The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

If you use mandatory arbitration agreements, take the extra time to make sure courts will enforce them. In New York, that means showing that the applicant or employee knew that getting and keeping her job required agreeing to arbitration of all employment disputes.

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Employees who engage in some form of protected activity—such as filing an EEOC complaint, participating in a discrimination case or complaining about possible discrimination to the company—are protected from retaliation for doing so. But often employees who complain about one thing end up suing on entirely different grounds …

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Courts traditionally have been lenient with plaintiffs who represent themselves, giving them every benefit of the doubt. As this case shows, that seems to be changing.

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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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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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