The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 3
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The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

An employee who believes she has been fired for discriminatory reasons has the right to sue her employer as soon as she receives a termination notice. That’s true even if the termination isn’t yet effective.

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Many employers have maternity leave policies that provide a period of paid time off following birth or adoption. That’s fine. But if you intend for paid maternity leave to run concurrently with federal FMLA leave, be sure you spell that out.

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Sometimes, it is up to HR to stop bosses from doing the wrong thing—for example, when he is frustrated because he has to accommodate a disabled worker’s medical restrictions. If the supervisor comes up with an obviously implausible reason to fire the worker, expect trouble.

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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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