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The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Fortunately for employers, not every temporary physical restriction is a disability under the ADA. Before you entertain accommodations, look at the claimed disability and decide whether the problem will resolve itself within a reasonable time frame or if it permanently impairs a major life function …

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Even with the best sexual harassment training, it’s hard for some employees to grasp exactly what constitutes sexual harassment and what’s merely horseplay or roughhousing—especially when the behavior is directed at the same sex. But that doesn’t mean that an employee who comes forward with that sort of complaint isn’t engaged in protected activity …

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No doubt you have an employee handbook. It probably includes a disclaimer warning employees that the handbook isn’t a contract and that employment is at-will. Make sure each and every at-will employee signs an acknowledgment of receipt so you can prove he or she knew the handbook contained no binding promises …

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A federal judge has approved a $6.2 million settlement for more than 150 sheet metal workers in a 37-year-old lawsuit against a union notorious for racial discrimination …

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Still reeling from a protracted, embarrassing trial and punishing verdict in Anucha Browne Sanders’ sexual harassment suit against New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, Madison Square Garden (MSG) has quietly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with former New York Rangers cheerleader Courtney Prince for an undisclosed amount …

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Two Bronx carwashes, Tremont Car Wash and Webster Car Wash, and their corporate president have agreed to pay $707,298 in back wages and damages to 237 employees. U.S. Labor Department investigators found that employees at both carwashes were required to work more than 70 hours per week without being paid the federal minimum wage or overtime …

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Last year, while you were hard at work, so was the New York Legislature. Lawmakers passed a record number of laws affecting employers in 2007. Some laws you may have read about, while others you may have missed. Make sure you’re up to speed on new state laws that surely will impact how you manage employees in 2008 and beyond …

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CVS Caremark Corp. was fined $226,000 by the U.S. Labor Department for changing employee timecards and violating child labor laws. The department found 43 violations at stores in New York and six other states …

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New York is one of 29 states that have signed memoranda of understanding with the IRS to share enforcement information on employment tax collection matters. The move is part of the IRS’ Questionable Employment Tax Practices initiative …

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Many employers have strict policies on giving references for current or former employees seeking other jobs: Keep it simple—dates of employment, positions held and pay rates. But sometimes supervisors supply glowing recommendations anyway. They need to know that if they do, they had better be willing to stick with the accolades, even if their relationships with the employees change …

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