The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

There’s no state or federal law that requires work to be easy or fun. As long as managers treat employees alike—without regard to race, age, sex or other protected characteristic, and don’t otherwise violate the law—they can be as unpleasant as they want.

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The National Basketball Association faces a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by a woman who was once a senior account executive for the league.

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Track every employee’s use of FMLA leave and what happens when he returns to work. Why? If you happen to terminate the employee shortly after he returns from approved FMLA leave, he may claim retaliation.

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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could answer a crucial question when an employee who is a member of a protected class alleges retaliation: Must he prove his protected status was the sole motive for retaliation, or can it be just one of many possible reasons?

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The fear of being sued became a self-fulfilling prophecy for Collin De Rham, a screenwriter for the hit cable series “Mad Men,” and his wife after they fired the nanny who cared for their young child.

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Late in 2012, the NLRB left many employers scratching their heads—and pulling their employee handbooks off the shelf. Until recently, the NLRB pretty much limited itself to dealing with labor unions and the right to organize, leaving employers alone as long as no union activity was involved. That’s all changed in the past year.

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Hurricane Sandy … the derecho last June … employers must be prepared for a variety of disaster scenarios. Two very practical matters employers must deal with in the aftermath of a disaster: workplace cleanup and paying workers. Federal law affects both.

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New EEOC guidance shows how Title VII and the ADA may affect employer efforts to assist employees victimized by domestic violence. It shows how em­­ployers might be inadvertently compounding victims’ pain—and how that might create legal liability.

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During tough economic times, businesses often have to cut labor budgets and eliminate positions. Smart employers make sure they document that process with facts and figures—just in case an affected employee decides to sue and tries to parlay a few stray, insensitive comments into the “real” reason she lost her job.

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Everyone knows it’s retaliation to demote or fire an employee after he complains about discrimination or cooperates in an investigation. But what about less drastic actions? They might be retaliation, too, under the right circumstances. That can even include excessive monitoring after the employee has complained.

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