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The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

A supervisor for Regional International Corp., located near Rochester, said precisely the wrong thing to an EEOC investigator after an employee filed an ADA complaint against the company.

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One of the most difficult aspects of creating a binding arbitration agreement is the almost inevitable litigation over whether the agreement you presented to workers is a legally binding contract. This case shows one way to make a contract binding: Allow employees to opt out up front.

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To date, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has not ruled definitively that the ADA provides an avenue for a claim of a hostile work environment based on disability. That may soon change. A lower court has approved such a case for trial.

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Make sure every boss understands that they may never utter obviously racially offensive slurs at work. Even one instance can, under the wrong circumstances, trigger a lawsuit.

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When disciplining employees, try to stick to objective facts. For example, if a worker isn’t abiding by a dress code, state what rule she is violating. Keep the editorial comments to yourself.

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Simply put, a bad review all by itself isn’t usually grounds for a lawsuit in most cases. However, punishing someone with a bad review because they complained about discrimination may land you in legal trouble.

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Sometimes, investigations don’t go as planned. An employer can have good policies and the best of intentions and still make mistakes. Fortunately, that’s not necessarily the kiss of death for a workplace investigation. Just be prepared to clearly explain what happened.

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Some employees think that if they point out racial homogeneity in a particular office or function, they will be able to persuade a court that they have been discriminated against—even if they have no proof that anything bad happened to them.

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U.S. Citizenship and Customs Enforcement has issued a new Form I-9 that employers must begin using by Sept. 18, 2017. The release shines a spotlight on employers’ interaction with government agencies that enforce immigration laws.

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Employers don’t have to create a perfect workplace that’s completely free of harassment. They merely have to respond to reported harassment in a way that’s calculated to stop it fast.

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