The Legal Workplace Grind

Jun
18
2015
An employee suing for unpaid wages or overtime has the burden to prove his case. Of course, most people don’t keep records of the hours they work or the wages they’re paid – they rely on their employer or its payroll service to carry out that function and assume they will be properly paid. That’s precisely the reason both federal and New York State law require employers to keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid. And if they don't, an employee's testimony alone can carry the day in court.
Jun
09
2015
The U.S. Supreme Court explained that in order to prove employment discrimination on the basis of religion, it is not necessary to show that the employer had actual knowledge of the need for a religious accommodation. Rather, unlawful discrimination occurs when a decision is motivated by discrimination against a religious belief, observance or practice.
May
27
2015
The number of pregnant women working up to their due date has steadily increased in the past 40 years. New York State is finally poised to join 15 other states which mandate that employers provide pregnant workers an accommodation on the job.
May
05
2015
An employee who complains to an employer – including his or her supervisor – about wage violations is protected by the anti-retaliation provisions of the FLSA, even where that complaint is made orally and not in writing.
Mar
26
2015
While the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that it may not require an employer to accommodate pregnant workers.
Mar
12
2015
Samantha Elauf was seventeen years old when she showed up for an interview at an Abercrombie store wearing a hijab - a Muslim head scarf. Abercrombie refused to hire Ms. Elauf because it assumed she wore the scarf for religious reasons and that her religious practice would not allow her to comply with its “Look Policy”. The oral argument before the Supreme Court this past month reveals how a seemingly simple case can confuse even our most esteemed jurists when it presents tough legal questions at the core of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – the federal law that prohibits discrimination in employment based on religion. The question before the Court – when when it comes to talking about religion on an interview, who goes first. Read on for the punch line ...
Feb
27
2015
As Black History Month 2015 comes to an end and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 approaches its 51st anniversary, the realization that the American workplace has yet to grasp the golden ring of equal employment opportunity can be discouraging. While statistics show fewer complaints of employment discrimination were filed in 2014, retaliation is on the rise, a gender wage gap still exists, sexual orientation is not protected and pregnant employees are not entitled to an accommodation. But this may soon change too.
Feb
14
2015
With Valentine’s Day comes the enumerable exchange of emails, cards, candies, flowers – and yes, donuts and lattes – in workplaces across America. While love may bloom from these seemingly harmless gestures, what if your company prohibits workplace relationships; or you prefer your latte sprinkle-free; or worse, your acceptance of that donut is misinterpreted and results in a hostile work environment.
Jan
26
2015
All parents are working in more than 60% of homes with children. More than 60% of women with children under age 5 are working. The US is the only developed nation without a paid leave law. It's time to lead on leave.
Jan
19
2015
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex and made it illegal to retaliate against those who exercise the rights guaranteed by Title VII.