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Long Island Employment Law Blog

Income: What rising New York managers need to know

You lead a team. You focus on creating superior customer experiences. You preform administrative tasks. You multi-task. You do all of this because you know it will look great on a resume, which will help you move into higher level positions down the road.

As a hard-working professional with career aspirations, you do what’s asked of you. You put in the time and energy, and sometimes, that means working more than expected. New York is home to a highly competitive market. Many manager’s, in an attempt to cut corners, either don’t have the time to review employment law or they hope you don’t.

Ageism still a hazard in tight labor market

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) says that companies cannot discriminate against those who are age 40 and over. However, it is still considered to be an open secret that older workers have trouble finding work because of their age. According to one advisor from the EEOC, it is among the most accepted forms of discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination based on age goes farther than simply refusing to hire someone who is deemed to be too old.

It can also take the form of mandatory retirement policies or creating different employment terms for older workers. In some cases, workers claim that they were discriminated against based on their age in combination with their race or gender. To prevent discrimination from happening, companies are urged to make sure that hiring materials show workers of many different ages.

Few workers formally complain about ageism

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only 3 percent of those who experienced age discrimination filed a complaint. In 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was implemented, which is meant to protect New York workers and others from ageism. However, studies have shown that 90 percent of respondents aged 45 and older believe that ageism is common in the workplace. Furthermore, 60 percent said that they have seen or experienced it themselves.

In places such as Silicon Valley, individuals who are in their 30s or older generally have a harder time finding work. In some cases, they may not even see online ads used to recruit workers. In 2017, 55 percent of complaints made to the EEOC were related to wrongful termination. In that same year, roughly 21 percent of complaints were related to harassment based on age. That figure tripled 1992's sum of 6 percent.

Women continue to face pregnancy discrimination at work

Female employees at some of the largest corporations in Long Island and across the country continue to suffer from pregnancy discrimination on the job. A number of reports have highlighted that large corporations continue to discriminate against women who are pregnant or have recently given birth through denying them promotions, directing them to less lucrative positions or even terminating their positions. Despite the fact that many of these companies have in-house legal counsel to advise them about the illegality of workplace discrimination, studies indicate that the practices continue.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 explicitly classified discrimination against pregnant women or women who could become pregnant as a form of unlawful gender discrimination in the workplace. Employers are prohibited from firing women because of their pregnancy or from refusing to hire a woman because she either is pregnant or could become so in the future.

The persistence of the gender pay gap

Some women employees in Long Island may be paid less than their male coworkers for doing the same job. Despite the signing of the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963, women still do not make the same amount of money as men. Equal Pay Day recognizes this with a celebration on April 10. This is the amount of time a woman has to work into the new year to make as much money as a man does during the year.

However, race adds an additional barrier for some women. Equal Pay Day does not arrive for African-American women until August 7 while for Native American women it is a month later, and for Latina women, it is on Nov. 1. For every dollar earned by men, white women earn $0.79. Black women earn $0.63, Native American women earn. $0.57 and Latina women earn $0.54.

Work a split shift? You might deserve more pay.

Hourly wage earners in New York work hard, and many of them work split shifts. Under a special state law, some of these workers may be eligible for an extra hour’s pay, even if they aren’t working overtime. Whether you’re in this situation depends on a few factors, but if you are, your employer should pay you more.

Age discrimination lurks in new job cultures

A new form of discrimination is rearing its ugly head and could affect many workers in the New York City area. While some argue that this type of discrimination is not actually new, age discrimination is reappearing.

An example of this lies in a recent claim by a man who was denied employment with a technology firm despite having served the firm as a temporary employee on two separate occasions. When one of the positions became vacant, the firm posted a notice of the opening.

EEOC investigating age discrimination claims against Intel

New York employees may be interested to learn that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was reportedly investigating a number of layoffs that occurred at Intel. According to sources, it was suspected that the company discriminated against older employees after initiating more than 10,000 layoffs across the globe.

The layoffs began in 2016. During a round of layoffs that involved about 2,300 employees, it was found that the median age of the involved employees was 49. This median age was seven years older than the median age of the employees who were kept by the company. The EEOC had not determined at the time whether or not it would file a class-action lawsuit against the company.

Employers not making progress to reduce gender discrimination

Many New York employees are aware of the #MeToo movement and may have seen demands for equality within their own workplace. However, even with the hype surrounding the #MeToo movement, gender discrimination is still prevalent. A recent poll showed that since 1999, there have been no major improvements when it comes to gender inequality in the workplace.

According to the poll, half of the surveyed women said that they had personally experienced gender discrimination. Many of the people who were polled also said that they did not notice any major changes within their own workplace. Half of the polled group also said that men do not give women equal treatment in the workplace. Furthermore, 61 percent of the polled group said that women do not even treat women equally. It was suggested that this may come from the fact that in the media and in entertainment, women are often pitted against each other instead of working together to make improvements.

New York latest city to pass sexual harassment reforms

New York City companies with 15 or more employees must now provide mandatory sexual harassment training. This is one of the larger impacts stemming from a package of 11 laws recently signed by the city's mayor. City agencies will also be required to report any harassment complaints as well as the outcomes of those cases. The new laws will ensure that every worker is covered by sexual harassment protections offered in the Human Right's Law as well.

According to media reports, there were over 1,300 sexual harassment complaints from city employees between 2013 and 2017. Of those cases, 221 were substantiated. Interestingly, the Department of Education had the highest number of complaints but the lowest number of substantiated cases. The mayor originally blamed that figure on a complaint culture within that organization, but later clarified that he wasn't speaking about sexual harassment cases.

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