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White Plains Employment And Commercial Law Blog

Can employees bring service animals to the office?

Many people love their animals and view them as part of the family. They feed them, wash them and offer support for their furry friend. However, some people consider their dog as a necessary companion, especially in the case of a service dog.

Service animals offer an essential job to people with disabilities. And many of those people need their animal to properly navigate the office or assist them in performing daily tasks. That’s why New York law supports the use of service animals in the workplace.

Former bartender files wage claim against hotel over tips

There are many jobs in New York and across the nation where workers rely on tips to boost their income. While most employers who have so-called "tipped" workers will adhere to the law regarding this issue and see it as a benefit to both the employee and the business as it will improve service, some commit violations of the law. For workers in the service industry who believe they have been damaged by this type of behavior, it is possible to get their employee rights upheld by filing a wage claim.

A man who worked as a bartender at a hotel has filed a lawsuit saying that his employer's behavior was tantamount to stealing tips. According to him, the hotel tacked a "service" fee to the bills and did not give the money to its workers. The man was a bartender and banquet server for slightly more than one year. He claims that the service charge is placed on the bills and menus for items served at gatherings like weddings and various events. The implication is that service workers are being given a tip for their work from that service charge. However, the hotel did not give those fees to workers.

Employment law for employers and contracts needs legal advice

In the current climate where employees are gaining increasing power to file claims against employers for perceived wrongdoing, it is important that employers protect themselves even before the person starts the job. In a professional atmosphere, having that protection goes beyond hiring the best possible candidate in an aboveboard and fair way. It includes crafting a comprehensive contract that will address the potential issues before they arise. This is where it is important to have legal advice from a law firm that specializes in these contracts and agreements.

Written contracts are critical to detail a variety of aspects of the job. That includes what is required and expected on the part of the employee, how much he or she will be compensated and what severance will be provided in the event it is necessary. Also, there are generally restrictions with certain areas of the job. For example, if there is a plan or a creation that could be used by other businesses, having a confidentiality agreement can stop the employee from using what he or she knows and causing immeasurable and irreparable harm to the former company.

What protection for retaliation do New York employees have?

New York employees should not be afraid to speak up when there are workplace issues. However, many employees will subtly or tacitly discourage employees from doing so with various threats - overt and implied - used to prevent it. Workers who are concerned about violations but do not know what protection for retaliation is available to shield them or who have already been retaliated against should know the facts about retaliation and how the state has legislated against it. A legal filing can be a way to be compensated after an employee was confronted with retaliation.

Employers are prohibited by law against discharging, penalizing, discriminating or retaliating against an employee who does any of the following: complains about labor law violations to the employer; complains to the Labor Department; gives information to the Labor Department; testifies in a proceeding; or exercises his or her rights under the law. If the employer is given an adverse decision from the Labor Department because of the employee, this cannot be the basis for retaliation.

Many women have employee rights violated with sexual harassment

With the increasing number of stories where people are complaining about workplace civil right violations and being subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination, the scope of the problem in New York State and across the nation is becoming clear. Keeping track of the statistics of people who say they are being sexually harassed or discriminated against is beneficial to finding strategies to reduce its incidence.

Although it was generally assumed that many people are confronted with harassing behaviors, a new poll suggests that it is even worse than previously thought. Those who are being sexually harassed should understand their employee rights and seek compensation. In the poll, 70 percent of those who took part stated that sexual harassment at work was becoming more prevalent. Around 75 percent of the women and 66 percent of the men agreed with the belief. 15 percent of men who were questioned stated they had been victimized by sexual harassment.

Questions surround if man's wrongful termination lawsuit

New York State employers who are seeking to protect their business will often need to dismiss employees who they deem detrimental to it. This is highlighted in situations that are public with prominent people accused of violating the requirements to retain the job. There is often back and forth regarding how far employment law goes in protecting workers from wrongful termination and the right of employers to dismiss an employee if they feel it is necessary. Employers who are confronted with this situation should understand their rights and have help from a law firm that understands the perspectives of workers and employees.

A man who worked as a meteorologist on an upstate television station was fired from his job after making an inappropriate comment about a slain civil rights leader. There is a dispute as to whether he can succeed in a lawsuit against the station for his dismissal. The man referred to Martin Luther King Jr. using a derogatory term for African-Americans. He claimed that it was inadvertent and resulted from his speaking too fast, not because of racism or for any other reason. He was subsequently dismissed from his job.

Woman claims retaliation violated her employment rights

New York workers who are faced with a violation of their employee rights and come forward to seek compensation are taking a drastic and courageous step to protect themselves. Unfortunately, many employers -- public and private -- do not have the expected reaction of sanctioning employees who have violated the law when it comes to worker treatment. In fact, they will make matters worse by retaliating against the complaining employee. For workers who have already dealt with sexual harassment and other mistreatment, they must also remember that they have the right to protection for retaliation and can seek compensation for it.

The Division of Criminal Justice is being sued a second time after there were alleged retaliatory acts against a woman who had made sexual harassment claims against a supervisor. The woman brought the case against multiple entities including the state, the acting commissioner and others. She states that she was retaliated and discriminated against because she complained about the former supervisor and provided testimony as part of an investigation as to his behavior.

How to respond to sexual harassment in the workplace

No one should have to walk into work anticipating sexual harassment from colleagues. In the unexpected situation that it does happen, however, it may not always be instinctual to report it. Many women who have experienced workplace sexual harassment may be hesitating to take immediate action for various reasons, such as fear of retaliation or of losing their job altogether.

Nonetheless, you do not have to tolerate inappropriate behavior. Your company likely has policies that could protect you from harassment, and it is worth knowing your rights. If you believe you have experienced sexual harassment, you may want to consider these possible next steps to help you take action:

2019 changes to employment law for employees grants new benefits

New Yorkers who were celebrating the new year by having a good time with friends and family might have had other reasons to celebrate. The dawn of 2019 not only marks the turning of the calendar from one year to another, but it also put into effect new employment laws that are designed to enhance the benefits and employee rights of workers in the state. While the laws must now be followed by employers, it is always important for workers to remember that some employers might try to circumvent these laws or use threats - overt and implied - to prevent their employees from exercising those rights. If that happens, having legal help is key to get the benefits workers are entitled to.

Paid family leave has always been a concern for New Yorkers. The ability to care for a sick relative or to have a break from work and experience bonding with a new child frequently clashed with the need to get back to work. Now, however, there was an increase in paid family leave to 10 weeks in 2019. In subsequent years, it will increase even further. While they are off, their replacement wages will increase from half of what they were earning to 55 percent.

Sexual harassment claims lodged against judge

In New York, an allegation of sexual harassment can damage a person's standing professionally and personally. The impact it can have is extensive. This is especially true if it is a person in a position of power and respect in the community. While all allegations that a person has committed sexual harassment against employees should be taken seriously and, if they are found to be true, the accused should face the consequences, it is imperative to keep in mind that not all allegations are valid. Regardless of the case, the employer must have a strong defense.

A judge in family court has been accused of sexually harassing employees. A lawsuit was filed in federal court to seek compensation for his alleged behavior. According to the plaintiffs, a man and a woman, the judge subjected them to lewd behavior and showed them pornography. The acts he is accused of include showing his employees nude images, offensively describing sexual acts, discussing his sexual ideas, and asking that the female - his secretary - cater to his sexual needs. He is also accused of making threats if they committed what he deemed to be acts of betrayal. When the allegations were made, he was removed from the bench. The status of the state's investigation is continuing.

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