The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Do you have an employee who’s threatening to sue if you discipline him? Don’t let that prevent legitimate discipline.

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A school guidance counselor is suing the New York City Department of Education after she was fired after some long-ago photos of her modeling lingerie surfaced on the Internet. Her lawsuit claims discrimination and wrongful termination.

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Back in June, the New York Sen­ate and State Assembly passed an amendment to New York’s wage deduction statute, New York Labor Law Section 193. The amendment—effective Nov. 6, 2012—permits New York ­employers to make a wider range of payroll deductions than in the past, but also imposes several new deduction-related requirements.

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Some employees who are quick to anger may not have the interpersonal skills needed for a promotion, even if they are technically qualified to do the job. If you choose not to promote a hothead, few courts will second-guess your decision …

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The New York Supreme Court has ruled that exotic dancing is not an art form and that, therefore, strip clubs are subject to the state sales tax.

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Many employers have social media policies that attempt to control what employees say on social media. Poli­­cies that overreach may violate the NLRA. In response, the NLRB has issued a memorandum summarizing key points in its recent decisions concerning social media.

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When an employee complains about sexual harassment, protect yourself against a later retaliation lawsuit by following up with her. Your goal: To get her on record as experiencing no backlash, thus making it harder to sue for retaliation.

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A supervisor can’t successfully sue for discrimination merely because management fails to back up his decision to discipline a subordinate. The supervisor must prove that management didn’t support his decision because of his membership in a protected class.

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After you have implemented a reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee’s medical restrictions, it’s up to the employee to ask for any modifications that may be necessary.

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An employee must levy very specific allegations for a bias complaint to become protected activity—unless HR already suspects discrimination.

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