Sexual Harassment, Minimum Wage Changes: How These Laws May Affect You

2016 is here and as the calendar turns it brings with it new changes in state laws and regulations.
2016 employment law changes | Sexual Harassment |Human Trafficking & Wage Inequality | Nursing Mothers | Domestic Violence Victims | New York City Sexual Harassment Lawyer | Philadelphia workplace sexual harassment attorney | Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney | free EEOC attorney | New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey Employment Attorneys

There have been numerous changes in federal and state employment laws that are slated to begin on Jan. 1, 2016. However, whether you are an employer or an employee, you should be informed how these new laws will impact your place of employment. Along with the new year, 2016 brings many changes for those who work in New York.  Those changes are set to take happen very soon and in some instances, they have already taken affect. The employment law attorneys here at the Derek T. Smith Law Group has listed a few of the changes set to take effect this month.

Minimum Wage:

As of December 31, 2015 the minimum wage increased from $8.75 per hour to $9 per hour for non-fast food workers and fast food workers received an increase of $9.75 per hour. According to the NY Labor Department, the minimum wage for all workers in the state is due to increase $1 annually, until $14.50 in 2020 and $15 per hour in 2021.

Sexual Harassment:

Aside from changes in the minimum wage, other measures being carried out include sexual harassment amendments.  Previously if a woman had been the victim of sexual harassment in a workplace where her employer had fewer than 4 employees, she did not have any recourse. The reason why was because under the state and federal law, those small companies were exempt from having any liability.

In many instances, there were “mom and pop shops” which consisted of stores, small restaurants, doctors or dentists offices.  More than 60% of employers are private, having less than 4 employees, which equated to many women not being entitled to justice as victims of sexual harassment.

As of now that has changed.  Under the Women’s Equality Act, NY State Human Rights Law complaints for sexual harassment can be brought against the company regardless of how many people are working in the office.

Human Trafficking & Wage Inequality:

Regulations which are set to take effect as of January 19 involve harsher penalties for those who are involved in human trafficking and more assistance for the victims. Additional laws will keep employers from paying less money to their workers based on gender, or refusing promotions to someone on the basis of family status.

Pregnancy Discrimination:

Further discrimination laws against pregnant women mean that pregnant workers will need to be accommodated for conditions relating to the pregnancy unless doing so would create an undue hardship.  As stated by the law:  “Employees may require a stool to sit on, extra restroom breaks, transfer away from hazardous duties, a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting, or reasonable time for child-birth recovery.”

Nursing Mothers:

Mothers who recently gave birth have the right to take reasonable, unpaid breaks at work to pump breast milk for up to three years. The companies who employ them are obligated to supply reasonable accommodations for those mothers so that they can privately pump. Furthermore the employee cannot be discriminated against for doing so.

Domestic Violence Victims:

Protection for domestic violence victims against housing discrimination will also be included.  All of these laws were designated under the women’s equality act, passed by lawmakers last year.  The lawmakers in New York had felt as though they had missed the mark on advocating for women and women’s rights.

According to the New York State Assembly, the New York Women’s Agenda will tear down obstructions of injustice that have been preserving unfair acts of discrimination and gender inequality for years.

Now that the state has taken a large step to rectify the issues surrounding the lack of fair balance between women and men, it is important for women who have been treated unfairly and who are being subjected to work in a hostile job environment, to come forward and stand up to correct the situation.

New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey Employment Attorneys

No one should have to work in a hostile job environment.

Here at the DEREK T. SMITH LAW GROUP, PLLC, we are passionate about fighting for employment law rights.

If you or someone you know is a victim of discrimination, sexual harassment or working in a hostile job environment, then you should contact an NYC, NJ, PA sexual harassment, employment law attorney at the Derek T. Smith Law Group PLLC immediately.

Sexual Harassment & Employment Discrimination Attorneys | NYC – PA – NJ

For a FREE Consultation in New York, New Jersey or Philadelphia, schedule with a sexual harassment, discrimination and employment attorney at the Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC in NY, NJ, PA and D.C. You can reach us online or by calling 877-4NYLAWS.  Our top rated employment law attorneys handle cases involving workplace discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment and wage disputes, EEOC claims and other employment-related lawsuits. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. to serve you.

Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC

Top Rated Employment Law Attorneys Representing Employees Exclusively.

New York City Sexual Harassment Lawyer | Philadelphia workplace sexual harassment attorney | Gender Discrimination Attorney | free EEOC attorney

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