The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Usually, judges rule it’s not a reasonable ADA accommodation to not have to work for a particular supervisor. In other words, a disabled worker can’t demand a transfer away from a specific supervisor, even if that supervisor may aggravate the employee’s disability.

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A federal court has issued an injunction preventing an employer from firing a worker seeking to take FMLA leave until the litigation ends. That could take years.

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The National Labor Relations Board has issued a new ruling that only solidifies its activist posture of the last few years.

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The fact that a supervisor may favor a subordinate with whom he is romantically linked doesn’t justify a sex discrimination or harassment lawsuit by someone who isn’t involved in the affair.

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Most employers would prefer employees focus on work and not the state of the world when they are on the clock. So how can you quell political arguments in the workplace? You must balance employees’ interest in speaking freely with your interest in maintaining order and productivity:

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Government employees have limited First Amendment rights when speaking out. But the right doesn’t apply if the public employee is merely doing his or her job.

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You never know which fired employee will sue. That’s why it’s important to make sure every disciplinary decision is based on solid business reasons. You may even want to create an internal disciplinary checklist to ensure managers and supervisors know how to document discipline.

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Certainly, train your managers that they cannot use common racist phrases and names. But go beyond the obvious and provide examples of other terms and behaviors that may not seem obvious. The following case provides an example.

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Some employees will never be satisfied with their employer’s solution to perceived harassment. But if you have fixed the problem, it’s perfectly fine to tell the employee he needs to move on and forget about the past.

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When an employee gets fired, his thoughts may turn to filing a lawsuit—maybe based on some suddenly remembered comment that he took as offensive or another supposedly discriminatory act. Fortunately, courts are rarely persuaded.

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