The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Sometimes, it may seem like a good idea to simply settle a case and move on—especially if the case is taking up lots of time. Before you agree to a settlement amount, consider whether you really want the employee to stay with your organization.

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Michael Forde, executive secretary-treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters and Joiners, has been charged with taking bribes from contractors in return for providing lower labor costs.

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Employers that support pregnant and working mothers fare better if they do get sued by someone who believes she suffered pregnancy discrimination. That’s because courts are reluctant to believe that an organization would suddenly become biased after demonstrating a history of progressive policies for pregnant women and working mothers.

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Disabled employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations that allow them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. If those accommodations turn out to be unreasonable—that is, they prove to be an undue burden on the employer—then they can be withdrawn. What it means: There’s no harm in trying an accommodation.

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The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee who was passed over for a promotion can’t later use the poor performance of the person who got the job to prove the decision was discriminatory. The case shows that courts are willing to let employers make mistakes; they won’t micromanage hiring and promotion decisions.

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Employees who are disabled after an injury on the job often apply for workers’ compensation. Receiving those benefits, however, isn’t a bar to asserting ADA and state disability claims, as a federal court hearing a New York case recently concluded.

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A recent federal court decision means you’ll now have to go the extra mile to prove that your worker is an independent contractor, not an employee. Advice: Take steps to document exactly why you believe someone is an independent contractor when you begin using his or her services.

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Managers of the massive federally funded Starrett City housing complex in Brooklyn have settled with the EEOC, bringing a halt to a lawsuit that accused the management company of disability discrimination after it allegedly failed to promote an employee because he suffers from attention deficit disorder.

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In a Brookings Institution report titled “Job Sprawl Revisited: The Changing Geography of Metropolitan Employment,” the New York/Long Island/Northern New Jersey metropolitan area ranked second in the country (just behind Virginia Beach, Va.) with 34.8% of its jobs located within three miles of the city center.

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