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The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

McDonald’s workers in three states have filed class-action suits alleging the company super-sized its profits at the employees’ expense.

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While it’s always unacceptable, just because a man hits a female co-worker doesn’t mean she has a sex discrimination or harassment case.

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You probably tell supervisors they shouldn’t punish employees for filing internal or EEOC discrimination complaints. That doesn’t mean employees who complain won’t perceive re­­tali­­ation in every slight change in their work situation. How you react can mean the difference between winning or losing a retaliation lawsuit.

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The FMLA doesn’t prohibit employers from calling an employee occasionally to ask questions about work-related matters. On the other hand, forcing someone to work from home while on leave may qualify as interference with FMLA leave. Sometimes, however, employees insist on working even while they’re on leave. That puts employers in a tricky predicament.

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If you don’t follow the rules, background checks can cause more trouble than they prevent. Your background process can also become the basis for a class-action lawsuit.

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The former owners of People Care Holdings, which provides in-home health services in and around New York City, have agreed to pay $10 million to settle charges they sold company stock to employees at inflated rates.

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Some small nonprofit organizations may think they don’t have to follow Title VII anti-discrimination rules because they only have one or two employees. They could be wrong if the board that manages the organization pays officers to attend meetings and generally holds them accountable for assignments and meetings.

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People say stupid things all the time. When it happens at work, the consequences can be profound. But many dumb slips of the tongue turn out to be merely insensitive, not malicious. As long as the comments don’t become frequent or more severe, there won’t usually be any lasting damage.

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Document every step of the interview process for new applicants and internal candidates. Make sure the process is uniform and that every interviewee gets the same treatment.

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It may seem wrong for an employee who is out on disability leave to work another job. But firing her for allegedly lying about her medical condition may backfire in the form of a disability or retaliation claim.

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