Court limits reach of obscure bias law: Discrimination case must stay in state court

January 7, 2011
Here’s a bit of good news for employers that would prefer to keep New York discrimination claims in state court. A federal court has refused to let a former employee use Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act to move state claims to federal court.
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After worker complains of bias, beware even small job changes–such as less overtime

January 7, 2011
Employees who complain about discrimination are protected from retaliation. Anything that would cause a reasonable employee to rethink the original complaint is fair game for a retaliation lawsuit, including such seemingly minor consequences like losing a few hours of overtime pay.
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Get workers back fast from FMLA leave: Run FMLA concurrently with other leave

January 7, 2011
You can and should use the FMLA rules to encourage employees to return from FMLA leave as soon as possible. One of the most effective ways is to run their unpaid FMLA leave time concurrently with any paid leave they may have coming. That way, they can’t use up that paid time first and get another 12 unpaid weeks.
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‘Wage theft’ law goes into effect April 12

January 7, 2011
Employers will have to keep more records and regularly explain wage and pay details to their employees under a new law signed by Gov. David Paterson in December.
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Request medical clearance for chronic condition

January 7, 2011

It’s not always easy to accommodate disabled employees. You want to follow the law, but you also want to make sure that the employee isn’t a danger to herself or others if she has a serious condition like epilepsy. But it is possible to handle these tricky situations right—as the employer did in this case.

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The practice judges never forgive: Retaliation

January 7, 2011
Some employers are slow learners—they still don’t understand the danger of retaliation. Judges are fairly tolerant of all kinds of inappropriate employment practices, but they really, really don’t like it when an employer punishes someone who has just complained about those practices.
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Do small employers have to comply with COBRA?

January 7, 2011
Q. We are a small company with only 12 employees. We are under the impression that our employees do not have rights under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) since it applies to larger employers. Are we correct?
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Do U.S. employment laws apply overseas?

January 7, 2011
Q. Our company has employees stationed in locations outside the United States. A situation recently occurred that raised the question of whether U.S. employment laws apply to employees of American companies working outside the United States. Do they?
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When a company sells off a function, does it have to give plant-closing or layoff notice?

January 7, 2011
Q. My company is selling a portion of the business that employs more than 100 workers. Do we have any special obligations to provide notice to these employees?
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Highland Village firefighter: Department harassed, retaliated

January 7, 2011
A female firefighter in Highland Village has filed a lawsuit accusing the municipality of sexual harassment and retaliation following her firing in November 2008, after she filed internal and state complaints.
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