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January 2014 Archives

Workplace discrimination being replaced by wage and hour lawsuits

When many people in New York City think about employment law, they may think of workplace discrimination. Although workplace discrimination is still a serious problem in even some of the biggest companies, a 2011 ruling by the Supreme Court has made it much harder for workers to file class-action lawsuits based on workplace discrimination. That doesn't mean that wronged employees can't still receive compensation for discriminatory practices, just that they may have to work a little harder to win them.

Court: employees must conform to employer's dispute policies

Imagine trying to survive in Manhattan on the minimum wage. While it may seem impossible, it apparently can be done. When employees are paid under the minimum wage, are not paid their hourly or salaried wage, or are not paid overtime, it is a violation of New York and federal employment laws.

Did BET discriminate against host based on gender performance?

Although there are considerable federal protections that most New Yorkers can rely upon to combat sex discrimination in the workplace, gender identity and gender performance is a much more complex topic. Sex, which is determined biologically, need not align with gender, which is an identity. For celebrity and host B. Scott, who identifies as gender nonconforming, his biological sex -- male -- and how he presents himself -- with long hair, makeup, high heels and feminine clothing -- are very different. Whether gender presentation is protected under federal law is a nuanced issue, but it is clear that it is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of his or her gender identity in New York City.

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