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New York City Employment Law Blog

Employers often make mistakes when it comes to accommodations

If you suffer from a disability, you probably already know that you can request that your employer make "reasonable accommodations" to help you perform your job duties, as long as the accommodations do not cause an undue hardship on your employer. Many employers do not have enough experience with the Americans with Disabilities Act to understand how to fulfill this obligation properly.

While a lack of experience with the ADA is no excuse, it does bring up the fact that employers make numerous mistakes when attempting to comply with the Act. It may be up to you to educate your employer regarding what the Act requires. You could do this by understanding the most common mistakes employers make in this regard.

Human resources should properly handle sexual harassment claims

Being harassed can make any New York resident feel unsafe. In a best case scenario, the victim would have the ability to get away from the harasser and to a safe place. Unfortunately, that may not always be a viable option, especially if the situation involves sexual harassment taking place at work.

Still, even workplace harassment can be addressed. Victims may first want to report the incidents to their human resources department in hopes of having the issue looked into. Hopefully, the HR representatives will listen to the claims and work to determine the best course of action for investigating and handling the complaint. Providing all the necessary facts to the HR department could help to ensure the claims are properly investigated. 

Seemingly innocent questions could be employment discrimination

Many people may think and hope that by the time they reach the age 50 that they have established themselves in a career and are nearing retirement. However, it is not unusual for older individuals to find themselves needing a new job for one reason or another. Unfortunately, older parties can often face employment discrimination based on their ages.

New York residents may want to pay particular attention to questions that could potentially be discriminatory. While some people may think that age discrimination takes place when an older party is forced to leave his or her job, that is not the only instance. During the hiring process, interviewers may attempt to ask roundabout questions in hopes of determining an applicant's age and potentially ruling that person out as a candidate.

Employment discrimination fuels the glass ceiling concept

Most people work hard at their jobs in hopes of advancing in their chosen career paths. Advancement often means promotions, raises and other benefits that could allow them to feel successful. Of course, employment discrimination can often hinder these goals for many people in New York and elsewhere and result in them facing a stagnant career.

One woman in another state has faced such an issue with her job. Reports stated that she works for an automotive group and holds a sales manager position. However, the woman has wanted to advance to the higher position of general manager. Two individuals who had left that position recommended her for the job due to her qualifications, but reports stated that the job was repeatedly given to equally or less-qualified male workers. In fact, the woman has missed out on the promotion nine times.

FMLA violation leads to compensation for former worker

No one can truly predict what life will throw a person's way. As a result, someone may intend on going to work every day only to end up needing time off due to a personal or family medical issue. In many instances, the Family and Medical Leave Act can provide protected leave that allows workers to take time off without consequence. However, FMLA violations on the part of employers are not uncommon.

New York residents may be interested in a recent case involving this type of violation. There were not many details provided about the case, but reports did indicate that a worker was terminated from a position at an appliance manufacturing plant due to absences. It was unclear how many days off the worker may have taken, but the employer considered them unauthorized.

There are many ways to report sexual harassment

There are many reasons that New York workers may feel uncomfortable at work. They may worry that they are not doing their job well or that their boss does not like them. In more serious situations, employees may feel a sense of dread going to work because they face sexual harassment from co-workers or managers.

When harassment takes place, the common advice is to report the actions to the human resources department. However, not every company has such a department. Fortunately, harassment victims can still work to have the misconduct stopped by speaking to the harasser or a manager. Expressing to the harasser that the actions are inappropriate may be enough to get the person to stop. If it is not or if a worker feels unsafe confronting the harasser, it may be wise to file a complaint with management. 

Workers at packaging plant owed compensation after wage theft

Many people have various goals in life. For numerous individuals in New York and across the world, having a job that provides a stable income is one of those goals. Some people may feel grateful for the employment they obtain, but they may also be taken advantage of through acts of wage theft.

It was recently reported that a lawsuit has been filed against an out-of-state business for this violation. Apparently, employers at a food packaging plant had failed to properly compensate workers for overtime hours worked. The situation involves over 350 individuals who either currently work for or previously worked for the packaging plant. The violations have apparently spanned the last five years.

Age discrimination is not always obvious

If you are over 40 and looking for a new job, you are probably aware of your challenges. Jobs are scarce, and good paying jobs are even harder to find. While you know the law protects you against age discrimination in the hiring process, you can't help but feel that employers are not giving you the same consideration as they are to younger applicants.

That is, if you can even find information about job openings. Maybe you have signed up to receive notifications through social media or from any of the job search databases available online. Nevertheless, you can't apply for jobs if you don't get the notifications. Is it possible that you are not even receiving a chance to apply?

Nurse blows whistle on violations of the federal False Claims Act

When individuals suspect that their employers are committing some type of wrongdoing, they may wonder whether they should speak up. Some people may understandably fear retaliation for being a whistleblower, but it is important that employers are not allowed to get away with violations of the federal False Claims Act. In many cases, individuals who can provide evidence of such violations also receive compensation.

New York readers may be interested in a recent case involving this type of violation. According to reports, a healthcare chain based in another state allegedly claimed to have the ability to help failing hospitals. However, their actions reportedly involved working to defraud the Medicare system and other government assistance programs. A nurse at one of the hospitals noticed the fraudulent activity and gathered evidence to present to the government.

Insecurity should not give way to sexual harassment

In a best case scenario, workers would have employers and managers who foster encouraging environments. Unfortunately, many New York workers know that is not always the situation that many employees face. Sexual harassment runs rampant in many industries, and these misbehaviors may be carried out by individuals in positions of power.

Due to their roles in the company, it is common for people to think that higher-ups sexually harass subordinates as a way to show their power and to coerce others into getting what they want. However, a research study was recently conducted into this type of behavior and its possible driving forces. Three studies were conducted, and results indicated that many parties in positions of power felt insecure about possibly being seen as incompetent. As a result, they harassed individuals in lower positions in hopes of maintaining their positions.

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