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 83
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The HR Specialist: New York Employment Law

Some hourly employees have begun to argue that if they begin the day with a few work emails, they should be paid for the time they spend commuting to work. Fortunately, a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals panel has nixed that argument. Had the case gone the other way, employers could have faced huge bills for paid commuting time.

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Employers are now free to set the percentage of employee tips that can be placed in a tip pool. In years past, several court decisions conflicted with the U.S. Department of Labor’s position restricting the amount of tips an employer could require to be pooled.

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A woman who used to work for New York City’s Human Resources Administration has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against a former supervisor she says drunkenly fondled her. The city agency and the union that represents agency employees are also named as defendants.

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Some employees think that merely having a serious medical or mental condition is enough to warrant ADA protection. But that’s not true.

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It happens—employers make mistakes. Under most circumstances, however, those mistakes won’t turn into successful employee discrimination lawsuits. That’s because employees have to prove that both the decision and the underlying facts were wrong and were used as an excuse to discriminate.

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When disciplining conduct that violates company policies, remember that you have leeway to come up with appropriate punishment based on the specifics of each incident. Just make sure you document the conduct, what rules it violated and why each employee deserved the punishment he or she received.

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Employers are used to breathing a sigh of relief when 300 days pass without learning that a former employee has filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC or the New York State Division of Human Rights. They assume that missing the deadline means the employee won’t be able to sue. Not so fast!

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Educators in Rochester are suing Jean-Claude Brizard, who headed the city’s school system for three years before being tapped to run Chicago’s schools.

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Here’s a tip for employers that make snap decisions and then quickly reconsider: Don’t hesitate to fix the problem; that could convince a court to toss out a lawsuit.

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Does this sound familiar? An employee you fired for cause is either unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for poor performance and files a lawsuit claiming unlawful discrimination. The pending litigation forces the em­ployer into a sticky dilemma …

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