Fisher Taubenfeld LLP

September 2019 Archives

Salary threshold for exempt workers to rise

More workers in New York will be eligible for overtime payments under a Labor Department rule revision scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Previously, the salary threshold required to consider a worker "exempt" from the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act was $23,660 annually. In addition, exempt workers must have a significant amount of autonomy or management authority in their positions. The rules finalized on Sept. 24, 2019, will make around 1.3 million more workers across the country eligible for overtime pay. The salary threshold will be raised to $35,568.

UPS agrees to settle pregnancy discrimination charge

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers in New York and around the country from discriminating against pregnant workers. On Sept. 17, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that United Parcel Service, Inc., has agreed to pay $2.25 million for violating the provisions of the 1978 law. EEOC investigators concluded that UPS failed to offer pregnant employees the opportunity to perform light duties that would have allowed them to continue working.

Types of relief available from the EEOC

Workers in New York or anywhere else who are mistreated by their employers may be entitled to due process. A complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may help a person obtain relief. The EEOC may order that an individual is entitled to compensatory damages or reinstatement to his or her former position. In some cases, individuals may be given a financial award and reinstated to their most previous position within an organization.

STEM careers employing more women, still room to improve

Researchers examined four data gathered over the course of four years and published a report indicated that the number of women in STEM careers is increasing, but there are still disparities in employment. The acronym STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and math, career areas that have traditionally seen more men than women. Employers in New York and around the country are required by law to provide a workplace free of discrimination, and the data in the report might help to shed light on discriminatory practices in STEM careers.

Does the whistleblower stigma have you staying quiet?

When wrongdoing takes place at work, anyone could have a difficult time knowing the best way to handle it. The exact options available could depend on the severity of the issue. For instance, if someone takes your lunch from the breakroom refrigerator, you likely do not need to contact the authorities. On the other hand, if you believe that your employer or others within a company are carrying out illegal acts, you may feel the need to take drastic action.

Women continue to face harassment, discrimination at work

The MeToo movement drew attention to sexual harassment in a range of major New York industries, including entertainment, media and tech. Sparked by the revelations of high-flying Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's harassment of actresses, MeToo encouraged women to tell their stories of sexual harassment on the job and hold perpetrators publicly accountable. Many activists hoped to see long-term results that could make the workplace more inclusive and safer for all. However, some study results indicate that the aftermath of MeToo is not leading to less harassment but to new forms of discrimination against women.

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