The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

A busboy who worked in singer and actor Justin Timberlake’s Manhattan restaurant, Southern Comfort, is suing the star seeking unpaid wages and tips.

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Many employers make mistakes when it comes to classifying employees—either exempt (salaried) or nonexempt (hourly) from the federal overtime rules. Those mistakes can lead to expensive class-action lawsuits. And if employers failed to track hours worked, it makes it all the more difficult to settle the case.

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Age bias has no place in the workplace, and managers are primarily in charge of preventing it. Warn them against making any statements that may indicate management or your organization prefers younger employees to older ones.

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Miron Berenshteyn, a former computer programmer for Lehman Brothers in Jersey City, has filed a $5 million lawsuit alleging the company violated the federal and New Jersey WARN acts when it laid off more than 100 workers in September.

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If your business depends on solid client relationships, now is the time to safeguard those relationships with a restrictive covenant that prevents employees from jumping ship and taking customers with them.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a reverse discrimination ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which had upheld a lower court’s decision that the city of New Haven, Conn., could refuse to certify the results of two fire department promotion exams…

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According to a forecast by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, New York City will lead the nation in job losses in 2009. The Big Apple is expected to lose about 181,000 jobs this year—most of which can be attributed to the collapse of the city’s financial sector.

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Watch out if you ever fine employees, force them to pay others to perform work they can’t finish or make them provide their own equipment. Those expenses may cause them to earn less than the minimum wage.

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Employees who work in a union setting often cannot take temporary assignments into management without losing the benefits of their union membership. One such benefit is often seniority. Employees must sue right away if they lose seniority.

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Three former detectives for the Nassau County Police Department’s 8th Precinct in Levittown have won a $1 million verdict for sexual harassment and discrimination.

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