The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

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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Are you facing the prospect of terminating an employee who happens to be the only member of a particular protected class? Don’t let the fear of a lawsuit stop you from making a legitimate business decision. Just make sure you can document exactly why you have chosen this employee for termination.

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With the July 2014 enactment of the Compassionate Care Act, New York became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana. Employers should become familiar with how the law may affect the workplace.

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The New York Mets and its owner, Jeff Wilpon, face charges the baseball team fired its head of ticket sales and marketing because she chose to have a child out of wedlock.

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Clever lawyers are always looking for ways to reach deeper into employer pockets. One tactic has been to add state negligence claims to run-of-the-mill discrimination cases. That won’t work anymore, at least as far as negligent hiring, supervision and retention claims are concerned.

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