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New York City Employment Law Blog

Wage theft, other violations impact several restaurant workers

Workers often face a number of difficult situations at their places of employment. Some of those issues may involve customers, co-workers or management. In cases where management is involved, employees may suffer due to mistreatment and violations of their rights. In particular, wage theft is a serious problem that affects numerous workers.

New York readers may be interested in a wage theft case currently underway in another state. Reports indicated that nine current and former workers of a restaurant filed a legal complaint alleging that their employers did not properly compensate them for their hours worked. Many of the workers carried out serving duties and should have received tipped wages. However, management split the tips among themselves as well as kitchen staff, who were not eligible for tips. As a result, the servers did not receive the proper minimum wage.

Employers violate FMLA, worker suffers

Having any type of medical condition can make life more difficult in various ways. In some cases, conditions could result in individuals needing frequent medical attention and time off of work. Often, the Family and Medical Leave Act can allow qualifying workers to take leave without putting their jobs at risk. Unfortunately, some employers may violate the rights of workers covered under FMLA.

New York readers may take interest in a recent lawsuit that was filed in another state regarding such violations. Reports stated that a man had worked for an oil and gas company for four years and that he also has a medical condition known as narcolepsy, which means his sleep cycles differ from those without the condition. After starting a new treatment for his condition, the man had a difficult time adjusting his schedule and working through the effects of his condition.

Settlement reached in New York employment discrimination case

Needing certain accommodations affects many people with disabilities or other conditions. When workers need extra help to complete their jobs or need time away from work to address medical issues, their employers should assess the situation and grant reasonable accommodation requests. However, not every employer takes proper action in these situations, and individuals could face employment discrimination.

It was recently reported that a class action lawsuit in New York regarding pregnancy and disability discrimination recently came to a settlement. According to reports, a nursing home company will pay $465,000 to an undisclosed number of workers who faced discrimination from the company. The settlement also states that the company has agreed to address its leave of absence, attendance and discipline policies to coincide with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Legal action sometimes needed after employment discrimination

While many New York residents may not completely enjoy their jobs, they likely still feel that they can get through their work-related duties in relative peace. Unfortunately, that may not be the case for a number other workers. Some individuals can face employment discrimination that can make their workdays dreadful.

One worker in another state had to contend with such mistreatment. According to reports, the individual worked for a contractor and had been promoted to a backhoe operator. While on the job, a foreman used a racial slur multiple times. The backhoe operator -- who is black -- complained to the employer about the foreman's actions. However, the foreman was not disciplined in relation to the situation, and instead, the employee was demoted to pick-and-shovel work.

Is there a specific procedure for requesting work accommodations?

As an employee of a New York business, you have certain rights. As an employee with a disability, you also have certain protections. You may have been born with a condition that makes some tasks more difficult for you to complete than able-bodied individuals, or you could have suffered permanent injury from an accident or illness. No matter the case, you still consider yourself able to hold a job and effectively carry out the necessary duties.

Still, as someone with a disability, you may need additional help completing certain tasks or need special equipment to accommodate a wheelchair. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you have the ability to request reasonable accommodation from your employer. In these cases, "reasonable" typically means that granting your request would not unnecessarily hinder work operations as a whole.

New York employers need to stay updated on sexual harassment laws

Employers have important responsibilities when it comes to protecting their employees. These responsibilities can include providing necessary safety equipment and ensuring a hospitable work environment. When policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment in the workplace are not in accordance with the law, a considerable number of troubles could result.

New York employers should remain in compliance with a number of laws and regulations when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace. Many of these laws have only recently come into effect or are about to be implemented. Policies that went into effect immediately included added protections for individuals not classified as employees, such as contractors, consultants and vendors. Employers cannot allow sexual harassment against employees or these non-employees in the workplace.

New York sexual harassment lawsuit stems from ignored complaints

When people go through a difficult or traumatic experience, they can often feel isolated and alone. They may not know where to turn for help, and when they do seek help, they may not receive the desired outcome. Unfortunately, many individuals who have suffered from sexual harassment in the workplace can feel this way.

In cases where internal complaints of workplace harassment are not properly addressed, legal action may prove necessary. This situation affected a former law clerk in New York. In relation to her case, she stated that a judge sexually harassed her, and after she filed her complaint with the human resources department, she received a demotion. Additionally, the court system's sexual harassment policy was changed.

New York employers must meet sexual harassment requirements

Many workers may wonder what their employers' responsibilities are when it comes to providing safe work environments. Often, laws and regulations are in place to help limit and prevent instances of sexual harassment and other wrongdoing in the workplace. Of course, some employers may need to brush up on their compliance.

New York employers have until Oct. 9 to meet new requirements regarding sexual harassment prevention. The first requirement involves providing a policy that prohibits sexual harassment. That policy must include a statement prohibiting such harassment, examples of prohibited acts, a complaint form, company procedures for reporting and investigating complaints, and other information. This policy must be given to workers as either a hard copy or in electronic form. Employees must also have the ability to access and print the policy during work hours.

Sexual harassment investigation focuses on the Spotted Pig

Workers should have the ability to work in healthy and safe environments. Unfortunately, too many workers face sexual harassment and discrimination on the job. As a result, they may dread going to work and fear for their safety. Fortunately, it's possible to look into such actions and work toward rectifying any wrongdoing.

It was recently reported that an investigation is currently taking place in New York involving the restaurant Spotted Pig as well as its majority owner Ken Friedman. Allegations relating to the case state that employees feel that the restaurant's work atmosphere is "highly sexualized." The investigation hopes to obtain records relating to any sexually suggestive activities in the workplace, which may include nude photographs and inquiries into the sexual availability of workers.

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.

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