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New York Employment Law Blog

Albany whistleblower receives $173,000 in court judgment

A demolition company based in Albany was recently ordered to pay out a six-figure judgment to a former worker. The company had let go of the employee after he had reported improper asbestos removal practices, which per the court, was a violation of his “whistleblower” rights.

The man noticed the hazardous asbestos removal while working at a jobsite at a high school. After reporting the safety risk to his company’s management, they fired him the very next day.

Age discrimination in job ads on Facebook sparks a lawsuit

A federal lawsuit has been filed against Amazon, T-Mobile and others for allegedly discriminating against older employees. The companies placed recruitment ads on Facebook that were targeted to specific age groups. The lawsuit states that the age based targeting practice violates the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA).

 

Can you be terminated while on FMLA?

There may come a time when you need to take a leave from work. Perhaps you are suffering from an illness or injury and need an extensive recovery time. Or maybe you just adopted a child and are taking a leave while going through the adjustment and bonding period. Regardless of the reason, you may be considering taking time away from work, with the expectation that you will have a job to return to.

Since the enactment of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993, eligible employees are able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons. Under FMLA, the employer must keep the job open for the employee so they have a job when they are returning from the leave.

New York employers now barred from asking about salary history

A law went into effect on October 31, 2017 that significantly changes the way in which salary determinations – and negotiations – will occur throughout New York City. This law bars employers of all sizes, public and private alike, from asking applicants about their salary history during the hiring process. Only public agencies whose hiring practices and salary parameters are set by a collective bargaining agreement are exempt.

According to the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the purpose of the law is to ensure that every worker is paid according to his or her qualifications and experience as applicable to the position, not locking them into a cycle of payment based simply on previous salary. NYCCHR research has shown that using salary history as a starting point for negotiations has the potential to create “a cycle of inequity and discrimination in the workplace, which perpetuates lower salaries specifically for women and people of color.”

Sexual harassment awareness on the job—has it changed?

Episodes of Mad Men gave us a glimpse into the sixties work culture, where comments about women’s bodies, clothes and general attractiveness were tolerated, and having a boss who propositioned you was not considered anomalous.

Times changed, rules got stricter, Human Resources started realizing sexual harassment was a big issue and some—but not all—things got better.

Discrimination and retaliation complaints on the rise

It’s every employee’s right to feel safe in the workplace and to have equal opportunity for advancement. While these truths sound self-evident, complaints of discrimination and retaliation for speaking up continue to rise.

Regulated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and by New York law, there are several classes protected against discrimination at work, among them: age, disability, nationality, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and marital status. In a review of 2016 stats—the most current available—complaints rose for the second consecutive year with nearly 100,000 in total.

Whistleblowers: what if you get fired for speaking up?

Despite regulation, the financial industry offers opportunity for fraud and misconduct. While most of your fellow employees will not engage in illegal behavior, you cannot assume that everyone’s actions will remain above board.

If a co-worker’s actions, or company policy, seem to violate regulations, report it to your employer or investigators. As long as you report the perceived violation out of concern, you will be legally protected as a whistleblower. Do you know your rights as a whistleblower?

Are you facing workplace discrimination from pregnancy?

You are a successful businesswoman, and now you are preparing to take on the challenge of motherhood. You feel like you finally have it all – a great career and a growing family. But your company may not be quite as thrilled about your pregnancy as you are. Are you facing workplace discrimination due to your pregnancy?

 

When the stork brings more than a baby

Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting life events possible—and possibly one of the most stressful. While excitement is the primary emotion, welcoming a new family member can also bring concerns about doctor bills, daycare and finances in general.

Knowing that your job is safe when you are expecting and—and with it the concomitant maternity benefits--can relieve a lot of the ancillary concerns. But what happens when you announce your pregnancy and your employer announces your termination?

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