New York City Safe Time Act

On November 6, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) which amends Chapter 8 of Title 20 to the New York City Administrative Code. On May 5, 2018, the new law will take effect that affords leave time to victims and to the family members of victims of family offenses, sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking. Read more

Seasonal Hires Receive Many of the Same Labor Law Protections

Seasonal employees are typically hired to work on a part-time basis for retailers that need extra help around the holiday season. These seasonal positions are a perfect way to provide employees the opportunity to earn extra income to pay for gifts, meals, and even bills. In addition, already employed workers may have the opportunity to receive a supplemental income, which may help to offset the extra money spent during the holiday seasons. Read more

Employers Are Not Allowed To Ask About Past Employment Compensation

On October 31, 2017, a law banning New York City employers from “(1) asking job applicants about their compensation history and (2) relying on a job applicant’s compensation history when making a job offer or negotiating an employment contract, unless freely volunteered by the applicant” took effect. Furthermore, the law also prohibits a potential employer from searching public records in order to obtain a person’s past salary history. A potential employer may only inquire about an applicant’s salary and or benefits expectations, but not history. However, if an applicant freely volunteers his or her past salary, an employer is entitled to verify the information. Read more

New York City Human Rights Law

In 2016, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights experienced a sixty percent increase in complaints relating to discrimination and harassment.

The New York City Human Rights Law is a statute that provides an individual with protections in addition to federal and state regulations. It addresses discrimination in the workplace, housing complexes, public spaces, harassment by law enforcement, and retaliation.  Furthermore, it covers employment discrimination against all New York City workers and even interns. Also, it establishes protected classes, which include:

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Hicks v. Tuscaloosa

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was put in place to prevent discrimination against a woman for being pregnant. The PDA states that there can be no discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Related medical conditions are used as an overreaching term and therefore includes the issues that come with breastfeeding, as it is intrinsically intertwined with pregnancy. Stephanie Hicks, the plaintiff in Hicks v. Tuscaloosa case, was denied accommodations because of her pregnancy-related medical condition and ultimately resigned from her position.

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Don’t Fire An Employee Because Of A Jealous Spouse

Recently, a New York State Court of Appeals restored a gender discrimination case against a wellness clinic. Both defendants were co-owners of the establishment and were husband and wife. The husband had hired the plaintiff in the case as a massage therapist and yoga instructor.  The husband acted as the plaintiff’s supervisor and had a professional relationship during her tenure.  However, he told Plaintiff that his wife was jealous because she was “too cute.”

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Sexual Harassment At The Plaza

The famous Plaza Hotel, located in New York City, has had a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against it by some of its female employees.  The Plaza Hotel is an icon for its famous political figures and entertainers.  While many are shocked by the allegations, sexual harassment in the hotel industry is fairly common.  According to a recent report, 8 in 10 hotel workers have experienced being harassed on the job.

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Changes To The Freelance Law In New York City

In the beginning of 2017, New York City adopted The Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers Act.  The law provides that a company must:

  • Provide a written contract to a freelance worker for services of $800 or more,
  • All payments to a freelancer must be paid on a timely basis and in full; and
  • Prohibits retaliatory action against a freelancer for exercising his or her right under the law.

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Microchip In The Workplace

Recently, a company in Wisconsin will be the first in the United States to put microchip implants in its employees. According to reports, over 50 employees at Three Square Market (32M) are expected to voluntarily have microchips implanted between their thumb and forefinger. The chips are radio-frequency identification chips (RFID) that will be used to perform common office tasks by waving their hand. According to Todd Westby, the implant is the size of a grain of rice.

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Updates To The New York State Paid Family Leave Law

The New York State Paid Family Leave Law requires that every New York State employer provide employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the following:

  • the birth, adoption, or placement of a new child
  • to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or
  • for a qualifying exigency arising from a family member’s military service.

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