In 2016, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights experienced a sixty percent increase in complaints relating to discrimination and harassment.
The New York City Human Rights Law is a statute that provides an individual with protections in addition to federal and state regulations. It addresses discrimination in the workplace, housing complexes, public spaces, harassment by law enforcement, and retaliation. Furthermore, it covers employment discrimination against all New York City workers and even interns. Also, it establishes protected classes, which include:
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Last year, Mayor de Blasio signed into effect new sick leave laws that would offer employees greater protection by expanding the previous legislation. Recently, companies such as Best Buy and FedEx have been fined for not complying with the law that went into effect last April.
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McDonald’s has recently taken measures to improve wages and benefits for its employees. However, these newly implemented policies will only affect those employed by the company stores, not franchisees. As part of the new benefits, employees will see an increase in salary to at least $1 above the local minimum wage, eligibility for time off, and a new program applying to all employees who wish to earn a high school diploma or fund their college education. 90,000 workers would be affected at 1,500 McDonald’s restaurants. This means that 90% of McDonald’s workers would not see these benefits as the majority of the restaurants are franchisee-owned.
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In the much anticipated Supreme Court decision in the case of Young v. UPS, the Court remanded the case back to the 4th Circuit. Although the Supreme Court did not directly decide the issue of whether UPS violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, in not offering Young a disability accommodation due to her pregnancy, it held that Young’s claim should at least be heard. Advocates celebrated this as a victory because at least Young would have her day in court that had been denied by the lower courts. Young’s attorney considered the decision to be a “big step forward towards enforcing the principle that a woman shouldn’t have to choose between her pregnancy and her job.”
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