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Queens Employment Law Blog

Pushing back against wrongful termination due to retaliation

We will finish our two-part post on age discrimination next week. For this week's second post, we will take note of a wrongful-termination case from the Bronx that is breaking news today.

The case involves a public school teacher with six years of experience who alleges that she was fired for refusing sexual offers from a tenured teacher.

The case is a vivid reminder of the different types of settings in which wrongful termination can occur.

Protections against age discrimination, part 1: federal law

There are many sayings and adages about aging. They range in tone from the silly to the inspiring. Unfortunately, there is only one Billy Crystal and most canned sayings about getting older are not particularly funny.

But unfunny jokes may be the least of an older worker’s problems. Age discrimination is a very real problem in the workplace. Harassment of older workers is a problem as well.

In this two-part post, then, we will tackle the issue of age discrimination at work.

Mass firing of unionized drivers by UPS produces pain, pushback

One of our key themes in this blog is that there are certain legal protections against wrongful termination.

To be sure, many jobs are considered "at will" employment. But as we pointed out in March 28 post on performance reviews, "at will" is not synonymous with anything goes.

Of course, there are plenty of times when employers push workers out. Sometimes this is even done to many workers at once

In this post, we will take note of a breaking story about the mass firing by UPS of unionized drivers in Queens. Our goal will be to place the case in the context of protections against wrongful termination from a job.

Paid or unpaid, interns are worthy of workplace protections

It's been about 15 years now since President Clinton's affair with a White House intern nearly forced him from office.

Much has of course changed in the U.S. since that time. But how much has the status of interns in the workplace really changed? Do they still tend to be as vulnerable to sexual harassment and improper discrimination as in the past?

In this post, we will discuss a recently passed bill in New York City that is intended provide more protections for interns who work here.

The role of performance reviews in wrongful termination cases

For years, one article after another in business publications has pointed out that most people hate the typical performance review system that is widely used in the U.S.

It isn't merely that meetings with managers are often stressful. It is also the fact that when there is conflict or discrimination in the workplace, the performance review process can easily be affected. It can be manipulated by management to skew the results in its favor.

But performance reviews can also work in the employee's favor. A track record of solid reviews can make an employer's discharge or demotion of an employee seem questionable. It can provide at least some evidence that the termination is due to discrimination or some other improper reason.

In this post, then, we will discuss the potentially double-sided role of performance reviews in wrongful termination cases.

By the numbers, by the book: New York's teacher discipline law

The names by which laws become known to the public can be somewhat unpredictable.

Sometimes there are multiple names for a law. A current example is the Affordable Care Act, which of course is also widely known on Obamacare.

There are also laws that become known by their statute numbers. In New York state, this is the case with several laws. New York Labor Law 240, regarding construction accidents and scaffolding, is one such law.

In this post, we will take note of a term derived from another New York number: 3020.

Fire department racial bias settlement, part 2: legal protections

In the first part of this post, we noted that the New York City Fire Department has agreed to a substantial settlement in a racial bias case brought by minority firefighter applicants.

As we discussed, the settlement will mean a payout of $98 million in back pay and benefits by the department. The money will go to numerous black and Hispanic applicants who were denied positions or whose hiring was delayed because of racial discrimination.

The settlement also includes other terms, however, and it is to those that we now turn in this part of the post.

Fire department racial bias settlement, part 1: back pay

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has been under close scrutiny in recent years for its overly aggressive stop-and-frisk policing. A federal court ruled last year that these intense police tactics crossed the line into unconstitutional racial profiling.

But the NYPD isn't the only New York agency that has been accused of racial discrimination.

In this two-part post, we will take note of a settlement that has been reached in a racial discrimination lawsuit against the New York City Fire Department

Caregiving and job protections, part 2: employee eligibility

In the first part of this post, we began discussing protections available under federal law for employees to take unpaid time off upon the birth of a child or to care for a family member.

As we noted, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) generally applies to private-sector employers with 50 or more employees, as well as public-sector workers.

In this part of the post, let's look at which employees are eligible for FMLA protections.

Caregiving and job protections, part 1: FMLA-covered employers

Striking the right balance between home and work is difficult for many people.

For independent contractors, consultants and others who work for themselves, it can sometimes seem hard to tell where marketing oneself leaves off and personal life begins.

But at least, when you work for yourself, you don't need to ask an employer's permission to take time off for the birth of a child or to care for a family member who is ill.

How different is it, in these situations, when you are an employee and you would like to take some leave but also keep your job?

In this two-part post, we will discuss employees' rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

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