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Employee Rights Archives

A single slur could create a hostile work environment

New York employees might be able to file a lawsuit on the grounds that they are facing a hostile work environment on the basis of a single comment if that slur is particularly offensive. A federal appellate court disagreed with a lower court ruling that a single slur could not constitute a hostile environment.

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.

Appellate ruling regarding the Dodd-Frank Act

Workers in New York who are considering reporting wrongdoings by their employer may be interested to know that a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has broaden the scope of the Dodd-Frank Act. The ruling, which was issued on March 8, 2017, asserted that employees who internally report potential violations of federal securities laws are protected by the whistleblower provisions of the law, regardless of whether they reported the suspected violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

EEOC reports rise in disability discrimination claims

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, disability discrimination claims increased in 2016, and it appears to be part of an overall trend. However, this may not be due to an actual increase in discrimination. It is possible that employees in New York and around the country may be likely to report discrimination. It could also be because of a small increase in employment for disabled people.

Whistleblower policies in employment contracts

New York employees who notice something unethical or illegal going on at their workplace may want to alert the public about what they know. When an employee brings a concern to the public's attention, this is referred to as whistleblowing. Though whistleblowers may bring negative attention to their employer, they are legally protected from retaliation.

Some federal contractors affected by new ruling for sick leave

As New York federal contractors and subcontractors may know, a final rule was implemented in September by the Department of Labor. It provides a certain number of days of paid sick leave for employees and eligibility changes starting in 2017.

Another ERISA lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo

New Yorkers who have been following the ongoing reports about Wells Fargo might be interested in learning that a third lawsuit has been filed against the company for falling stock values. The ERISA lawsuit is seeking class-action certification and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

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.

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