactive about making sure they base compensation on factors other than sex, age or some combination of those factors.

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Em­­ploy­­ers often struggle with how to react to sensitive and highly personal situations. Here are some of the considerations to weigh when confronted with a domestic violence case involving an employee.

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When an employee claims a co-worker sexually harassed her, employers have to investigate the claim, even if there aren’t any witnesses. Getting to the truth requires a timely investigation, as well as immediately separating the co-workers.

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Simply put, documentation is what wins many lawsuits. That’s especially true when more than one supervisor has documented past problems.

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Occasionally, a worker will do something truly stupid: tagging offensive graffiti, posting jokes that aren’t funny or leaving anonymous, bigoted notes. Whatever form it takes, make sure you respond immediately. Show you mean business about stamping out harassment.

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Parts of New York were inundated with feet of snow well before Thanksgiving. Buffalo businesses have dug out from under the lake effect by now, but they may still be dealing with lingering pay issues. Will you be similarly affected—and are your pay policies ready?

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