The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Employees who are transferred against their will often sue for discrimination—especially if the new job is less prestigious and makes the employee feel like she has to quit. For example, in the following case, an older teacher claimed she suffered an adverse employment action when she was demoted to substitute teacher at the same time younger teachers were hired.

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Employees who suffer from mental illnesses shouldn’t be treated any differently than other employees unless there is a very good reason. That means not assuming that the employee can’t function or treating him as if he were a child in need of supervision. Instead, let the employee approach you for help with accommodations. Otherwise, assume all is well.

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If you terminate employees who have used up all their FMLA leave and still can’t come back to work, watch out! Make sure you don’t single out any particular class of employees for firing.

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The New York Department of Labor has released new Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act regulations that are more stringent than federal WARN Act provisions. Employers with at least 50 workers (including part-timers) are covered. That means those employers must provide 90 days’ notice of a mass layoff, plant closing or relocation.

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In a case with implications for Albany-area nurses, Illinois nurses have settled a lawsuit that claimed Chicago-area hospitals colluded to depress wages in violation of antitrust laws. Nurse Alliance, affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, has filed a similar suit against Albany-area hospitals.

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In a case with implications for Albany-area nurses, Illinois nurses have settled a lawsuit that claimed Chicago-area hospitals colluded to depress wages in violation of antitrust laws. Nurse Alliance, affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, has filed a similar suit against Albany-area hospitals.

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Sometimes, the best lessons are learned from the worst examples. That’s often the case with HR management. When employers make big mistakes and have to pay for them in court, other employers with good practices—that maybe need just a little tweaking—can discover what not to do.

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Employees who are fired shortly after complaining about a manager’s supposed discriminatory attitude may assume that the complaint led to the termination. And they’re almost sure to sue. To stop such lawsuits from going far, make sure the manager in question has nothing to do with the final decision to terminate. That’s good advice even if you don’t think he or she did anything wrong.

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Supervisors need regular reminders—reinforced with training—that it’s their responsibility to find ways to deal with it when workers go on FMLA leave, no matter how difficult it may be to cover for the absent employee. As the following case shows, courts have no sympathy for employers that fire or make unreasonable demands on employees who exercise their FMLA rights.

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Employment law attorney Eugene D’Ablemont turned 70 years old in 2001. He was just as productive as ever, consistently bringing in more than $1 million in fees to Kelly Drye & Warren, the international law firm in which he is a partner. Now he’s using his decades of legal experience against his own firm.

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