The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Charlene Morisseau, a litigation associate in DLA Piper’s New York City office, lost a $250 million race discrimination lawsuit against the law firm. Morisseau joined the firm in 2003 and was fired in less than a year …

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A former recruiter for K-Sea Transportation of Staten Island is suing the company for $16 million, claiming it failed to address her sexual harassment complaints …

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Fourteen black employees of 180 Connect, a Farmingdale cable television contractor, have filed a lawsuit over a 2006 incident in which a supervisor hung a 15-foot noose in a warehouse. Although the EEOC investigated and eventually dismissed charges brought against the company, the suit alleges the noose was part of a campaign of harassment against black workers …

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Conventional wisdom has been that isolated or “stray” remarks alone by an employer do not prove discriminatory intent. Conventional wisdom may be wrong. A recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals case (Tomassi v. Insignia Financial Group, Inc., 478 F.3d 111, 2007) has clarified what it deemed a misconception of the true meaning of the term “stray remarks”  …

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to compensate employees for any time spent on the job that benefits the employer. There are, however, some exceptions. For example, if employees use their own time to study materials that will qualify them for promotions, that time generally doesn’t have to be paid …

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Former HarperCollins book publisher and celebrity biographer Judith Regan has filed a $100 million lawsuit claiming a senior executive at News Corp. in 2004 encouraged her to lie to federal investigators about her past affair with former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik …

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Free speech protections don’t apply to on-the-job speech, a U.S. District Court judge ruled, ending round one of Debbie Almontaser’s legal bid to regain her job as principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn …

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A New York City Police Department counterterrorism detective said he failed a drug test in 2005 because his wife spiked his meatballs with marijuana …

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If a victim of alleged sexual harassment waits months—or even a year or more—before complaining, you may wonder how serious her claim is. Don’t let your doubts affect how you handle the case. In fact, the best way to protect your organization is to act quickly on all harassment complaints, no matter how improbable, minor or tardy they may seem …

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Employers don’t have to allow employees to take sick or FMLA time just because they claim minor health problems. If you are certain that an illness or injury doesn’t amount to a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA, then there is no reason to run the time against FMLA or sick time …

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