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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Sexual.Harassment.Posterboard.jpgOur Award Winning New York Sexual Harassment Attorney has commented and written extensively on sexual harassment in the workplace. In the 25 years since sexual harassment took a very public face in the form of then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and his accuser, Anita Hill, the public at large has grown more familiar with the term- and some even understand its broader meaning. But there’s so much more to sexual harassment than is commonly understood. So let’s explore: what exactly is sexual harassment?

Preliminarily, Federal, New York State, and many local laws all prohibit discrimination based on sex (which, in this instance, the term can be used interchangeably with the word “gender”). While different levels of law have varying levels of application to types of employers (e.g. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Federal statute, applies to employers with 15 or more employees, whereas some local laws apply to employers with 4 of more employees), under all laws, sexual harassment has been deemed to be a form of discrimination based on sex.
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Thumbnail image for Pregnancy.Discrimination.Woman.in.Office.Dollar.Photo.Club.12.5.15.jpgLast week, a woman (“plaintiff’) filed a lawsuit against the Procter & Gamble Company (“P&G”) and alleges that she was fired because of her pregnant condition and in retaliation for her reasonable accommodation requests. Specifically, she alleges that she worked as a beauty style and sales associate for Dolce & Gabbana (which P&G owns) and was fired because her pregnant look did not convey the image that the Company was seeking and the Company did not want to provide her with the requested accommodations. The plaintiff alleges that she was required to adhere to “strict image rules” regarding her physical appearance. She alleges that one manager said that “pregnancy is not part of the uniform.” She further alleges that she was denied requested sit down breaks in a nearby work location. Her doctor had suggested she take due to her medical condition. A short time later, the plaintiff was fired for work-related issues. The plaintiff alleges that the basis for the termination was a pretext for pregnancy discrimination and was done in an unlawful retaliatory manner. This is a new case and bears following. There have been many other cases where an employee claimed that he or she was fired because the Company only wanted a specific look or image. In fact, courts have rejected that The case was filed under the New York City Human Rights Law and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment. Click on this link for a fact sheet from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on pregnancy discrimination.

If you or anyone you know has any questions about the rights for pregnant workers or an employer’s obligations under the law, contact our office for a confidential consultation.

Disclaimer: Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced attorney in your state or jurisdiction. From time to time, a blog post may discuss a legal case – please note that the post may not contain the most to update information on the case as developments may have occurred after it was created.
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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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Non.Disclosure.Agreement.Lawyer.DPC.3.17.16.jpgIn a recent report, it was uncovered that the Donald Trump campaign has been requiring all volunteers to sign a contract forbidding them from criticizing Trump, his family members, Trump’s businesses or products, or his campaign for the entirety of their lives. While it is common to include non-disparagement and non-disclosure provisions into employment and severance agreements (and setting aside for the moment that these types of provisions don’t generally apply to volunteers), overbroad provisions, such as the ones that the Trump campaign are using, may be deemed unenforceable and have gotten some employers into difficult situations. Our Award Winning New York Employment Agreement Lawyer is often asked to review employment and severance contracts, and discusses some recent developments regarding non-disclosure agreements (“NDA”). (For other discussions related to NDA’s and employment contracts, see our previous blogs here.)
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Employee.Freelancer.DOL.Misclassification.Lawyer.Notepad.DPC.3.10.16.jpgOur NY Employment Law Defense Attorney represents businesses and misclassified workers and has been asked to discuss a recent involving misclassification of workers. A former telecom field technician also called a field engineer (“Technician”) of Endeavor (the “Company”) filed for unemployment insurance benefits after he stopped working for the Company. The Company disputed his claim by arguing he was an independent contractor and therefore ineligible for benefits. The Technician was initially approved for benefits and the Company requested a hearing. After a hearing, an Administrative Law Judge agreed with the Company and denied the Technician’s benefit claim. The Technician filed an appeal to the Appeal Board and that decision is generally discussed herein.
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Thumbnail image for Severance.Agreement.Lawyer.DPC.3.4.16.jpgSeverance as the name suggests means an ending. A severance package may be offered when an employee is required to leave his or her job for any reason, recession, lack of work, etc. A severance package however is not automatically offered or required; in fact, except for limited circumstances, it is up to the company, and some companies don’t offer such packages at all. Some exceptions include when you have an employment agreement requiring payment of severance or if the company has a policy or practice of providing severance. This policy could be unwritten but it may be difficult to prove. Let’s take a look at why severance packages are offered and why you should have an attorney review one before you sign it (some agreements will even state that the Company advises you to seek legal counsel regarding its terms).
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Non-Disparagement.Confidentiality.Severance.Lawyer.DPC.3.4.16.jpgOur NY Severance Package Lawyer is often asked to provide some tips and pointers in severance negotiations and contract review. Most people just focus on the amount of severance pay in a separation package but the non-economic terms can be critical as well. Many employers include a non-disparagement provision in their severance agreements. In general, a non-disparagement provision prohibits individuals from making any statement or taking any action that negatively affects your former employer, its products and services, and employees. This provision can have long lasting consequences.
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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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Female.Freelancer.Employee.Checkbox.DPC.2.28.16.jpgHave you checked off the correct box for your workers? Are they employees or independent contractors (i.e., freelancers)? Today’s post discusses a rising problem for small businesses – misclassification of workers – and a recent case. Ivy League Tutoring Connection Inc. (the “Company”), a tutoring referral and billing service, provided in-home tutors to clients to help with test preparation and school work. The Company had treated its tutors as independent contractors and issued them 1099 tax forms. The Company’s practices came under review in 2012 and, after a hearing, the Department of Labor ruled that tutors were employees and unemployment insurance contributions were due regarding tutors from 2009-2012. A determination like that can have a significant impact on any business. The Company’s appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board was denied as the initial determination was upheld. The Company then appealed to the Appellate Division, Third Department and we discuss the court’s decision generally today. We previously discussed another decision involving tutors before and it can be found here.
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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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