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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Predictive Scheduling For Fast Food Workers In New York

On May 30, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to implement predictive scheduling for non-salaried fast food employees in New York City. This law requires that employers post a worker’s schedule 14 days in advance. If a schedule is changed with less than 14 days notice, an employer must pay a premium. This creates a private right of action for employees with his or her employer. The legislation will take effect in 180 days.

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Another Court Settlement in Unpaid Intern Case

Recently, American fashion designers and former child actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have moved to settle a lawsuit brought by a former intern. In September 2015, Shahista Lalani filed suit against the the sisters, known collectively as the Olsen twins, in New York Supreme Court, alleging that she worked 50-hour weeks without pay or college credit. Ms. Lalani filed a “proposed class action to join other unpaid interns” who had worked for the Olsen twins. She requested the court grant damages, minimum wage, and overtime. In 2012, Ms. Lalani worked for the clothing line “The Row,” a high-end fashion line owned by the Olsen twins.

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Porn In The Workplace Is Grounds For Sexual Harassment

Every year thousands of employees download and view pornography in the workplace.  Pornography companies claim that as much as 60 million free porn sites are accessed from office buildings each day. According to a survey conducted by the Berman Group in 2014, as many as 63 percent of adult men and 36 percent of adult women have looked at pornography at least one time while at work in the past 3 months. In a 2003 study conducted by Business and Legal Reports, as many as two-thirds of human resources professionals have discovered pornography on employee computers.

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Medical Exam Company Agrees to Stop Forcing its Employees from Entering into Restrictive Covenants

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced that Examination Management Services, Inc. (EMSI), a medical information and examination services firm, has agreed not to require its non-management employees in the state to enter into restrictive covenants, also known as non-compete agreements. This was reported in Newsday.

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New York Times Top Executives Face Lawsuit For Racial, Age and Sexual Discrimination towards Employees

The top executives at The New York Times have come under a multimillion-dollar class action lawsuit for creating “a culture of discrimination” at the company based on age, gender and race. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two African-American female employees in their 60s who worked in the paper’s advertising department. The two women alleged that they were paid less than younger, white employees and were overlooked for promotions within the Times.

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Significant Employee versus Independent Contractor Developments

All companies must now be familiar with the Labor Department’s new rules defining independent contractor versus employee status for several reasons.  In addition to working for principals as an independent worker, many rep firms hire employees to assist in their businesses.  When are workers employees? When are they contractors?  These are differences in definitions that have huge legal implications.

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NYC Employers Fined for Not Allowing Employees Sick Leave

In 2014, New York City Mayor de Blasio signed into effect the Earned Sick Time Act, and later approved further amendments that would offer employees greater protection by expanding the Act.  Recently, companies such as Best Buy and FedEx have been fined for not complying with the law that went into effect in April 2014.

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The Zika Virus and Workers’ Compensation

The Zika virus, which was originally identified in 2015, has spread to approximately 33 countries.  Many of the countries are in the Americas.  Recently, the World Health Organization has announced an international health emergency because it is now thought the virus is linked in causing microcephaly.

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Attorney General Schneiderman Announces $46,000 Settlement with C&S for Firing Employees Injured on the Job

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced on July 22 of last year a settlement of $46,000 with C&S Wholesale Grocers for terminating employees who were injured on the job. The settlement followed an investigation by the Attorney General into C&S Wholesale Grocers, popularly known as “C&S”, the largest wholesale grocery company in the country.

The investigation followed an appeal in which the Attorney General’s Office successfully represented the Worker’s Compensation Board.

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