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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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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Beware of Signing Employment Contracts with Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive covenants are provisions in employment agreements that prohibit a person from working for a competitor after leaving his or her employer. The effect of such clauses varies greatly. In addition from limiting a former employee’s job opportunities, a restrictive covenant allows an employer to restrict the former employee from starting a business or forming a venture with others that competes against the former employer; contacting or soliciting former or current customers or employees of the former employer; and using confidential knowledge, trade secrets and other privileged information learned while working for the former employer. Many employers also place time and geographical restrictions in these covenants.

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New Bill to Tighten Restrictions on Employer Inquiry into Applicant Criminal Record

A new NYC Council bill proposes barring employers from asking job candidates if they have a criminal record, or have ever been convicted of a crime, and is expected to become law in New York City very soon.

The ‘Ban the Box’ bill would will essentially prohibit the widely used “check boxes” on job applications that ask about past convictions. Furthermore, the new legislation would prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record until a conditional job offer has been offered.

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Bed Bath & Beyond Fined for Discriminating Against Job Applicants

It is no surprise that individuals convicted of a crime experience hardships when looking for employment. However, can an employer deny an applicant simply based on the fact that the applicant is an ex-con? Earlier this April, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reminded mega-store Bed Bath & Beyond that those types of discriminatory hiring practices are illegal in New York.

During the investigation, Schneiderman’s office found Bed Bath & Beyond automatically disqualified job applicants with felony convictions without evaluating their criminal records individually, as required by state law.

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