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Movie producer fired after allegations of sexual harassment

New York residents can often name the actors who portray riveting characters in their favorite movies. They may be able to recognize the work of directors who include trademark effects or stylistic choices in the films they release. Usually, though, they may not have a clue who financed the movie as a producer.

However, it is the rare movie buff that has not heard of the Weinstein Company or at least seen one of its critically acclaimed features, such as Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction. Business head Harvey Weinstein has been a regular at awards shows and a spokesman for his film production company. And, recently, he has been in the news for events unrelated to his backing of new films.

5 Things To Consider Before Signing A Severance Agreement

A severance agreement is a document that specifies certain terms and conditions for a leaving employee. It is in the best interests of both parties to ensure this document is clear, well-written and decisive. Before signing the agreement, however, there are a few things that an employee should pay specific attention to.

Supreme Court hears arguments on employee class action suits

The United States Supreme Court just began its nine month session and chose as one of its first cases a matter that involves the ability of employees to file class action lawsuits against their employers. New York employers may have a vested interest in how this matter plays out, as it could impact the rights their workers have to sue them in a collective manner.

The dispute surrounds the ability of employers to require their employees to sign arbitration clauses in their employment agreements. Under an arbitration clause, an employer may require an employee to handle an employment-related dispute individually rather than suing the company under a class action. Class action lawsuits can be expensive for employers, and the justices on the court appear split as to how they believe the law should address this employment matter.

What happens when a contract is breached?

To understand the course of events that may unfold when a contract or agreement is breached, readers of this blog should have a solid understanding of how a contract is formed. For a contract to be created, at least two parties must agree to the contract's terms. One of the parties must offer to perform a service or provide a good and, in exchange, the other party must accept the offer and provide consideration for the offeror's goods or services.

Contracts are often written down, but some contracts can be verbal and, therefore, more difficult to decipher if the parties allege a commercial dispute on the agreement's terms. A breach of contract occurs when one of the parties to the agreement fails in some way to perform as expected by the terms of the contract.

Confidentiality disputes can lead to breach of contract claims

When a business brings on a new hire, it is often looking for new energy and new human capital that will help the entity as a whole grow and become more competitive in its market. Upon retaining a new employee, it is not uncommon for a New Jersey business to offer its new acquisition a contract of terms that detail the employee's conditions of employment. One of those terms may be a confidentiality clause; this post will generally address what these clauses are and how they can cause issues in the employer-employee relationship.

A confidentiality clause often requires an employee to keep secret and not share any information about the employer's business. This can include, but is not limited to, trade secrets, product specifications and formulas, operational procedures and others. The purpose of a confidentiality clause is to protect a business from leaked information and increased competition from other entities vying for market shares; for this reason, employers often make their confidentiality clauses endure beyond the end of their employees' terms of employment with them.

Have an HR dispute? We can help.

It is not uncommon for a business to operate different departments that hold different responsibilities that are critical to the overall functioning of the organization. While one department may be responsible for developing new products or implementing new services to offer to their customers, another may be tasked with managing workflow and ensuring compliance with governmental regulations and oversight. There is one type of department, though, that most New York businesses utilize: human resources.

Human resource departments are often responsible for the hiring, firing, disciplining, and policy instructing of an organization. They manage people and make sure those employees are doing what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it. While human resource employees are not necessarily the supervisors of other workers, they are often involved when bosses have to take adverse actions against the people who work under them.

3 Common Employee Handbook Mistakes

From a small family business to a multi-national company, all organizations will require some level of employee handbook. This series of documents can typically be as detailed or general as leadership believes is necessary. It is important to remember, however, that a comprehensive, well-written employee handbook can prevent future disputes and legal battles.

What is religious discrimination in the workplace?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees based on a number of protected classes. One of those protected classes is religion and, as such, a New York employer may be liable for an employee's damages if that employee suffers adverse employment actions due to their religious practices and preferences.

For example, although employers may require that their employees follow particular religious practices, those mandates must be closely tied to the work that the employees do. Consider priests in the Roman Catholic faith: it is imperative that individuals in this line of work accept Roman Catholicism as their personal religion and advocate for it in their roles as workers for the Church. An auto mechanic's shop that mandates that all of its employees are Christian may not find as much legal backing should a religious discrimination case arise with one of its employees.

Unfair competition covers a multitude of bad business conduct

Like individuals, businesses can suffer harm and losses when they are victimized by other corporate entities. In New York, a business may claim that it has suffered from unfair competition practices if the actions of another organization resulted in the victim business losing money or commercial opportunities. This post will discuss several of the legal actions that may be considered unfair competition in the business setting but readers are cautioned that its content is not comprehensive. A deeper investigation of unfair competition should be taken up with business attorneys familiar with readers' legal problems.

One example of unfair competition is the selling or stealing of a company's trade secrets. A trade secret is a piece of information that is particular to an organization and that helps it distinguish its brand from others. If that information was given to a competitor, the harmed business could lose money as its trade secret was made public.

Google, former employee spar over employment termination

Under the law, employers may not discriminate against individuals based on certain factors, such as race, religious preference or gender. These laws are in place to ensure that all people have access to employment opportunities and, like employers throughout the rest of the nation, New York employers must abide by the laws. If a company uses any of the aforementioned factors to make adverse employment decisions, these decisions can open the company up to liability for a host of legal claims.

However, a recent employment case has made national headlines not because an employee was fired for being a member of a protected class but, rather, because of an employee's comments about the inclusion of a particular protected class of people in the technology field. An engineer for the tech giant Google lost his job when he proffered a 10-page internal memo that claimed women hold fewer tech positions than men because they are biologically less capable, rather than the more commonly held belief that bias and discrimination close doors to them in the tech world.

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