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New York Employment Law Blog

New York seeks to grant workers more paid time off

Paid time off (PTO) has always been one of the more controversial parts of employment law. It varies from business to business on how much they are willing to give it to workers and when they can receive it. Some people think certain businesses suffer from having too much of it available while others believe that some companies not having enough of it will have a negative effect on the worker’s health and personal life.

Most of New York’s lawmakers believe that there needs to be some changes to how PTO works in most workplaces. They have passed laws in recent years to benefit certain groups and may plan new regulations to affect more companies around the area. Workers need to be aware of these current and potentially upcoming laws and how it will affect their jobs.

Recent report showcases struggles for New York's TGNC workers

Within the last couple of decades, New York City’s lawmakers have worked hard to try to minimize the amount of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals. In 2002, they passed the New York City Transgender Rights Law to ban discriminating against TGNC people and denying them access to their preferred bathrooms. This year, they became the fifth place in the U.S. to offer gender-neutral birth certificates, giving residents the option to mark “X” instead of male or female.

However, while these laws made it easier for TGNC residents, it did not eliminate the discrimination against the community as a whole. The New York City Anti-Violence Project recently published a report that focused on the amount of discrimination TGNC employees were receiving in the workplace. Despite the laws in the city, many feel that there is still have a long way to go before these workers will feel safer in their work environment.

Several state workers keep jobs despite employee lawsuits

State workers should be highly educated individuals that treat both coworkers and the people they are serving with a sufficient amount of respect. However, there have still been many lawsuits in the past against them citing incidents of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. People trust these individuals to be courteous workers, but some choose to shatter that trust and put others in danger in the process.

In the last few years, there have been a wide assortment of legal incidents within state workplaces. However, many accused workers still continue their jobs after the supposed victim’s compensation. A recent article by NBC New York highlights how many have kept their positions after controversial lawsuits, how much has been paid by the taxpayers to compensate and why so many continue to operate.

Department store continues to face discrimination lawsuits

Discrimination and harassment lawsuits can be very damaging to a company’s reputation regardless if they turn out successful. If a company is on trial for sexual harassment, it could discourage women from purchasing their products or applying for a job there. Strict employment policies must be upheld to ensure that all workers feel safe and welcome to work at an organization.

Unfortunately, businesses that are highly competitive can bring out the worst in their workers. Recently, eight men filed a discrimination lawsuit against the luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue, who’s flagship store is in New York City.

Breach of contract under the big top

Most industries have a handful of veterans who have been around long enough to provide immense value. Under the big tent that is the entertainment industry, lies the smaller tent that is the circus. Today’s circus world knows Larry Solheim as a veteran in the industry. Mr. Solheim has long worked in the industry and now serves in many executive functions.

In 2015, Mr. Solheim claims that he was hired to pull the failing Big Apple Circus from the grips of bankruptcy. He served as vice president and general manager while his wife served in an administrative role. When things continued going south, Mr. Solheim claims that promises made to him were not kept by the partners. Eventually, a new CEO reportedly fired Solheim, and his wife “…without warning, or discussion of any performance problems.”

What employers can learn from Netflix’s firing policies

Just a decade ago, a little-known company called Netflix pushed boundaries by offering a streaming service in addition to their DVD and Blu-ray rentals. Netflix is now a massive corporation reaching numerous countries around the world.

One reason for Netflix’s success may lie in its company culture. Businesses large and small look to the streaming giant as a model for efficiency, ambition and innovation. However, there is one aspect of Netflix’s culture that many employers find controversial: Its firing policy.

What you should know about starting a business

The entrepreneurial bug is hard to shake. At some point you might want to take your ideas and turn them into reality. Starting a business is an exciting life decision, but it’s no secret that it takes a lot of hard work with high risk. There are many elements that go into starting a business and you might not fully know what you are getting yourself into.

Here are three important parts of starting a business you should know about before jumping in head first.

New York enforces sexual harassment prevention training

After almost a year after the #MeToo movement began, New York has begun implementing its newer policies to minimize the amount of sexual harassment in the workplace. Earlier in the summer, they passed several different laws that focus on nondisclosure agreements, notifying employers of the sexual harassment policy, and new training standards to keep the employees up to date on sexual harassment guidelines.

New York has become the fourth state behind Connecticut, Maine and California to require this type of training. It is important to know what requirements are expected for individuals in the state of New York as well as New York City as there are now stronger expectations of how individuals need to behave in the workplace

Alternative contract dispute resolutions: Avoiding court costs

You and your employer vehemently disagree on the interpreted elements of your signed contract. Perhaps you thought you would receive more pay, better benefits or a longer employment term, and you want to settle the dispute in court.

Yet court fees become increasingly expensive, especially involving lengthy disagreements. You have the ability to engage in a process titled Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) and avoid the stress and cost of court altogether. Two ways to conduct ADR processes exist in New York for your contract dispute, and hiring an experienced attorney to guide you in the direction of choosing the right form of ADR is essential. Should you and your employer prove unable to agree, your attorney will then collect evidence and fight for your rightful contract benefits in court.

What you need to know about surety bonds

New York City is always changing and growing. Some buildings are torn down, some are remodeled and some are built new from the ground up. As an NYC construction professional, you understand the demand is there, but that does not mean the process is easy. You must deal with clients, employees, city regulations and possibly subcontractors. Depending on what type of project you are working on, you may be required to sign surety bonds. Here is what you need to know about surety bonds before you get started.

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