David S. Feather, Esq.

NEW YORK CITY’S NEW PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT

A new New York City law, set to go into effect in October, 2017, will bar employers within the five boroughs from asking job candidates about their salary history. The law is meant to address the issue of pay inequality between men and women, as well as wage discrimination against minorities.  In 2015, women earned …

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NEW YORK CITY’S NEW “FREELANCE ISN’T FREE” ACT

A new law which establishes and enhances protections for freelance workers went into effect in New York City on May 15, 2017.  This law gives freelance workers the right to (a) a written contract, (b) timely and full payment, and (c) protection from retaliation. The law establishes penalties for violations of these rights, including statutory damages, double damages, …

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FEDERAL COURT PUTS A BRAKE ON NEW OVERTIME RULES

A federal district court in Texas has issued a preliminary injunction regarding the United States Department of Labor’s (USDOL’s) new federal overtime rule.  The new rule, which is set to double the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) salary threshold for employees deemed exempt from overtime pursuant to the executive, administrative, and professional exemptions, was set to go …

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NEW YORK CITY’S NEW FAIR CHANCE ACT

New York City’s Fair Chance Act went into effect on October 27, 2015.  It is now illegal for most NYC employers to deny employment based on an applicant’s criminal record. This law bans ads specifying things like “no felonies” or “background check required”, and further prohibits questions about criminal history on job applications and during …

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NEW YORK STATE’S MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES

As of December 31, 2015, New York State’s minimum wage is now $9.00 per hour. The minimum wage for “tipped” employees in the hospitality industry is $7.50 as of December 31, 2015. The minimum wage for tipped employees in all other industries, except the building service industry, is $7.65 per hour when tips total at …

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I HAVE NO EMPLOYEES – DO I NEED WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND DISABILITY BENEFITS INSURANCE?

Under New York State law, a for-profit business is exempt from obtaining and maintaining a workers’ compensation insurance policy if one of the following applies: The business is owned by one individual with no employees, no leased employees, no borrowed employees, no part-time employees, no unpaid volunteers (including family members) and no subcontractors, and is …

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EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION ISSUES NEW REPORT ON DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) marked its 50th anniversary in 2015. In August, the EEOC published “American Experiences Versus American Expectations,” a report documenting changes in employee demographics since 1965 and using data through 2013. The full report, available on the EEOC’s website, details a number of changes over nine job categories for women, African …

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EEOC ‘CAUSE’ FINDING MAY BE HARMFUL BUT DOESN’T MEAN AN AUTOMATIC LOSS

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigations typically end when the EEOC issues a notice of dismissal and right-to-sue letter granting the charging party ninety (90) days to file a lawsuit under one or more of the federal statutes the agency enforces – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act …

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EMPLOYEE WINS RIGHTS TO OBTAIN SUPERVISOR’S E-MAILS

An employee has won the right to “discover” allegedly harassing e-mails her supervisor sent while they worked for a former employer. Facts Andrea Gogel sued Kia, alleging it failed to promote her because of her race and gender. She also claimed that Kia later retaliated against her for filing complaints.  Although she didn’t directly sue her supervisor, Randy Jackson, she …

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THE WAGE AND HOUR PERILS OF OFF-HOURS SMARTPHONE USE

“Implicit compulsion” In the last several years, the courts have seen a flood of lawsuits in which groups of employees claim the time they spend reading and responding to e-mail should be considered work time and therefore paid.  In many cases, they’re successful. Employees are often are expected to check their e-mail, and it’s not …

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