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Berke-Weiss Law PLLC Blog

Parental Leave –– It’s for Men Too

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, employers with more than 50 employees must provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents who are qualified employees under the FMLA. Some companies have more generous policies, providing paid parental leave. Yet, some companies who provide maternity leave still do not provide leave for new fathers, and if they … Continue reading

Pregnant Workers Should Know Their Rights

When New York City’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act went into affect in early 2014, its aim was to provide employees with reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, as long as the accommodation allows the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. But, as a recent New York Times article highlights, some women still face pregnancy … Continue reading

Non-Competes Limit Low Wage Workers Job Mobility

Non-compete agreements traditionally have been provided to executives and other high level employees to protect, among other things, trade secrets. Now, however, low-paid or entry-level employees also are required to sign them as a condition of employment. An article published in the New York Times reports that employees at Jimmy John’s, a sub sandwich chain, requires its employees to sign … Continue reading

NPR Reports on Unconscious Bias Study Focused on State Legislators

Unconscious bias in the workplace has been a topic of great interest, as the Firm previously reported in its blog “Fighting Unconscious Bias in the Workplace: A Google Case Study.” Most recently, though, NPR’s morning edition highlighted a study conducted by Christian Grose, a political scientist at the University of Southern California, and graduate student Matthew Mendez, which focused on … Continue reading

Fighting Unconscious Bias in the Workplace: A Google Case Study

The gender gap in STEM fields has been widely reported, and a recent New York Times article illustrates that even companies as high profile as Google cannot escape this problem.  Google, like other tech companies, has struggled with a lack of diversity among its executive team and staff.  According to its own reports, seven out of ten employees at Google … Continue reading

Gender Pay Gap Affects Low Wage Workers

A recent study analyzing income data of hourly workers, prepared by Harvard economist Claudia Goldin for the White House Summit on Working Families, suggests that women in low-wage jobs who work fewer than 40 hours a week face greater disparities in pay than men in low-wage jobs and employees in high-income jobs who work less hours. As reported by the … Continue reading

Employee Wellness Programs – Healthy Option or Disability Discrimination

According to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Orion Energy Systems, the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by requiring its employees to undergo medical exams and making disability-related inquiries unrelated to their jobs. The EEOC contends that Orion mandated its employees to participate in a “wellness program” which consisted of medical exams and … Continue reading

Maternity Leave Policies – Striking a Balance

Economists and legislatures have grappled with maternity leave issues, according to a recent New York Times article. Economists suggest that maternity leave can both benefit and harm women in the workforce, but some advocate that paid maternity leave for an appropriate amount of time is essential for a full economic recovery.  At the moment, the United States is one of … Continue reading

New Commercial Division Rule Encourages Early Settlement

Rule 8(a) of Section 202.70(g) of the Uniform Rules for the Supreme and County Courts (Rules of Practice for the Commercial Division) addresses the parties’ obligation to consult each other prior to preliminary and compliance conferences, to discuss resolution of the case, discovery issues, and the use of alternate dispute resolution.  On July 16, 2014, Chief Administrative Judge of the … Continue reading

New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Amended

On June 19, 2014, the New York Legislature voted to amend the New York Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2010 (the “WTPA”), which currently requires employers to provide a wage notice to new hires in addition to providing a wage notice to all employees by February 1 of each year.  It is anticipated that Governor Cuomo will sign the bill, … Continue reading