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October 2019 Archives

NYC Human Rights Comm'n issues guidelines re: immigration status

The New York City Commission on Human Rights is best known for its regulation of discrimination in housing and public accommodations, but it also has great power to control discrimination in the workplace. The Commission recently used this power by issuing new enforcement guidance concerning discrimination in employment decisions based upon actual or perceived national origin or immigration status.

Supreme Court hears arguments in LGBT discrimination case

The Supreme Court of the United States recently heard intense arguments about whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act bars employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender status. In the minds of most court observers, the presence on the Court of five solidly conservative justices has predetermined the outcome, but Justice Neil Gorsuch asked questions that indicated that he may not have made up his mind.

When is offering a severance package appropriate?

One of the down sides to owning or managing a business is that you may have to terminate employees from time to time. This is seldom an easy process, and it may be difficult to deny the emotions of firing someone from a job that may help to support a family. Nevertheless, you have a business to run, and letting someone go almost always means the alternative is bad for business.

Understanding overtime exemptions under the FLSA

Among the most important federal regulations that govern employers and employees are the mandatory overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA was passed in 1938 during the Great Depression to ensure that workers received a fair minimum wage and that workers received paid overtime if they worked more than a specified number of hours in a week. The issue that probably causes more disputes than any other portion of these regulations is the question of an employee's eligibility for mandatory overtime pay. Employers have been trying to limit the application of the requirement, and employees and their representatives have been trying to expand the reach of this provision.

EEOC sues Wal-Mart for sexual harassment by co-worker

Most employers in New York are aware that they can be held liable for torts committed by their employees if the act falls within the employee's scope of employment. But what about newer forms of invasive behavior, such as sexual harassment. Many employers assume that they cannot control sexual harassment by employees and that they are therefore not liable for such behavior. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") has a different opinion that it has expressed in a recently filed a lawsuit in Rochester, NY, against Wal-Mart Stores East, LP.

Intellectual property dispute over comics icon leads to lawsuit

Business litigation in New York and across the United States often stems from an intellectual property dispute. Because certain ideas and creations can have immense value, there are frequently disagreements as to who owns certain properties and how they can be used. When a person who created a creative work is seemingly taken advantage of, the matter can be even more complex if the creator has since passed away To address this complicated aspect of business litigation, it is wise to have legal advice from the beginning, as may be evidenced by one recent case.

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