Many employers have attempted to initiate rules against employee cell phone use during work hours to curtail texting, using social media, or browsing the internet. Given the importance of the devices in most peoples’ day-to-day lives, courts have generally frowned upon broad bans on cell phone use. However, in at least one narrow case, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been willing to approve an employee cell phone ban. Continue reading “NLRB Upholds Employee Cell Phone Ban”
An article in the National Law Review has noted that employers in many states may want to reconsider their zero tolerance policies when it comes to marijuana use. For many years, even medical marijuana users with state-issued cards were being fired for testing positive for marijuana use, with few repercussions. However, as both medical and recreational use become more common, these stringent policies have become not only outdated, but potential liabilities for employers. Continue reading “Employers May Need to Reconsider Zero Tolerance Marijuana Policies”
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that some “no-fault” attendance policies may violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), depending on how they treat time taken off under the FMLA. While no-fault policies are seen in many places as preferable to divided sick and vacation days, their implementation may actually discourage people to take off time they’re legally entitled to. When that happens, an employer may be held liable. Continue reading “Sixth Circuit Rules Some No-Fault Attendance Policies May Violate FMLA”
The United States District Court of Maryland has ruled that an employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when he was dismissed due to vision problems. The vision problems were caused by a benign brain tumor for which the employee was seeking medical treatment. The employer argued the condition didn’t legally constitute a disability. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) disagreed, and the District Court affirmed the EEOC’s decision. Continue reading “Company Violated ADA By Firing Man With Vision Problems”
Barnes and Noble, the bookstore chain with locations around the country, is facing a possible class action lawsuit from employees who claim they were fired due to their age. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Northern California, accuses the chain of deliberately purging the company of older workers in an attempt at cutting costs. The lawsuit blames the age discrimination in part on Elliott Management Corp., a hedge fund that took control of Barnes and Noble in August. Continue reading “Lawsuit Claims Barnes and Noble “Purged” Older Workers”
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.
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”
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives qualifying employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. It allows employees to take a reasonable amount of unpaid leave time for medical or family reasons such as:
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:
Continue reading “Pregnancy Discrimination”
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.”