The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Several states, including New York, Massachusetts, California and Illinois, are cracking down on sales tax cheats to help fill state coffers drained by the tanking economy, the Associated Press recently reported.

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The EEOC has sued the Grand Central Partnership—the business-improvement district association for Midtown Manhattan—claiming it refused to accommodate four security guards who wear dreadlocks as required by their Rastafarian religious beliefs …

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Gone are the days when employers could accommodate employees’ religious practices by being flexible about who worked Saturdays and Sundays. Today, employers may have to offer additional prayer breaks in the middle of the workday, too …

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A class of more than 400 current and former managers at Gristede’s grocery stores won summary judgment in federal court on claims that the New York City chain violated the FLSA by treating them as both salaried and hourly employees …

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If your employees sign releases agreeing to settle minor employment-related claims out of court, make sure the language is broad enough to actually stop any further litigation …

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Employees who claim they have been discriminated against because of a protected characteristic such as age or disability have to show that they suffered an adverse employment action. They can’t simply point to a poor performance evaluation.

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Want to avoid needless lawsuits from disgruntled applicants? Adopt some basic rules for handling the selection process, and pay special attention to the all-important job description and interview. As the following case shows, employers that follow some simple rules probably won’t lose a hiring discrimination lawsuit …

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Trying to come up with a reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee? Need more information on her limitations before you can look for possible open positions that may allow her to work? Make sure someone takes charge of coordinating the process so nothing falls through the cracks …

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Sometimes, it takes a strong argument to get supervisors to pay attention. Want them to make absolutely sure no one is being harassed or discriminated against? Just remind bosses that turning a blind eye to workplace problems may cause them terrible legal and financial problems of their own …

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New York state law prohibits discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation. Employers can protect themselves from needless discrimination lawsuits by introducing a robust anti-discrimination policy and a clear and effective process for resolving complaints. Acting fast is the key …

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