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Five Things to Know About Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is an unpleasant, but unfortunately common, part of the modern workplace. Men and women alike must deal with coworkers and superiors who do not respect their boundaries and see no problem in using their position to pressure others with improper behavior. However, there are steps you can take if you have been the victim of sexual harassment, and knowing your rights can help protect you, or at least redress the harm you’ve suffered. Continue reading “Five Things to Know About Workplace Sexual Harassment”

Federal Appeals Court Permits Ban on Secondary Boycotts

The Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has affirmed a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that stated that secondary boycotts are not constitutionally protected as free speech. This follows similar rulings from the DC Circuit and Second Circuit, both of which have also refuted arguments saying that said that secondary boycotts should qualify as free speech. This is seen as a blow to labor organizers, who have long tried to argue for the constitutionality of secondary boycotts, with little success. Continue reading “Federal Appeals Court Permits Ban on Secondary Boycotts”

Four Common Kinds of Employer Retaliation

It is illegal under the New York Human Rights Law for an employer in New York State to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race, sex, creed, color, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, marital status, domestic violence victim status, military status, criminal or arrest record, or predisposing genetic information. It is also illegal to retaliate against an employee for making a complaint, either to their employer or to the government, based on discrimination they experience or observe. However, not all forms of retaliation are easy to spot. Here’s just a handful of ways an employee can be retaliated against by their employer:

Being fired or having pay cut

By far one of the most obvious forms of retaliation, an employer accused of discriminating against their employees may simply decide to get rid of the employee who complained about them. Alternately, they may decide to punish an employee by cutting their pay. Obviously, this can have severe economic consequences, and sometimes simply wielding the threat of a firing or a pay cut can be enough to stifle would-be complainants.

Suffering abuse or harassment

Another of the more obvious forms of retaliation, an employer who is displeased with an employee complaint can simply choose to berate, harass, intimidate, or even assault the complaining employee. While, again, these are all illegal, an employer who is already discriminating against their employees may be willing to commit illegal acts to cover up other illegal acts. The goal in harassing or abusing complainants is to either get them to drop their complaints, or to get them to leave the company on their own volition, which would deprive them of any benefits they might otherwise get for having their job terminated.

Getting passed over for promotions or raises

Just as victims of employment discrimination might find their opportunities for advancement within their company cut off, so too might people who complain about discrimination find themselves unable to get raises or promotions, despite the work they put in or the success they have at their job. It becomes a way of quietly smothering a person out of the job, by making it impossible to advance a career. This can be more difficult to prove as people get passed over for raises and promotions all the time, for reasons that have nothing to do with employee retaliation.

Negative employee reviews

An increasingly common way for employers to retaliate against employees who complain about discrimination is to give them bad performance reviews. Employees who previously excelled in their job may find their reviews becoming worse, even if they haven’t changed anything else about their work habits or attitude. The reviews may say they “don’t take direction well,” or that they’re “not a team player,” or that they “lack emotional intelligence.”

If you have been discriminated against by your employer, or have suffered retaliation for complaining about discrimination by your employer, you seek the guidance of an experienced New York employment lawyer who can protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf during the legal process. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with forty years of experience in handling the many aspects of employment law. To schedule an appointment with New York City employment lawyer Steve Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.

Four Common Wage and Hour Disputes

The most fundamental part of any employment relationship is the basic notion that a worker will receive wages from his/her employer in exchange for services rendered. That basic concept, however, often leads to conflict and strife, as there are constantly wage and hour disputes between workers and employers about how much they’re owed for the work they put in. Here’s just a handful of common “wage and hour” disputes that happen every day: Continue reading “Four Common Wage and Hour Disputes”

Supreme Court Considers LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Case

The Supreme Court is currently considering a case, Bostock v. Clayton County, which may have an impact on LGBTQ rights across the United States. The plaintiff in the case was allegedly fired from his job after his employer discovered he had joined a baseball team for gay men. This case has become a focus of national attention to see whether the Supreme Court is willing to recognize employment discrimination because of sexual orientation as legally protected in the same way that many other forms of discrimination are. Continue reading “Supreme Court Considers LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Case”

The Scourge of Misclassified Employees

Under federal law, there are two primary kinds of paid workers: employees, and independent contractors. And whether intentionally or accidentally, employers are mixing up the two, to the detriment of their own workers. Being misclassified can have major financial and legal implications to an employee, and it’s important to know what to do if you think you’ve been misclassified. Continue reading “The Scourge of Misclassified Employees”

What is the “Right to Work?”

When people talk about labor law and unionization, one of the arguments that often comes up is about the so-called “right to work.” It’s often brought up as one of the reasons not to unionize, and “right to work” legislation has been passed in many states throughout the country. But what, exactly, is the “right to work,” and why do union organizers hate it so much? Continue reading “What is the “Right to Work?””

The Right to Unionize

The Constitution of the United States guarantees its citizens the right to freely associate, and to peacefully assemble for political purposes. However, the modern labor union only dates to the 1930s, with the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Until that point, labor unions were made illegal, and were often broken up by police, or sometimes even by the State or National Guard. Moreover, there are still many people who are not allowed to legally unionize, or who have their right to organize significantly restricted. How can this be true? Continue reading “The Right to Unionize”

When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky

When people think of employment discrimination, whether based on gender, race, age, sexuality or disability, they usually have a specific picture of what that looks like. They imagine bigoted tirades or inappropriate physical contact, or managers or executives outright declaring their refusal to treat certain kinds of people as equals. That said, with employers now more conscious of lawsuits than ever, discrimination can often take more subtle forms. Continue reading “When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky”

Can My Employer Really Look at My Credit History?

When people think about what an employer might examine to evaluate their employees, they think of things like their resume or curriculum vitae, their references, their criminal background check or even how they dress. However, many employers now add an additional step to their employee evaluation process: a credit check. Most people may be surprised to discover an employer can do this, and they’re probably curious as to why. Continue reading “Can My Employer Really Look at My Credit History?”