The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

The owners of a Nassau County ­diner face up to four years in prison after a joint federal/state investigation found massive payroll and tax fraud at the restaurant. They pleaded guilty to several felony and misdemeanor counts alleging wage-and-hour violations and shady bookkeeping.

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While workplace romances can cause all kinds of problems, it isn’t necessarily illegal discrimination if a supervisor favors his girlfriend. That’s true even if others feel they are being passed over or otherwise treated poorly because of the affair.

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You have no doubt heard that em­ployees who break the same rule should receive the same punishment. That’s true in most circumstances. However, nothing prevents employers from treating similarly situated employees differently if the facts warrant it. In those cases, however, details matter.

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A federal judge in the Western Dis­­trict of New York has decertified a class of outside salespeople who alleged they were misclassified, citing two recent Supreme Court decisions: Comcast v. Behrend and Dukes v. Wal-Mart.

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It’s summertime, and college interns are filling corporate America’s cubicles. How many of those fresh-faced kids are wage-and-hour lawsuits just waiting to happen?

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Here’s a warning for HR professionals who are reviewing personnel files for use in a lawsuit: Don’t even think about playing games with the judge by failing to hand over everything. For example, if you provide only negative information, chances are a judge won’t be pleased.

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A class of 1,245 exotic dancers will split an $8 million settlement resulting from claims that the Penthouse Executive Club in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood misclassified them as independent contractors.

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In 2008, Congress expanded the FMLA to include two types of military leave: exigency leave and military caregiver leave. In 2010, Congress expanded those leave rights by applying them to the regular armed forces as well as National Guard members and reservists. Now those changes have been officially implemented with new regulations from the DOL.

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Some things are best left unsaid. That includes any comments about how hard it must be for a mother to have a career and raise children. Tell managers to keep the topic out of their office chitchat.

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A Pennsylvania-based energy-industry staffing firm has agreed to pay $190,000 to a black former employee to settle charges that a foreman har­­assed and physically abused the man because of his race.

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