Labor & Employment Blog



The proposed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules I wrote about in the April 13, 2104 blog entry below are going into effect tomorrow, absent a last minute Court injunction.


Recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 6 to 3 decision that a former UPS worker’s lawsuit be reinstated where she alleged that when she was pregnant, UPS unlawfully forced her to take unpaid leave rather than give her light duty work assignments as her doctor recommended.  Peggy Young became pregnant during her tenure as a UPS delivery driver and was denied light duty during her pregnancy.  UPS had a policy whereby it only provided light duty to workers injured on the job, who had a condition covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or who lost their license to drive a


Many of us who are labor and employment attorneys and/or human resources professionals recall the prior law under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), whereby if the designation of the employee’s leave as pursuant to the FMLA was delayed, the employee became entitled to 12 additional weeks of  leave from the date of the notice.  Fortunately, the law has changed so that now, if the FMLA notice is given within a reasonable time following the beginning of the leave, the 12 week period may be retroactively started with the first day out of work.


Employment laws protect transgender people from discrimination and harassment.  Many employers may not know what to do if an employee tells his or her employer that he or she is transgender and will start dressing and identifying as a different gender in the workplace.  It is important to take some proactive steps to make sure the employee is comfortable during any transition and does not face discrimination due to his or her transgender status.  It is also important to prepare the employee’s co-workers and supervisors for the change. 


EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. is pending at the Supreme Court as I write this blog entry.  The question at issue is, under what circumstances must an employer, as a religious accommodation, grant an exception to its dress code for applicants who wear religious garb yet do not ask for an accommodation of the policy?


While restrictive covenants in employment agreements (typically non-compete and non-solicit clauses) remain difficult for employers to enforce, employers keep trying and some courts do enforce them in certain circumstances.  A recent decision from the New York State Appellate Division First Department considers many common non-compete/non-solicit clause issues.  Fewer v. GFI Grp. Inc. et al. stands for the following propositions:


With another Valentine’s Day passed, this is a good time of the year to review some tips for employers to deal with romantic relationships in the workplace.


The importance of employee morale cannot be overstated.  Employers often mistakenly expect employees to be satisfied by simply being paid for doing their work.  It’s an easy trap to fall into but unhappy employees are a serious concern for companies.  Low morale causes lower productivity, poor customer service, high turnover, excessive absenteeism and less time productively working.


If you employ an emergency responder (firefighter/ambulance worker) and a formal state of emergency is declared, you must grant the employee's request to perform his or her emergency responder duties during the emergency.  The leave need not be paid, but the employee may use his or her PTO.


As all New York employers are aware, New York’s minimum wage increased to $8.75 per hour as of December 31, 2014 and is scheduled to increase to $9.00 per hour on December 31, 2015.