The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Election year politics has a strange way of focusing employers and employees on the larger issues—such as jobs, wages and the economy. HR pros should pay attention to election year buzz. Knowing what’s on employees’ minds as they go to the polls can help savvy employers get a glimpse of the future workplace.

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The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is being tested in court, and employers are finding that judges are becoming more flexible when it comes to employers’ rights to manage the work force while soldiers are away …

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Incoming Gov. David Paterson hadn’t even taken his oath of office before he was hit with allegations of race discrimination during his term as Senate Democratic leader. Joseph Maiorello, a former Senate minority photographer, has filed an EEOC lawsuit alleging Paterson fired him because he is white …

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Allied Aviation Services Inc., a New York-based provider of fuel services, settled an EEOC lawsuit for $1.9 million, following claims of persistent race discrimination at its facility at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport …

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Michael Schmuely, owner of Books for Less, a wholesale bookseller in Brooklyn, will pay $180,000 to 21 former employees to settle a federal race discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged that Schmuely frequently used the “n” word and referred to the warehouse as a “plantation” …

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The ADA protects only truly disabled employees from discrimination. It isn’t enough that someone has been diagnosed with a medical condition—even a serious-sounding one like diabetes or a hepatitis infection. Each ADA case is judged on how the illness affects the individual …

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When entertainment venues sell prepaid tickets, these often include a “service charge.” If the business tells inquiring buyers that the service charge is a tip, and therefore discourages them from leaving additional money, the business can’t keep the money. It doesn’t matter whether the service charge is voluntary or mandatory …

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Victory wasn’t so sweet for thousands of employees who sued Armonk-based IBM claiming the company had illegally classified them as exempt. IBM agreed to reclassify them, making them eligible for overtime pay. The catch? The company cut their salaries by 15% …

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A strike by workers at five American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings (AAM) plants in New York and Michigan led to temporary closures at more than a dozen General Motors plants in February and March …

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Sometimes, despite uncertainty about whether or not discrimination has occurred, you still may have to fire an employee. But what if you turn out to be wrong? Will that mean a huge punitive damages award? Not if you can show that before the decision was made, you consulted an attorney. That’s right: Calling in the lawyers is the best insurance—if you do it right …

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