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The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Reasonable employers always fare better in court than unreasonable ones. That’s one reason to keep care­­ful disciplinary records showing every­thing you did to help an employee perform well despite obvious problems. If he’s ultimately terminated, the court probably won’t second-guess the decision.

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HR professionals can’t be everywhere at once, making sure no boss ever harasses a subordinate. It will happen, even in the best, most progressive organizations. Protect against such nonsense with a robust anti-harassment policy and a commitment to promptly investigate harassment allegations.

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According to a recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision, what one woman considers an innocent brush may be construed by the other woman as intentional same-sex harassment—and juries are best equipped to sort out who is right.

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Some employees believe that any physical problems that linger after surgery or other medical treatment are disabilities that entitle them to ADA protection. That’s not true. Disabilities are permanent. Temporary, post-surgical problems don’t qualify.

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The DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy commissioned a study to explore barriers to employing the disabled and guidance for employers in hiring and managing disabled em­­ployees. The study urges employers to follow these strategies to avoid age discrimination complaints:

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Under the Uniformed Services Em­­ployment and Reemployment Rights Act, employees called to active military service are entitled to return to their jobs. That’s not true of independent contractors. But they must really be independent contractors.

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New York City exotic dancer Crystal DiCesare is suing Dial-A-Dancer—a company that sends strippers and porn stars to entertain at private functions—for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Kelley Drye & Warren, a New York City law firm with more than 300 attorneys, had a policy of requiring partners who reached age 70 to relinquish equity in the firm, receiving only discretionary bonuses. Too bad for the firm that Eugene D’Ablemont knew the law …

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A New York federal trial court has sidestepped the question of whether harassment based on military service is illegal under USERRA.

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Employees who want to take additional intermittent leave under the FMLA must comply when their employer asks for recertification.

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