Fisher Taubenfeld LLP
PH 646-741-3490 | TF 866-654-0343

New York City Employment Law Blog

Lawsuit: unfair wages in the NFL are nothing to cheer about

We often read about the multi-million dollar contracts professional football players sign every year. The story goes that if a player has performed well or shows great potential, franchises will pay huge sums of money to sign that player. In fact, there is a salary cap in place to keep teams from paying players too much.

However, the same cannot be said for the women cheering on those players. In fact, according to a recent lawsuit filed by a group of former NFL cheerleaders, NFL teams allegedly engage in practices that suppress the earning potential for cheerleaders.

Pregnant workers: What you should know about accommodations

If you are pregnant, chances are that you have a lot on your mind. It is, after all, one of the most significant life events you can experience. Pregnancy can also take an incredible toll on a woman physically and mentally. With all this in mind, it should not be surprising that many pregnant women benefit from certain accommodations in the workplace.

Unfortunately, too many people fail to understand that in New York, a pregnant employee is entitled to the same reasonable accommodations as a disabled employee. This lack of understanding leaves moms-to-be suffering or without a job. Rather than suffer in silence or be in fear of losing your job, it can be helpful to know what types of accommodations you may be entitled to receive.

2 types of sexual harassment

When people think about sexual harassment in the workplace, they often imagine a sensationalized scene involving overt sexual commentary and actions. While such a scene does certainly play out in workplaces across New York, many cases of sexual harassment are more subtle and harder to define.

For instance, rather than making crude gestures and comments to a woman in the middle of the break room with witnesses, a supervisor might instead touch the woman during a private meeting. If called on it, he might try to argue that the touch was accidental or that she is misinterpreting the action.

To make it a little easier to identify sexual harassment, you should understand that there are two types of harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

VA whistleblower seeking protection from retaliation

Being disciplined or fired for exercising your rights as an employee is not only upsetting; it is illegal. This is called retaliation and there are strict state and federal laws in place that prohibit such behaviors.

However, employers still try to get away with retaliatory actions by lying or misrepresenting situations. In some cases, they hope to muddy up the waters just enough so that it isn't exactly clear why a person was fired, demoted or transferred.

Understanding what state law has to say about sexual harassment

While we would all like to think that the 21st century workplace has evolved to a point where all employees are treated equally and with the necessary degree of professional respect, this is sadly not the case. Indeed, any simple internet news search will provide countless stories outlining shocking allegations of discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment in all manner of workplaces across the nation.

As discouraging as this reality is, employees can find some solace in the fact that they can hold their employer legally accountable for this type of conduct. By way of illustration, consider sexual harassment, which is prohibited by Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act and, more significant for the purposes of our discussion, the New York State Human Rights Law.

City Council mulling measures to improve conditions in retail, fast-food sectors

There is no question that those men and women who work in the retail, fast-food or service industry often find it to be an exceedingly difficult way to earn a living owing to everything from inflexible hours and stagnant wages. Indeed, this struggle is perhaps even more pronounced in places like New York City, where the cost of living is always incredibly high.   

In recognition of this reality and the fact that income inequality continues to be a very real problem across the five boroughs, the New York City Council is now debating six different bills that, if passed, would serve to improve conditions for employees toiling in the city's massive retail and food service industry.

What you should understand about workplace retaliation

While the labor laws here in New York provide workers with considerable protection against everything from wage and hour violations to workplace discrimination, the unfortunate reality is that they are often reluctant to take any action owing to a fear of reprisals.   

Specifically, many workers fear that their employer will exact some measure of vengeance against them for their perceived disloyalty. While this fear is very understandable and very real, workers must nevertheless understand that these very same labor laws also expressly protect them from workplace retaliation.

Are you entitled to a meal break under state law?

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of any employee's workday, regardless of their chosen professional, is their meal break. That's because it's a time to not just satiate their appetite, but also catch up with co-workers, tend to personal matters or even just clear their minds of job-related stressors.

Despite the obvious benefits of meal breaks, employers will sometimes seek to restrict participation via crippling workloads or tacit communications making it very clear that taking lunch breaks will result in some manner of retaliation.

Can my boss require me to work overtime?

While the days of 9-5 pretty much vanished with the explosion of the tech industry, most employees (below executive level) still expect to work about a 40 hour week. So what happens when your boss, or simply the demands of your job, requires that you put in more hours than usual to get the job done?

Alas, the answer is not straightforward. The Federal Labor Standards Act is the force at the federal level that dictates wage and hour laws. While it regulates items such as minimum wage, it mostly stays quiet about the number of hours in a day that an adult can be required to work. This means that, at least at the Federal level, your boss can legally mandate overtime.

Attorneys at Fisher Taubenfeld LLP (Formerly Serrins Fisher) Obtain Landmark Decisions From New York Appeals Court Expanding Availability of Public Whistleblower Claims

In a landmark decision overturning more than 20 years of precedent, New York's Appellate Division, First Department recently held that a city employee is not required to file a Notice of Claim with the city before suing as a whistleblower.

Under New York law, an individual who wants to sue a city for claims for tort, personal injury, wrongful death or damage to real or personal property must first file with the city within 90 days a "Notice of Claim" alerting the city to the injury and providing certain details. Over 20 years ago, the New York appellate courts extended this rule to city employees who filed whistleblower claims against their employer and required city employees to comply with onerous Notice of Claim requirements. Given that terminated employees generally do not meet with attorneys immediately after termination, as a result of the incredibly short 90-day time frame, many potential plaintiffs have missed this deadline and watched their meritorious claims slip away.