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October 2016 Archives

Why forced retirement may be flawed policy

While used sparingly these days, mandatory retirement ages can have negative consequences for New York employees or others impacted by them. In Pennsylvania, voters are going to decide whether to let judges serve to age 75 as opposed to the current limit of age 70. To some, a mandatory retirement age is borderline discrimination that wouldn't be tolerated if applied to any other characteristic of a worker.

New York employers may be impacted by court ruling

A federal district court has ruled that a Nevada school district violated the civil rights of a transgender man by not allowing him to use a male restroom. The district had required him to use unisex bathrooms, which were not always available. While some courts had ruled this to be an acceptable compromise, an attorney who wrote an amicus brief for the plaintiff said that there is no restroom exception in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Employment discrimination and criminal records

A New York resident seeking a new job typically wants to present the most positive information possible, and issues such as criminal history can be frustrating for individuals trying to make a fresh start. Concern about workplace discrimination against individuals with criminal records has led to many jurisdictions banning related questions on job applications. While the idea is that the lack of this information would potentially allow an affected applicant an unbiased review of qualifications, the reality is that employment decisions in this context could facilitate discrimination against other groups of individuals.

Women, minorities report discrimination in tech industry

Reports from women who work in the tech industry, and minority women in particular, indicate that racism and sexism continue to be a serious problem in New York and throughout the country. In 2015, only 11 percent of leadership positions in Silicon Valley were held by women while at tech giants like Facebook, Yahoo and Apple, African-Americans held 3 percent or fewer leadership positions. One woman reported being told to her face that black women could not succeed at this type of work.

Sexual harassment in the fast food industry

The sexual harassment of female employees is rampant in fast food restaurants in New York and around the country, according to a report released on Oct. 5 by Hart Research Associates. The firm surveyed 1,217 male and female fast food restaurant workers, and four in 10 of the women polled said that they had been the victims of unwanted sexual advances on at least one.

Disability discrimination is a continuing problem

Disabled New Yorkers often face discrimination at work or while applying for a job. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, disability discrimination remains a problem of national scope. People who face workplace disability discrimination may have legal remedies available to them, however.

Complaint details fast food worker sexual harassment

At least one New York worker is among the 15 across multiple states who filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging sexual harassment against McDonald's that included groping, obscene comments and being shown pornographic images. According to research, these 15 workers are not alone among fast food workers in enduring sexual harassment on the job.

The EEOC and retaliation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued guidelines covering companies in New York and around the country concerning retaliation claims. This is the first set of guidelines published by the EEOC regarding this type of employment complaint since 1998.

House votes on FLSA rule

Some New York workers find that overtime rules can be confusing, and national lawmakers may continue the confusion as they work on legislation aimed at delaying the implementation of important changes. A modernization effort by the Department of Labor is aimed at increasing the salary levels of previously exempt employees. However, a Sept. 28 vote in the House of Representatives could delay this change for several months.

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