For years, New Yorkers and individuals around the country have been aware of the ongoing lawsuit that alleged racial discrimination against one of the most notable fire departments in the nation, the FDNY. However, in early March, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration have finally brought the lawsuit to an end.
As an employee, you spend much of your time and energy dedicated to your work and career. In return, you expect compensation but you also expect to be treated fairly, honestly and with respect. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination occurs all too often around the country and it acts a reminder of the difficulties many employees have to face.
For the first time in history, college athletes are petitioning to be represented by labor unions and have taken the first step in the process of being recognized as employees under the National Labor Relations Act.
Although it may seem to be a primitive concept to many, that pregnant women deserve the same protections that other groups receive regarding employment laws, it is not the case. While there have been some small and local victories, a national victory has yet to be gained.
Despite the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978’s bar on discrimination toward pregnant employees, many American women are forced out of their jobs or denied accommodations that would allow them to continue working once they become pregnant.
Ramon Alcantara, a former employee of Pebble Beach Co. for over 20 years, alleges he was fired as a result of age discrimination late in 2013. According to the complaint, Alcantara, who is over 55 years of age, injured his back while replacing a 50-pound pump motor at the beach and tennis club.
Diana St Gerard, 64, a nurse in the mental health unit at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, Long Island claims that she was mocked by colleagues who said her Haitian accent was “irritating.” More importantly, Ms. St Gerard alleges that she was fired after complaining that several white staffers discriminated against her, minority patients and their families. She went on to explain that a co-worker even mocked her with a voodoo doll because of her nationality.
If you are working at Starbucks and think your “shift supervisors” shouldn’t be sharing in your tips, then it may be time to move out of New York State and into Massachusetts.
The 2nd Circuit Court, whose jurisdiction extends to New York, Vermont and Connecticut, ruled against baristas in a class action claiming that their shift supervisors should not be allowed to grab a cut of their bounty under state labor law. In 2008, baristas Jeana Barenboim and Jose Ortiz sued Starbucks for more than $5 million on behalf of more than 5,000 of their fellow employees serving at 400 New York stores. They claimed that the chain’s corporate structure made them share their hard-earned tips with their “shift supervisors,” whom they alleged to be actually their bosses. This put the company in violation of New York Labor Law, according to the lawsuit.
An employer has certain rights to manage his/her business as he/she seems fit, and to ensure a safe working environment. However, an employee, as well as a private individual has certain privacy rights that the law protects. So where is the line drawn between what an employer is allowed to search for and where? And when does an employer’s actions cross the line regarding a search.
As an employee, it is vital to know your rights and to know what to look out for as possible violations by an employer. Here’s a section of my book “The Employee Rights Handbook” that deals with this area of the law and gives you a glimpse into what kind of questions you should be asking yourself to ensure your employer’s actions are legal. Get informed and know your rights!
Finding a job is hard enough without having to worry about the integrity of your employer. However, the amount of scams out there is numerous and if a potential employee is not careful, they can be the victim of one that can have major consequences for their career. It is vital to get informed and know what to ask and look for in a potential employer.
Here’s a section of my book “The Employee Rights Handbook” that deals with tips an employee should know before taking any position at a company. Get informed and know your rights to see how these laws may affect you!