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April 2017 Archives

Trump seeks more time on new rule

New York residents may have heard about a new overtime rule that was set to take effect in December 2016. However, the rule was delayed because of legal challenges, and the Trump administration has asked to push back the deadline to file a legal brief to June 30. If the rule were to take effect, it would raise the salary threshold for exempt workers to $47,476 a year from $23,660.

Workplace harassment takes many forms

Some people may believe that sexual misconduct is the only type of harassment in the workplace. However, there are many ways in which New York employees can be harassed regardless of their status within the company. For instance, they could be verbally berated by their superiors in front of others within the company. Such actions are generally intended to normalize the behavior to warn others what could happen if they speak out against it.

The subtle forms of workplace discrimination

According to a study released on March 21, workplace discrimination in New York and throughout the country may sometimes take subtle forms or may not be immediately recognizable until incidents begin to form a pattern. However, this degree of bias may still be enough to lead to a lawsuit. Researchers identified several different ways in which people were discriminated against at work because of factors such as disability, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and pregnancy, among others.

Google accused of wage gap by DOL

New York residents may be aware of recent allegations of sexism and wage disparity in the tech sector. According to the Department of Labor, women who work at Google face systemic issues when it comes to how they are compensated compared to male employees. According to the DOL, the company has violated federal law by discriminating against female employees when it comes to pay.

Supreme Court hears arguments on church-affiliated pensions

New York employees who work for church-affiliated organizations might be interested to know that a lawsuit has reached the Supreme Court about whether or not these organizations' pension plans qualify for a religious exemption. This would mean that the plans are exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Lower courts have already unanimously ruled that they are not church plans and thus not exempt because a church does not maintain and did not establish them. Furthermore, employees say that due to the ERISA exemption, the plans are underfunded.

Minimum wage to increase in New York and elsewhere

Minimum wage workers in New York will see a rise in pay of up to $4,000 per year as a $15 minimum wage is phased in. It is one of a number of states throughout the country that have approved minimum wages increases, and the movement appears to be growing. Currently, more than 40 percent of employees in the country make less than $15 per hour.

Federal court recognizes sexual orientation discrimination

Although New York has state laws that prohibit discrimination against employees because of their sexual orientation, federal law has yet to adequately address the subject. A recent ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals broadened the interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to apply to people harmed by sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.

Salary history questions banned for new hires

Individuals who are seeking employment in New York City may be interested to know that employers will be prohibited from asking job applicants to provide a salary history. On April 5, City Council members voted 47 to 3 to pass a measure that addresses the differences in wages earned by women and men. The measure is applicable only to new hires, and does not apply to existing employees applying for a promotion or transfer or to public employees with salaries dictated by collective bargaining agreements.

Court orders employer to pay millions in wage and hour lawsuit

New York employees may be interested to learn that wage and hour claims have become increasingly more prominent. In many cases, the claims often involve improper classification of workers as independent contractors, meaning they are often ineligible to receive certain benefits. Other violations often include exempt status, improper break periods and improper wage statements.

Employers cannot ask to see green cards

New York new hires should be aware that their employers are not legally allowed to ask for work authorization documents when verifying their employment status. This is due to the Immigration and Nationality Act which allows all workers to choose from an approved list the valid documentation that they want to provide to their employer.

Company investigations into sexual harassment claims

Some people in New York who face sexual harassment at work might find that if they attempt to go through the standard employer resolution process, the company might be more focused on protecting itself than on preventing the harassment. Many companies do not have clear policies in place to deal with sexual harassment. At worst, some companies' arbitration systems might even prevent employees from taking a case to court.

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