The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

New Yorkers paid the 7th highest rate of per capita state taxes in the country in 2009, according to the taxpayers’ watchdog web site Taxadmin.org. New York had the 11th highest state tax burden in 2008.

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New Yorkers paid the 7th highest rate of per capita state taxes in the country in 2009, according to the taxpayers’ watchdog web site Taxadmin.org. New York had the 11th highest state tax burden in 2008.

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You should be able to rest easy after an employee misses a deadline to file a lawsuit. In the past, courts have been lenient when it comes to those deadlines, especially if the employee doesn’t have an attorney. But now the tide seems to be turning. Courts are beginning to get stricter about deadlines.

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No law bars employers from conducting criminal background checks. However, conducting checks when it isn’t necessary not only wastes resources, it may increase the risk of being sued. The same is true of credit checks. Two lawsuits challenging the fairness of background checks serve as cautionary tales for employers.

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Bical Chevrolet in Queens is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit for what sounds like something out of junior high. Katherine Salas accuses two Bical managers, Charlie Albanese and Michael Inserillo, of snapping her bra up to six times a day and smacking her bottom with a wooden backscratcher.

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Sometimes, it seems as if employees just make up reasons to sue their employers. Fortunately for employers, when employees’ claims turn out to be ludicrous, courts quickly dismiss the lawsuits.

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Can you fire a current employee who, during employment, is convicted of a crime? It’s still not clear that you can fire him because of that conviction. Until the law is clarified, consult your attorney before firing someone based on criminal records.

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Good news for those worried about being on the hook personally for ADA violations: A federal court considering a New York case has rejected an employee’s bid to hold supervisors personally liable for alleged disability discrimination.

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You may not be liable personally under the ADA, but that doesn’t mean you are entirely off the hook. Under the New York State Human Rights Law, an individual who “actually participates in the conduct giving rise to the discrimination claim” can be held liable for the consequences.

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New York City employers may soon find out whether merely being obese is a disability under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). That’s because the federal 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has sent a case back to the trial court for just that determination. If the lower court concludes the NYCHRL does cover obesity, New York City employers will face three standards for disability—the ADA, New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and the NYCHRL.

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