How often should an employer update their employee handbook?

The company handbook provides an important role in a business. An employee handbook provides a guide for office protocol and should be updated regularly. Operating without an updated employee handbook can leave a business vulnerable. Because of the important information that a company’s handbook contains it is critical that they are reviewed and updated regularly. … Read more

What should I consider adding to an employment contract?

Many businesses in the New York City neighborhoods and surrounding communities may want to have an employment contract with at least some of their workers. Employment contracts are standard in many industries, and some desirable applicants may even expect them before agreeing to work for a company. In other cases, having the terms of employment … Read more

Understanding severance agreements

When an employee leaves an organization, the employer may offer him or her a severance agreement that lays out the financial terms of their departure. Severance agreements are not required under the law, but employers may offer them as a goodwill gesture to employees who have been with the organization for a long time. The … Read more

Workplace retaliation is against the law

Retaliation can occur in the workplace when employees are punished by their employer for exercising their legal rights or participating in a lawful activity. In New York, workplace retaliation is against the law. It is illegal for the employer to retaliate against employees for reporting or filing a discrimination claim or sexual harassment claim, participating … Read more

Educating employees about preventing sexual harassment

In New York and across the nation, workplace issues have become part of the daily news cycle. Employers should be cognizant of their vulnerability to legal filings, a diminished reputation and the litany of problems that might accompany allegations of sexual harassment. This is a problematic part of its corporate culture. To mitigate these possible … Read more

City University of New York bias case dismissed

Employers cannot fire their employees because of their race and national origin. But they may take adverse employment actions if these employment disputes do not involve discrimination. On Feb. 3, a federal appeals court for New York dismissed a discrimination lawsuit filed by a City University of New York professor because she was fired for … Read more

Three topics to cover in an employee handbook

Employers in New York may have many workplace rules and practices they expect their employees to follow. They may document these rules and practices in an employee handbook. Employee handbooks help business owners manage their enterprise, help employees understand their benefits and rights and can legally protect both business owners and employees. There are three … Read more

Know how to avoid a void non-compete agreement

Recruiting and retaining top talent is a struggle that many businesses face at one point or another. This can limit your business’s potential, thereby affecting your clients and your profitability. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to better position your business with the talent and protection it needs. How employment contracts can help … Read more

Is Your Website a “Place of Public Accommodation” Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

What do burgers and art supplies have in common? They are both sold on websites recently challenged by disabled plaintiffs. Blind plaintiffs have filed lawsuits alleging certain websites violate federal, state and city laws because they contain various access barriers and are not fully usable by the blind. This summer two federal courts in New … Read more

Fast Food and Retail Employers Beware: New York City Implements “Fair Workweek” Package of Laws for Employees

New York City has enacted a package of “Fair Workweek” laws (the “Laws”) designed to ensure that fast food and retail workers are given predictable schedules and paychecks. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, workers in these industries have been subjected to unfair and inconsistent scheduling practices, leaving the employees with a lack of clarity … Read more

Businesses and Freelancers Take Note – New York City Passes Protections for Freelance Workers

In the first law of its kind in the United States, New York City has passed a local law which establishes a variety of protections for freelance workers. Called “Establishing Protections for Freelance Workers,” or the “Freelance Isn’t Free Act,” the law provides freelance workers with the right to a written contract, and to be … Read more

Professional Employer Organizations – What’s the Buzz?

Professional Employer Organizations, also known as “PEOs,” are becoming more popular every year. PEOs service businesses with only one employee and up to hundreds, and in almost any industry imaginable. They also recently obtained long-awaited federal recognition with President Obama’s signing of the Small Business Efficiency Act. This law, among other things, provides for IRS … Read more