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Berke-Weiss Law PLLC Blog

President Obama To Expand Overtime Eligibility

On June 30, 2015, the White House issued a press release announcing President Obama’s order to the Department of Labor for updated regulations which would extend overtime eligibility to nearly 5 million additional workers, starting sometime in 2016. The Department of Labor’s new proposal includes changes which would: Raise the threshold under which most salaried workers are guaranteed overtime to equal the 40th percentile of … Continue reading

NYC Council Passes Fair Chance Act

On June 10, 2015, the New York City Council passed Int. No. 318, a bill which amends the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). This bill, also known as the Fair Chance Act or “ban the box”, prevents employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s arrest or conviction record during the interview process, which often takes the form of “checking a … Continue reading

When “Cultural Fit” Promotes Discrimination

A recent New York Times article has highlighted an increasing trend among employers to emphasize “cultural fit” in hiring decisions, along with the implications this practice has on the workplace. While employing individuals with similar values and interests may be good for employee retention and morale, simply choosing an applicant because his or her personal profile aligns with that of the interviewer’s easily causes problems when these interests … Continue reading

New NYC Law Prohibits Employee Applicant Credit Checks

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Intro. 261-A, which “prohibits employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies from using or requesting an applicant’s consumer credit history, and prevents them from discriminating against an applicant or employee based on their credit history.”  The practice of scrutinizing a potential employee’s credit history has long been criticized as leading to job discrimination … Continue reading

New York City Earned Sick Time Act: One Year Later

NYC’s Earned Sick Time Act went into effect in its original form on April 1, 2014, which required virtually all employers with five or more employees to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year.  This new law has great potential benefits, but many employees and employers are still unaware of the law’s many complex provisions, which … Continue reading

Electronic Court Filings Create Reputational Risk

In an era when more and more documents are available online, initial court filings containing sensational or explicit details are now easily available electronically on the Internet to third parties for public consumption and gossip.  The consequences of this phenomenon were highlighted in a recent New York Times article, which described the benefits and drawbacks of such exposure. Electronically filed cases involving gender discrimination … Continue reading

New York Wage Deduction Rules Create Easy Pitfalls For Employers

Even in situations where an employer wants to be helpful and accommodating to its employees, making ad hoc policies can create legal problems. A common example involves recent amendments to New York law concerning wage deductions.  In October 2013, the New York State Department of Labor issued regulations to implement the 2012 amendments to the state’s wage deduction law.  More than a … Continue reading

EEOC Retaliation Claims Reach Record High in 2014

On February 4, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Fiscal Year 2014 Enforcement and Litigation Data, which listed the total number of Charges of Discrimination filed with the Commission from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014.  According to the data, out of 88,778 charges of workplace discrimination received by the agency that year, a record 42.8 percent, or … Continue reading

New Law Requires NYC Employers To Offer Pre-Tax Transit Benefits

Effective January 1, 2016, companies with 20 or more full-time employees will be required to offer pre-tax transit benefits, allowing their workers the option to set aside up to $130 of their monthly earnings as pre-tax income for transportation. This change arrives following Mayor de Blasio’s signing of Intro 295-A, which will now allow many new New York City employees to … Continue reading

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