Employers in New York City have even greater liability for random acts by rouge managers, than in other parts of the country under a recent court ruling that makes it even more difficult for New York employers to defend against charges of illegal discrimination.
The New York Court of Appeals ruled in Zakrzewska v. the New School that simply having an anti-discrimination policy in place is not enough to prevent successful claims. In that suit, Dominika Zakrzewska alleges that she was sexually harassed while a student at The New School. In 2003, Zakrzewska began working in the school computer lab as a freshman. Her immediate supervisor, Kwang-Wen Pan, sent (more…)
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However, employers can use any form they already have in place, or create a new one, to provide such notification.
New York employers must receive written acknowledgment of this wage notification from employees. The most common way to do this is for the employee to sign a copy of the notification and return it, while keeping one copy for the employee’s records.
In late October 2009, the New York Department of Labor issued a mandatory form to be used by all temporary agencies. Shortly thereafter, the department posted an online notice with a mandatory form to be used by all New York employers (other than temp agencies) to comply (more…)
Workers in New York State who wish to donate blood may take up to 3 hours of leave annually to go to blood drives off the worksite.
Encouraging participation in blood drives, the law requires that employers allow their workers to take the time off during their regularly schedule hours without fear of reprisal or pressure. There are limits on blood drive leave, of course. Workers may not carry the time over from one year to the next. Just because a worker fails to use 3 hours of leave in 2008 does not mean she or he is entitled to 6 hours in 2009.
The law is the New York Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act, passed in 2007. New York joins several other states, including Colorado and Illinois, in passing a law protecting breastfeeding mothers who are working. The bill passed the New York general assembly almost unanimously.
Under the new law working mothers who are breastfeeding must be given a time and place to pump milk. They are entitled to unpaid break time, and a room must be provided. The room should be private and near the work station. The law states that storage areas and bathrooms are not appropriate.
“This law is in place to make sure that nursing mothers have reasonable privacy and are treated in a respectful manner at their place of employment,” said state Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith. “I encourage anyone not being afforded these rights to contact the labor department at 1-800-447-3992 to speak to one of our investigators,” she added.
Under the labor law, Smith noted, any nursing mother in New York now has the right to express their breast milk in the workplace.
Women with infants and children make up one of the most significant, fast-growing segments of the workforce nationwide. The New York Department of health has said that continuing breastfeeding after going back to work is a big challenge for new mothers. Some give up nursing after returning because of the lack of privacy to express milk and because of unsupportive work environments as well as work schedules.
The New York law protects mothers during an infant’s first three years. Management may not discriminate against mothers who fall under the protection of the law.
According to the Lawyer’s Alliance for New York, employers would be well advised to include information in employee handbooks about the new rights of breastfeeding mothers.
State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., stressed the health benefits, both to infants and mothers, of breastfeeding, noting that such infants have less risk of contracting asthma, obesity, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. The effects carry throughout one’s lifetime, he said.
The poster outlines what is known as Article 23 A of the New York Correction Law. The article, signed into law by New York’s Governor David Paterson, outlines the law as it applies to hiring of people with criminal records.
Under the law, New York employers are legally allowed to consider the conviction of a job-hunter as a negative issue when deciding on hiring, provided the crime the candidate was convicted for relates directly to the job or the license sought.
However, if the crime does not directly relate to the job, the employer cannot consider it during the hiring process. The new law makes it illegal discrimination to do so.
As an example, if an accountant had been convicted of embezzling from the bank in which he worked, another bank need not hire him. On the other hand, if this same accountant had been convicted, not of embezzlement, but of selling drugs, under the new law the employer is not permitted to consider that conviction when making a hiring decision.
Whenever an applicant with a criminal record is refused a job, the employer (more…)