Articles Posted in Employment Discrimination & Employee Rights

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Our Award Winning New York Employment Lawyer has spoken to employees and employers regarding the legal implications of non-payment of wages under federal and state law. One of the topic that arises often is whether an individual is personally liable for failure to pay wages in accordance with the law. The short answer, in general, is that an individual can be liable and considered an “employer” depending on the circumstances. A recent decision issued on November 10, 2016 in the Eastern District of New York, Awan v. Durrani, 14-CV-4562 (SIL) discussed this issue and relevant part of the decision is quoted below:

“[A]n employer may include an individual owner who exercises a sufficient level of operational control in the company’s employment of employees.” Kalloo v. Unlimited Mech. Co. of NY, Inc., 977 F. Supp. 2d 187, 201 (E.D.N.Y. (citing Irizarry v. Catsimatidis, 722 F.3d 99, 104-11 (2d Cir. 2013)); accord Switzoor,

2013 WL 4838826, at *6 (observing that “[a] person may not be held individually liable for a company’s FLSA violations simply because he was an executive of that company”). In determining whether an individual is an employer, courts consider “whether the individual: ‘(1) had the power to hire and fire employees, (2) supervised and controlled employee work schedules or conditions of employment, (3) determined the rate and method of payment, and (4) maintained employment records.’” Gillianv. Starjam Rest. Corp., No. 10 Civ. 6056, 2011 WL 4639842, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 4, 2011); see Gayle v. Harry’s Nurses Registry, Inc., No. 07-CV-4672, 2009 WL 605790, at *9 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 9, 2009) (quoting Keun–Jae Moon v. Joon Gab Kwon, 248 F. Supp. 2d 201, 237 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (quoting Donavan v. Agnew, 712 F.2d 1509 (1st Cir. 1983))) (“The overwhelming weight of authority is that a corporate officer with operational control of a corporation’s covered enterprise is an employer along with the corporation, jointly and severally liab[le] under the FLSA for unpaid wages.”).”

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Recruitment.DPC.3.31.16.jpgOur New York Employment Law Attorney is often asked to discuss the do’s and don’ts of hiring practices. We have written extensively about employment discrimination, and, today, we will discuss a recent case in the news involving the Broadway smash hit Hamilton and its casting notice seeking “non-white” performers.
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Visa.Dollar.Photo.3.3.16.jpg The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“CCHR”) has recently become the first and only anti-discrimination agency in a major U.S. city to provide U and T Visa certifications. As our Award Winning New York Anti-Discrimination Attorney has written extensively on the CCHR, he has been asked to review and comment, generally, on the recent changes to the law. This blog generally discusses U Visa and T Visa certifications.
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Brick.Wall.Challenge.Employment.Discrimination.Dollar.Photo.2.28.16.jpgSome applicants unfairly face illegal hurdles in the hiring process. New York State and NY City laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and potential hires based on a number of protected characteristics (such as religion or sexual orientation). In general, employers are not even allowed to inquire about protected characteristics. Two relatively new laws in New York City now restrict how employers can inquire or use information regarding an employee’s credit history and criminal background, as well. In general, these new changes are discussed in this blog post. For specific advice on your situation, you should consult an experienced employment law attorney.
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Business.Defend.Storm.Dollar.Photo.Club.1.24.16.jpgAllegations of discrimination are serious charges, can be incredibly stressful for all parties involved and may feel intensely personal. A business that finds itself on the wrong end of a discrimination charge faces damages and penalties that can be incredibly costly in monetary terms, a public relations hit and cause a decrease in employee morale. For all of these reasons and more, when your business has received a complaint of discrimination (or if you have reason to believe that one is about to be filed) it is important to contact an experienced employment law attorney so you can get counsel and guidance from the outset and weather the storm. Our Award Winning New York Employment Lawyer has defended clients against discrimination claims at the federal, state, and local levels, both in court and at the administrative levels, including the New York State Division of Human Rights (“SDHR”). This blog post generally discusses steps that should be considered if an administrative complaint is filed with the state agency.

An experienced attorney in a situation like this is critical and can make all the difference between protecting your company and personnel and potentially resolving the matter in a satisfactory and expeditious manner.
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Private.Employee.Personnel.File.Access.jpgYou are hoping to get a promotion. Or maybe you were just passed up for one. You’re thinking about getting a new job, or maybe you don’t remember if you signed a non-compete agreement sometime during your employment. Maybe you are not sure what disciplinary records are contained in your file. Whatever your reason, you may want to access your personnel file. You have some idea of what’s inside – employment documents, payroll information, contact information, performance appraisals – but what else is in there and what haven’t you seen before? Do you have any rights to see it and/or make copies? As our Award Winning New York Employment Attorney has noted before it all depends on where you work and your workplace.
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Sex.Harassment.Angry.Man.Woman.Dollar.Photo.Club.1.17.16.jog.jpgOur New York Employment Law Attorney is often asked to explain the definition of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment. Quid Pro Quo means “this for that” in latin. In short, Quid Pro Quo harassment occurs when an employer demands sexual favors from an employee (or applicant) in exchange for granting a job benefit or the denial of a job benefit where the demand is rejected. The term has been defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute “quid pro quo” sexual harassment when (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or (ii) submission to of rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such an individual.” Unlike hostile work environment claims, these scenarios are easier to identify.
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Sexual.Harassment.Posterboard.jpgOur Award Winning New York Employment Lawyer has been asked to discuss the definition of a hostile work environment. Most people associate this phrase with sexual harassment cases only but that it is not accurate. An individual may allege workplace harassment based on other protected categories including race, national origin, religion, and disability. This is a key difference between from Quid Pro Quo harassment claims, which are limited to sexual harassment matters. Quid Pro Quo harassment cases are discussed in another blog post, which can be found here. One last point of introduction – male and female employees both can bring hostile work environment claims due to conduct by the same sex or opposite sex.
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New York Equal Pay Lawyer Discusses Leveling the Playing Field

Female.Workers.Unequal.Pay.Glass.Ceiling.jpg

“I do not demand equal pay for any women save those who do equal work in value. Scorn to be coddled by your employers; make them understand that you are in their service as workers, not as women.” – Susan B. Anthony

Although the topic has gained attention in the mainstream media recently (e.g., Jennifer Lawrence notably very publicly complained that she was paid less than her male American Hustle motion picture co-stars), an inexcusable and significant pay gap remains between men and women in the workplace. According to recent reports, full-time working women earn 77% of their male colleagues and the gap is even greater for women of color. This inequity in pay causes ripples in families, society and the overall workforce. It is important to step up and speak up if you believe you are being less than your male counterparts. Our Award Winning New York Equal Pay Lawyer discusses in general two recent cases involving gender discrimination where women were paid less than men.
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Discrimination against Muslims, Hindus and Others in the Workplace

Hajib.Workplace.Discrimination.Dollar.Photo.1.5.16.jpgIn today’s politically charged climate, and with the backdrop of recent tragedies, both domestically and internationally, businesses are urged to be mindful of workplace discrimination against individuals who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim or Middle Eastern.

As discussed previously, federal, state and local laws prohibit workplace discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, country of origin, race, or color (among others). Discrimination is prohibited in all facets of employment, including hiring and firing, job assignments, promotions and pay. Harassment by co-workers, supervisors, and customers may violate the law, as well, and there are strong incentives for employers to prevent or correct the behavior. Additionally, employers must reasonably accommodate religious practices or dress, if it is not an undue hardship. Finally, retaliation against someone who complains about discriminatory practices, files a charge, or assists in an investigation of discrimination violates the law.

Our Award Winning New York Employment Discrimination Attorney discusses some workplace scenarios in general below.
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