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”

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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Paid Sick Leave Law

Under New York City’s Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL), which is enforced by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), any employer with five or more employees must provide paid sick leave, while those with four or less employees are required to only provide sick leave.  The law covers all employees who work more than eighty hours per calendar year and either live or work in New York City. Attending client meetings in New York City constitutes “working in New York City.” This law covers workers that are:
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Pregnancy Discrimination

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) was created to protect women from workplace discrimination due to her pregnancy. Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace may involve any of the following:
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New Year New Minimum Wage Requirements

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill which structures the gradual increase of the minimum wage in New York to $15.00. This structure provides a different schedule in three different regions of New York including, 1. New York City; 2. Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties; and 3. outside Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties. Not only does each region have a different schedule, but each type of business within New York City has different schedules as well.
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Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors

Across the country, more employers are hiring individuals on an as-needed basis.  This often leads to denying workers benefits such as health insurance, overtime, and sick pay, among others. Hiring employees on an as-needed basis may be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Department of Labor has set forth a legal test to determine whether or not a worker is considered an employee or a contractor.
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Sexual Harassment Claims Continue to Accumulate Against the World’s Most Powerful

Recently, there have been multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against some of the world’s most powerful and famous people, including Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and Matt Lauer. These accusations demonstrate instances of sexual misconduct in the workplace where a person of authority uses his or her position to make unwanted sexual advances or sexual requests in exchange for something. Any form of direct or indirect unwelcomed or inappropriate conduct results in a hostile work environment. Some examples of the most common types of sexual misconduct that result in a hostile work environment include:
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Social Media and the Workplace

You just made a controversial Facebook post about the company you work for forgetting your boss is one of your friends. Can you get reprimanded for what you post on your own personal social network? The laws surrounding social media and the workplace are still developing. The best piece of advice to follow is to always be cautious about what you post, whether you are on your own blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account. You are responsible for what you post and who sees it, so post restrictively.
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What Employees Should Know About Employer Medical Information Requests

Employees get asked questions from their employers on a day-to-day basis. Some questions are innocent, while other questions may seem a little more personal. Either way, employees are not usually hesitant to answer employer questions, as they assume that any question asked must be necessary for the employer to know. While in many cases this may be true, when it comes to prying into an employee’s medical information, there are laws that protect employees from having to disclose. Continue reading “What Employees Should Know About Employer Medical Information Requests”

Sex Stereotyping In The Workplace

According to federal anti-discrimination laws, gender identity and gender expression are not protected categories. However, New York City’s statute on employment anti-discrimination includes gender identity and gender expression as protected categories. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins found that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex stereotyping, which may now provide a basis for claims. Continue reading “Sex Stereotyping In The Workplace”