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Sexual Harassment in The New York City Hospitality Industry

New York City is an icon for the rich and famous.  It is also known for its extravagant restaurants and exclusive nightlife. However, for many young women and men working in the NYC hospitality industry, incidents of sexual harassment are very common.  According to a recent report, 8 in 10 hospitality workers have experienced being sexually harassed.

There are many federal laws, as well as many state statutes and city ordinances that govern sexual harassment in the workplace.  According to the law, any unwelcome sexual advances, comments or actions constitute sexual harassment. Advances may be by a co-worker, supervisor, or anyone else in a place of authority. When a person brings an issue of sexual harassment to the attention of a superior or boss, the employer is responsible for addressing the problem and taking action. If not, an employer will be liable regardless of being directly involved in the sexual harassment.
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Study Shows Gender Pay Gap Widens When Taking Bonus Pay into Account

ADP Research Institute® announced it recently released the Rethinking Gender Pay Inequity in a More Transparent World study, which found that the pay gap that currently exists between men and women increases when bonus pay is added into the mix.

The study, which followed 11,000 exempt new hires – both male and female – who worked for the same company from the quarter of 2010 to December 2016, found that, on average, men earn $15,000 more in base salary than women do, which is a 17% discrepancy. When bonus pay is included, bonuses for men are 69% greater, widening the overall pay gap to 19%.
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Result In Reasonable Accommodations

According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), there will be an estimated 1.6 million new cases of inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed in the United States this year. Inflammatory bowel disease is an umbrella term that refers to intestinal disorders that cause prolonged inflammation that result in anemia, ulcers, diarrhea, bowel obstructions, colon cancer, fistulas, and malnutrition.

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), prohibits discrimination against individuals with a qualified disability. The ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees.  Federal employees are afforded protections under the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). In addition, the New York Human Rights Law (NYHRL) provides, “It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to refuse to provide reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities of an employee.” (Executive Law 296(3).)
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LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination

Throughout the past few decades, North American society has become diverse. While many employers are able to see the benefits in honing a diversified team, these wide-spread movements towards equality in the workplace are raising concerns about maintaining the status-quo when welcoming LGBTQ employees into their ranks.

If you or someone you know has fallen victim to workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity, it is important to consult a skilled employment law attorney who can fight to enforce the rights you are entitled to. The Employee’s Lawyer™, Steven Mitchell Sack, has successfully handled thousands of employment law cases for more than 38 years and will help guide you through all aspects of employment law. To schedule a consultation, call our office at (917) 371-8000 or fill out his contact form.

Paid Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave refers to when an employee takes time off of work to grieve and mourn the loss of a spouse, child, or close family member. There are only two states which offer some form of bereavement leave to its workers, which are Oregon and Illinois. However, New York may become the third state to offer a form of bereavement leave.

On June 19, 2018, state legislators passed the proposed bereavement leave bill, which would authorize the expansion of the recently passed Paid Family Leave Act. According to the New York State government website, the Paid Family Leave Act currently authorizes employees to receive twelve paid weeks off to bond with a newly born, adopted, or fostered child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty. The expansion of this act would allow for employees to take a twelve-week paid leave of absence from work to mourn the loss of a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandparent, or grandchild.

If you are an employee and have questions concerning the newly passed bill, it is important to contact an experienced employment attorney who can help you understand the potential benefits. For 38 years, Steven Mitchell Sack, The Employee’s Lawyer™, has been successful in handling thousands of employment law cases and will work to protect your rights as an employee. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (917) 371-8000 or fill out his contact form.

The Job Interview: Questions that are Necessary and Questions that are Off-limits

Interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking. While the complexities of the interview process can deter your attention away from essential legal concepts, it is important to be attentive to what the interviewer is asking, especially in a legal sense. Potential employers should understand what they can and cannot ask of an applicant, but some may fail to recognize the severity of asking a discriminatory question. Questions along the following lines should always be avoided:
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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”