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Queens Employment Law Blog

Store allegedly retailiated following sexual harassment claims

In a previous post we wrote about the prevalence of sexual harassment in restaurant settings. This is not the only service type job where workers are subjected to sexual harassment. As it turns out, retail settings are also common locations for the activity. In 2011, more than 11,000 charges were filed against employers with the Fair Employment Practices and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission agencies. Since 70 percent of those who face this behavior do not report it, in reality, the number of people dealing with this is probably much higher.

New York City restaurants accused of discrimination

Workers who belong to particular classes are afforded certain protections in the workplace. One of those protected classes is religion. When an employer exhibits behavior deemed to discriminate against an employee, that business could potentially face a lawsuit.

A man who works in a New York City restaurant recently filed a discrimination lawsuit against four restaurants owned by a man who achieved some fame on the reality program “Top Chef.”

2013 saw sharp increase in FMLA lawsuits

The Family Medical Leave Act is a protection workers throughout the nation rely upon to hold on to their job when life dictates that they spend time away from it to either care for a loved one, or deal with their own medical condition. The federal law provides 12 weeks each year for this. Depending on the state, additional time may be available as well. For example, in New York, additional time may be granted as a reasonable accommodation.

Employment discrimination protections extended to unpaid interns

Each day workers throughout the state of New York get up and go to work. Not all workers in the state are paid for what they do however. In an effort to get the requisite experience needed to land a paying job, many people secure unpaid internships with businesses in the fields of their interests. The individuals who pursue this option are often young people who are either in school or have just finished it. 

Women allege sexual harassment against McDonald's coworker

There are many things that workers throughout the nation can reasonably expect each day when they go to work. It is fair to say that sexual harassment is not one of those things. When someone is the victim of this behavior it can be difficult to know what steps to take and some people may be reticent about taking any action at all. This is true regardless of where one works.  

Feds bring clarity to pregnancy discrimination law

It's a very simple premise: A person should be able to work and earn a living based on merit rather than extraneous factors. This is one reason why federal lawmakers passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act nearly four decades ago.

For many women, being pregnant is a personal choice and part of building a family. Furthermore, women are generally able to keep working throughout most or all of their pregnancy. As a result of long-standing federal legislation, employers cannot make hiring or employment decisions based on whether or not a female employee is or expected to be pregnant.

Even with this federal law in place, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a 46 percent spike in pregnancy discrimination complaints between 1997 and 2011. A recent federal rules update, however, will hopefully reverse this trend.

New fathers likely to take leave -- if pay is offered

The first few weeks after a new child is brought into a family are critical. As such, parents typically want to spend as much time at home to help provide care and bond with the new family member.

Of course, work can be a complicating factor for many families. Employees are generally guaranteed 12 weeks of work-protected leave per year to care for a newborn or newly adopted child under the Family and Medical Leave Act. This leave does not have to be paid, which can be a sticking point for many parents.

As family dynamics are changing, parents are becoming more engaged in parenting. However, research shows that many men are hesitant to take parental leave without their usual paychecks.

Employees cannot be fired for reporting discrimination

As we have discussed in multiple blog posts, workplace discrimination laws are some of the most important employment protections afforded to workers. In many ways, these laws, enforced at a federal, state and local level, allow workers the peace of mind that they will not be terminated for purely prejudicial reasons. At the same time, workers can also have the confidence that they aren't without options if they are the victims of employment discrimination.

Furthermore, employees are protected in their ability to stand up for their rights. In other words, retaliation for discrimination claims is forbidden by law.

When do protections against age discrimination begin in New York?

Much of the baby-boom generation is approaching retirement age. In other words, a significant portion of the working population is growing "older." At the same time, people are living longer and may look to add more years to their careers. Putting all of this together, an older workforce could be setting the stage for more instances of age discrimination.

Federal, state and local laws protect New York workers from being discriminated against on the basis of their age. As individuals explore this as a potential issue in terms of their own employment, it may be helpful to take a look at the law and determine when legal protections begin as it relates to an employee's age.

Taking steps toward filing a sexual harassment claim

Employees who are being subjected to sexual harassment know when it's happening. Even though this kind of treatment makes employees uncomfortable and is completely unacceptable, it may not be exactly clear what steps can or should be taken.

Every case of sexual harassment is different, but there are some basic steps that can be followed to help that your rights are protected and the unfair treatment is put to an end.

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