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White Plains Employment And Commercial Law Blog

Applicants Who Exclude Their Own Resumes From Consideration

In a recent blog, we have discussed the notion of culture fit and the increased perception that hiring for similar personalities and like demographics has become a double-edged sword. It is not an uncommon belief that culture fit has become a thinly-veiled excuse for ageism with hiring managers actively working to dispel this notion. There are other dangers, though, that applicants face from the very outset.

Hiring managers, interview screeners and HR generalists have various methods in place to identify those who will reach the next stage of the hiring process. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for an applicant to guess how to correctly position themselves.

Avoid illegal questions during the interview process

Hiring a new employee can be a difficult process for a New York employer. As they work through applications and resumes, it can be hard to find ways to distinguish the names they read on paper from one another. When they do get to meet prospective employees in interviews, it can be tempting to delve into a wide range of topics to learn more about the people they may eventually work with.

However, when it comes to interviewing, employers cannot inquire into all possible topics. They must ensure that their interview questions are not only appropriate to the jobs they are hiring for, but the questions also cannot be in violation of any state or federal laws. Generally put, interviewers may not inquire about protected classifications of their interviewees, such as their disabilities, race, religion or other personal traits and identifications.

What is workplace retaliation?

Sometimes in sports, a player may receive what they perceive to be a dirty hit or unfair call. Rather than accepting the matter as finished, some athletes will choose to retaliate against the offending player or referee when the opportunity presents itself. This form of payback is dangerous and damaging, and New York employees may know that it happens in places other than the athletic fields.

Employees who seek to advocate for their own rights, such as the right to work free of harassment or discrimination, sometimes bear the burden of retaliation from those who employ them. They may feel the retaliation in the form of unwarranted bad performance reviews, demotions to positions of less stature than they previously held, and other adverse actions that affect their employment.

Are your HR policies ready for the New Year?

Employees are the greatest asset that a business can acquire. Throughout New York, employers consistently look to find the most competent and successful individuals available to fill the positions that are open at their entities. When a new employee is hired, they are expected to agree to certain employment terms to maintain their employment and receive their pay.

However, an employee is not the only one in the work relationship that is expected to follow certain employment terms. An employee must understand what is expected of them not only in terms of their job duties but also the type of personal conduct that is mandated for individuals in their positions of employment. To this end, employers are expected to have sound employment policies in place that are both clear and fair for individuals who work under their instruction.

The process for recovering back pay and overtime pay

Terrytown residents work hard for the wages that they earn and should be compensated for the tasks they complete for their employers while on the job. This can include taking on longer hours and working overtime when their employers need employee support to get the work done. When a worker fails to receive the right compensation for the job they have done, they may have a cause to pursue under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Through the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, a worker may file a complaint that alleges the erroneous or lacking pay that their employer provided to them. The complaint must include certain information that identifies the worker, their employer, the nature of the work that they performed, the pay that they received and other salient data. Even though a worker must identify themselves in their complaint, the complaint is generally left confidential in interactions with the employer.

What is a severance agreement?

Not all jobs will endure until a New Yorker is ready to retire. In fact, it is not uncommon for individuals to change employers and even career paths throughout the course of their work lives. While some individuals will choose to leave places of employment on their terms and for better opportunities, others will find themselves leaving their jobs at the bequest of their employers.

When an employee leaves their job due to the actions of their employer, they may be offered a severance package to smooth over the transition out of their employment. Severance packages can include, but are not limited to, increased compensation, the extension of work-related benefits and other financial benefits. Severance packages are generally offered in return for individuals signing off on severance agreements, which can be technical documents.

The Demise Of “Culture Fit.”

Largely coinciding with the tech boom in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, companies began searching for terms to define their hiring needs in fun, creative ways. Ads started listing personality traits alongside education and experience. Prospective workers were described as fun or hip or energetic. They were “digital natives” and “tech savvy.” Soon, all of these traits began to merge into what companies would define as their culture.

Unfortunately, culture and the expected descriptor of whether an applicant was a “culture fit” soon became the defining new-hire characteristic. But, nearly two decades later, has “culture fit” taken on a sinister tone?

How can unsafe product claims affect my business?

Products liability law covers litigation based on personal injuries sustained from defective or dangerous consumer products. If a New York resident buys a new product, uses it as the product was intended to be used and sustains an injury from that use that should not have been anticipated from the warnings and instructions provided therein, then the individual may be a victim of a products liability matter.

These types of cases are often approached from the perspective of the alleged victim, the consumer. However, it is important to note that there is at least one other party that will be involved in a products liability case: the maker or seller of the allegedly defective product. A company may be forced to defend itself from claims that it put dangerous goods into the stream of commerce and that its actions caused innocent individuals to suffer physical harm.

What to do when your business receives an EEOC complaint

Claims of discrimination can be difficult for businesses to defend and can cause employers a great deal of stress. It is advisable for New York employers to consult with business and employment law attorneys when they face employee-driven challenges based on claims of discrimination, wrongful termination and other legally impermissible employment actions.

When an employee reports an adverse employment action to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a review of the claim will be initiated. An employer will receive notification of the pending claim and may be invited to mediate the accusations with the employee. If the employer decides not to mediate the matter, then they will be required to respond to the employee's claims in a written statement.

We can help protect your rights as a New York worker

Those individuals who hold down jobs often do so because they must earn incomes to support themselves and their families. They may have mortgages to pay, children's educational costs to cover and a myriad of other expenses that come due each week, month or year. Without their jobs, their lives may become significantly more challenging and their financial obligations may go unmet.

While it is not uncommon for men and women to decide to leave their jobs on their own terms in order to pursue other opportunities, it is also unfortunately common for them to lose their jobs due to poor practices engaged in by their employers. Terminations based on harassment or retaliation can happen when workers speak up and call out wrongs committed in their places of employment.

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