ANTI-DISCRIMINATION/ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICES ARE HELD TO NOT SHIELD EMPLOYERS FROM DISCRIMINATION AND/OR HARASSMENT CLAIMS BROUGHT PURSUANT TO NEW YORK CITY LAW

          It has long been settled that an employer may, in many instances, avoid liability under the State and Federal statutes governing employment discrimination and harassment if it has an effectively publicized and well-enforced anti-discrimination/anti-harassment policy.  This is known as the “Faragher-Ellerth” affirmative defense, named after the United States Supreme Court decisions which articulated the …

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SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE WHETHER A COMPLAINT MUST BE IN WRITING TO BE COVERED UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARD ACT’S ANTI-RETALIATION PROVISION

            The United States Supreme Court has agreed to review the question of whether an oral complaint of a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is considered “protected” conduct under that statute’s anti-retaliation provision.             Section 215(a)(3) of the FLSA states, in part, that it is unlawful for an employer to discharge or …

SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE WHETHER A COMPLAINT MUST BE IN WRITING TO BE COVERED UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARD ACT’S ANTI-RETALIATION PROVISION Read More »

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS ABLE TO SUE FOR RACE DISCRIMINATION?

            In 1975, the United States Supreme Court held that Section 1981 applies to employment contracts.  In 1991, the statute was extended to track Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination in the terms and conditions of employment.  As a result, Section 1981 now covers all aspects of the employment relationship, including its creation and termination.  It …

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INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR V. EMPLOYEE

           Whether to classify a worker as an independent contractor or an employee is a critical decision, one which affects many different aspects of the company-worker relationship.  For example, an employee can sue an employer for unlawful workplace discrimination under federal anti-discrimination statutes, but an independent contractor may not.  In addition, an employee may be …

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SECOND CIRCUIT RULES THAT FAILING TO INVESTIGATE A DISCRIMINATION CLAIM CANNOT BE CONSIDERED A RETALIATORY ACT

Last month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Connecticut, New York and Vermont, ruled that a company’s failure to investigate a complaint of alleged employment discrimination cannot be considered retaliation for the filing of that same complaint. The plaintiff, Ms. Cynthia Fincher, worked as a senior auditor for the Depository Trust …

SECOND CIRCUIT RULES THAT FAILING TO INVESTIGATE A DISCRIMINATION CLAIM CANNOT BE CONSIDERED A RETALIATORY ACT Read More »

DRUG GIANT NOVARTIS SUFFERS HUGE DEFEAT IN GENDER DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

In the largest gender discrimination matter to go to verdict in the United States, a New York jury last week found the drug company Novartis liable for gender discrimination in pay, promotional opportunities, and pregnancy-related matters. The class included female sales representative who worked for the drug company between 2002 and 2007. After delivering a …

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CONNECTICUT WOMAN FILES GENETIC DISCRIMINATION CLAIM WITH THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

A Fairfield, Connecticut woman filed a charge of discrimination last month with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) against her former employer under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”). Under that law, which went into effect in November, 2009, employers may not use an individual’s genetic background in hiring, firing or deciding promotions. Ms. Pamela …

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ANNOUNCES NEW PLAN TO CURB LABOR VIOLATIONS

The United States Department of Labor recently announced plans to require companies to prepare and adopt compliance plans aimed at ensuring they do not violate wage, job safety and equal employment laws. The Department of Labor stated that its intention was to foster a culture of compliance among employers, rather than what it called the …

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Mandatory New Hire Notification for New York Employers

Effective October 26, 2009, New York employers are required to notify all new hires in writing of their hourly rate, overtime rate (if applicable) and payday.  Employers must also receive a written acknowledgment of such notification.  The Department recently posted on its website mandatory forms that must be used by employers with employees working in New …

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