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What Federal Laws Protect You in the Workplace?

The United States has developed a system of laws and regulations that have contributed to safeguarding an employee’s status in the workplace. These laws protect employees from illegal hiring and firing and allow employees to bring civil cases in court against their employers for unfair labor practices. Federal statutes pertaining to employment law include, but are not limited to:

  • Fair Labor Standards Act;
  • Family and Medical Leave Act;
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964; and
  • Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Minimum Wage Hike

In April 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that would gradually increase the minimum wage in New York to $15 an hour. The legislation grouped New York into three different geographic areas: New York City, Long Island and Westchester, and the remainder of New York State. The hike in wages for each area will vary based on the geographic area an individual is employed in.
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What You Should Know About the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC” Act

The media cycle of the past year has been flooded with hundreds of stories of sexual harassment committed by those in positions of power. People are becoming less afraid of sharing their experiences with sexual harassment, which has sparked the #MeToo movement which seeks to unveil the sexual harassment and assault that too often has been concealed. Many of the stories of sexual harassment that have come into the spotlight have been those that have allegedly occurred between employers and employees such as those allegedly involving Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. Continue reading “What You Should Know About the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC” Act”

New York City Council Passes Stop Sexual Harassment Act

Recently, the New York City Council passed a comprehensive package of legislation that aims to combat and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace called the Stop Sexual Harassment Act. The Act seeks to amend the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), as well as the New York City Charter. The Stop Sexual Harassment Act is currently with Mayor Bill de Blasio who is expected to sign the bill into law. Continue reading “New York City Council Passes Stop Sexual Harassment Act”

What You Should Know Before Hiring an Intern

Whether or not an intern is paid is usually a deciding factor in considering hiring one. While many internships are not paid, labor laws usually allow the intern to work for college credit. However, there are restrictions to this exception. An internship must abide by specific criteria in order to be exempt from the Minimum Wage Act and Orders, which outlines New York’s laws regarding pay and overtime. In order to be exempt from this law, an intern cannot be considered an employee and an employment relationship cannot exist between the for-profit business and the intern. It can be determined that an employment relationship does not exist if the relationship meets all of the following criteria:
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The Supreme Court and The Debate Over Joint Employment

On January 8th of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari to take another look at the case of DirecTV, LLC v. Hall. The issue in this case was whether or not the Fourth Circuit misinterpreted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which ultimately decides minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, youth employment, and other employment issues. The FSLA issue the Supreme Court declined to hear is joint employment.
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AG Files Lawsuit against Brooklyn Car Wash for Wage Theft

On January 25, 2018, New York State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman announced he filed a lawsuit against Tropical Breeze Car Wash in Brooklyn, alleging its managers cheated its employees out of more than $540,000 in wages and deliberately filed false information to the state regarding the number of employees and payroll to avoid paying unemployment insurance. The lawsuit names the owner/manager and managers as defendants.
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New York State’s Paid Family Leave Program Begins

What constitutes paid family leave and whether employers should be required to offer it has been a widely debated topic for decades. Recently, New York State has taken a step forward in this issue by granting employees new rights regarding family leave. As of the first day of the new year, the laws outlining employees’ eligibility for paid family leave have been improved in New York State to make it one of the most generous plans in the nation. The program for New York State will be phased in over the course of the next four years, beginning with 8 weeks of paid leave and eventually growing to 12 weeks of paid leave by 2021.
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5 Workplace Laws Employees Need to Understand

Employment at Will

An at-will employee generally has no right to their job. Many employees believe that there are laws that protect them from being fired without reason or notice, but those employees are wrong. Being an at-will employee means that, absent a contractual relationship, your boss does not have to provide you the benefits of such protections as notice or reason for termination. While this may be discouraging news, this also allows you the benefit of quitting your job with no notice or no reason as well.
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Age Discrimination Is Illegal

Recently, a federal lawsuit was filed against Amazon and T-Mobile, among others, for discriminating against older employees in violation of the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA). According to the complaint, these companies posted recruitment advertisements on Facebook, a social media platform, which targeted only specific age groups.
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