The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Employees are supposed to notify their employers about their need for FMLA leave as soon as is practical. When they are already out on leave with a set return date, the same rule applies if the employee will need more time off. He or she can’t just extend the leave without telling anyone and expect to keep the job.

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If you decide to deviate from your usual rules, make sure you have a legitimate business-related reason for doing so. Otherwise, you risk potential litigation if the affected employee claims the real reason you made an exception was his protected status.

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We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: The only appropriate comment when an em­­ployee announces she’s pregnant is a cheerful “Congratulations!” Anything else can end up being used against you if you eventually have to discipline or even fire the expecting mother.

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New York City and Rochester scored perfect 100 ratings in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual assessment of American cities with local laws and policies that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.

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The National Labor Relations Board has issued three far-reaching decisions that change long-standing practices under the National Labor Relations Act. All reflect a disquieting connection between modern communications and old-fashioned labor relations.

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Many bosses succumb to the temptation to build a disciplinary case against the employee by citing a long list of minor rule violations. But that can be dangerous, especially if the same violations don’t trigger the same scrutiny for other employees.

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By now, most employers are familiar with the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: race, color, religion, national origin and sex. Other federal anti-discrimination laws add additional protected categories to the list: disability (ADA), age (Age Discrimination in Employment Act), pregnancy (Pregnancy Dis­­crimi­­nation Act) and genetic information (Genetic Information Non­­dis­­crimi­­na­­tion Act). Absent is any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Dancers at Rick’s Cabaret, a strip club in Midtown Manhattan, just collected more than $10 million following a federal court ruling, and could make even more if an ongoing lawsuit continues to go their way.

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AT&T Prime Communications, one of the nation’s largest cellphone plan providers, will pay $122,254 to 255 workers to settle charges it failed to pay them for overtime work.

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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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