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How Can I Get Paid When I Can’t Work Due to Coronavirus?

Employees Are Needed at Home to Care for Themselves, Their Children, and Their Family Members Because of Coronavirus. Do They Qualify for Paid Leave Under New Government Mandates? The Coronavirus Covid-19 is everywhere. Every day, thousands of new cases are diagnosed in the US. People are urged to stay at home and only venture out if it is necessary. Social distancing is the new norm. Unrelated people should stay 6 feet apart. Many schools and businesses are also closing their doors. Even those businesses deemed essential, like construction and home repair, are closing their doors due to lack of activity. ... Read more

What the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Does for Employees Who Need Paid Leave?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act forces most employers to offer sick pay and extend FMLA benefits to employees affected by Coronavirus. Congress passed two new laws under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA provides employees with paid sick leave through two new laws. This is the first time the Federal Government has required private employers to provide paid sick leave for employees: 1. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) – This one is more expansive, covers more situations, and pays more money. It works only in the short term for a maximum of 2 weeks. ... Read more

Employee Rights During the Coronavirus Outbreak: What U.S. Employees Need to Know

US Businesses Continue to Create Procedures to Deal with Coronavirus Concerns. Employee Rights, Such as Pay and Sick Leave, Must Be A Part of the Discussion In one week’s time, the United States went from worrying about the Coronavirus to dealing with an outbreak of Covid 19. Testing supplies are limited, and there is no known cure. Rather than employers taking any risks, many are starting to develop plans to help keep their employees, customers, and non-employees safe from possible infection. Employees, in the meantime, are worried about their rights to work and get paid if they get infected or ... Read more

The Coronavirus Spreads Racism and Anti-Chinese Sentiment

In the Wake of a Coronavirus Outbreak, Employers Must Be Mindful of Race Discrimination and National Origin Discrimination Taking Over Employment Decisions. The fear of a coronavirus outbreak overtaking the US is now a reality. The CDC and FEMA are confirming more and more cases of Coronavirus within the United States. However, race discrimination and national origin discrimination in the workplace and beyond are spreading much faster than confirmed Covid-19 cases are popping up. In the wake of this outbreak, employers must be diligent to avoid discriminating against people who are Asian or of Chinese descent. Fear of an illness ... Read more

Are You Entitled to Paid Maternity Leave?

The Family and Medical Leave Act Provides Unpaid Parental Leave to New Parents throughout the United States Of the 41 developed countries in the world, the United States is the only one that does not offer paid parental leave. If you have a baby, you must meet certain criteria to even be entitled to unpaid parental leave under federal laws. What are your options? You need time to heal and time to bond with your child. How do you heal and bond with your newborn without losing a job to go back to? How do you afford to live without ... Read more

Do Nooses, KKK comments, & Confederate Flags Show Racism in Ohio UPS?

Nineteen workers are suing United Parcel Service, otherwise known as the major shipping company UPS, claiming management at a distribution center in Ohio, “enabled, tolerated, and purposefully promoted and encouraged a culture of racism and racially discriminatory conduct.” UPS and five UPS managers were named in the lawsuit for allowing a racially hostile work environment. The 46-page complaint was filed March 12, 2019, in Ohio’s Lucas County Court of Common Pleas. It states that: “The paper promises of UPS to be an equal opportunity employer with zero tolerance of racist comments or conduct are, in practice, merely empty promises . ... Read more

Not So Cushy For Cushman & Wakefield

An African- American female executive of behemoth real estate company Cushman & Wakefield has filed suit claiming race and gender discrimination. In the suit, Plaintiff Nicole Urquhart- Bradley, alleges that she was used as merely a “face for workplace diversity,” but often faced unequal treatment to that of her counterparts. After working for Cushman for over a decade as an executive overseeing the Americas,  Urquhart- Bradley was terminated in January. Her complaint alleges that Cushman & Wakefield promotes an environment where women and minorities are treated significantly different than white males. Plaintiff claims she – along with other women on ... Read more

Sexual Orientation Discrimination After Zarda

The question of whether sexual orientation is covered under Title VII has been brought up again in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Recently, the court reversed and remanded a 2016 decision in the matter of Cargian v. Breitling USA. The case arose when Breitling employee Fredrick Cargian, who is gay, sued the watch manufacturer for allegedly terminating his employment because of his sexual orientation. Cargian claims that after the company got a new president in 2010, the atmosphere became that of a “boys club” — from which Cargian was excluded. Cargian’s further claims that over ... Read more

Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodation: Are You Protected?

Discrimination claims often arise in the employment context. Despite this fact, there are a  number of anti-discrimination laws that protect people from discrimination outside of the workplace. The New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and New York City Human Rights Law “NYCHRL”) both have provisions making it unlawful for “a place of public accommodation” to engage in discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Discrimination in public accommodations is covered by most state and local laws. The term “public accommodation” is defined differently under both laws. Under the NYSHRL, ... Read more

Did Kavanaugh Commit Perjury?

For the past two weeks, we have heard and read nonstop coverage on Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his accusers’ very serious accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment. However, whether or not you believe Kavanaugh or his accusers, there is a new question making headlines concerning whether or not Kavanaugh committed perjury. This is a question that Kavanaugh cannot hide behind statutes of limitation, as it would be a fresh criminal charge, which would certainly block him from ever sitting next to Justices Roberts, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Gorsuch. What is Perjury? Lying under oath is basically ... Read more

Kavanaugh: Rush to judgement… Again?

It seems that the recent confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh echoes the 1991 confirmation hearings of Anita Hill, a then Oklahoma law professor, who almost upended the confirmation of Clarence Thomas. Like Hill, Christine Blasey Ford, 51, at first wanted to keep her allegations confidential but felt a duty to report the event after Kavanaugh’s nomination. After years on near silence, Ford sent a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and other the California lawmakers in late July of this year explaining how at a gathering in the 1980s an intoxicated Kavanaugh restrained her on a ... Read more

Is Serena Williams right to claim sexism?

It is easy to draw parallels between the discrimination Serena Williams pointed out in heated dispute during the US Open final and discrimination against women, especially black women, face during their jobs. This past Saturday, during the final, where Naomi Osaka beat Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, Williams became outraged when the umpire, Carlos Ramos, penalized her for breaking certain rules, of which men are rarely punished. Williams called Ramos unfair because of what she perceived as sexism in the umpire’s decisions. First, Ramos gave Williams a code violation penalty for “coaching” after ruling that Williams’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, ... Read more

THE “NEED-TO-KNOW” ON NEW YORK’S NEW SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWS

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, New York state and New York city have passed new laws aimed at combating sexual harassment. Each of the laws applies to every employer, regardless of their number of employees. If you are an employee in the state or the city, here are a few points you from the new sexual harassment laws you should know: NOTIFICATION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY: By September 6, 2018, New York City employers must notify their employees of their sexual harassment policy by displaying a poster about anti-harassment rights and responsibilities. The poster, which is designed by ... Read more

EEOC Lawsuit Charging United Airlines with Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a rampant issue as we have seen in the news and on social media. Some of the nation’s most beloved celebrities and public figures have been accused of sexual harassment, and major institutions have even been at the forefront of socio-political discussion as victims continue to  come forward. United Airlines is now center stage in that discussion in an EEOC lawsuit claiming the airline enabled a pilot to sexually harass a female flight attendant without being disciplined. The flight attendant, who is named in the federal Complaint as Jane Doe, claims the airline allowed ... Read more

After being Called Slaves, Haitian Workers Win $2.5 Million Settlement

On July 27, 2018, the SLS South Beach hotel on Miami Beach, Florida agreed to a $2.5 million settlement with 17 of its former Haitian employees. These employees worked at the hotel’s restaurants, including Hyde Beach, The Bazaar by Jose Andrés, and Katsuya. Back in 2014, the employees accused the hotel of firing Haitians for speaking Creole while permitting Hispanic co-workers to speak in Spanish in the workplace freely. The large payment was the result of an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) in April 2017 and the EEOC’s investigation into the establishment. Moreover, the ... Read more

Can a Hug Be Considered Sexual Harassment?

The short answer, YES! On June 22, 2018, the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York,  handed down a decision in the case of Batten v. Global Contact Services, LLC, where it ruled that a hug from a supervisor could be actionable conduct under Title VII, the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. The recent decision highlights an important fact for victims and lawyers to consider: any form of un-welcome physical contact is inappropriate, even social staples like hugs and friendly pecks on the cheek. The case arose from a ... Read more

Starbucks Serves Up Disability Discrimination

PHILADELPHIA, PA—The world’s favorite… or at least the most popular coffee chain, Starbucks is back in the news for discriminating against its customers. Apparently, even after closing all of its U.S. stores on May 29, 2018, for racial bias training, after one of their employees in April called the police on two black men who were waiting in their store for a friend and had them arrested, needs to hold another session. This time, a Starbucks employee mocking a customer with a stutter. On June 27, 2018, a customer name Sam walked into a local Philadelphia Starbucks, which happened to ... Read more

Arbitration Agreements: Be Careful What You Sign

What is an arbitration agreement? Well, it is essentially an agreement between an employer and employee to not sue their employer if the company fires him or her for bad reasons or the employee feels discriminated against at work. This meets the employee agreed not to pursue any legal action against your employer in court but instead peruse any legal dispute through a process called arbitration, which is an alternative to filing a lawsuit and is not before a judge or jury. Instead, the legal complaint will be heard by a neutral third party called an arbitrator and the arbitrator’s ... Read more

#MeToo: World Cup Female Commentators

The 2018 World Cup in Russia seems to come with endless surprises and upsets, all bets are out the window. The soccer greats of Argentina, Germany, and Brazil struggled from the beginning, yet underdogs, like Uruguay, Iceland, and England became surprising contenders. Nevertheless, each day that passes since I began to write this article the brackets seem to change again. I, like most, do not even know who to cheer for any more in a given game. Meanwhile, another upset is occurring in the living rooms and pubs around the globe as female sports reporters are finally getting an opportunity ... Read more

Florida Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Case

On February 20, 2018, the Middle District of Florida federal court ruled on a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants in this Florida sexual harassment and hostile work environment case.  (See Robinson v. Hill, 2018 WL 962199, (M.D. Fl. 2018)).  The female plaintiff worked as a manager for one of the defendant corporations.  She began in mid-2016.  Then over an eighteen-day period, she was repeatedly and regularly sexually harassed.  She alleges that she was asked for sexual favors and had sexual comments said to her constantly. On one occasion, the manager of one of the co-defendants asked her to ... Read more

Dacier v. Reardon: A Lesson on Statutes of Limitation

In the recently filed case Dacier v. Reardon, Case Number: 1:17-CV-418, a “non-Hispanic” senior investigator in the Division of Wage Protection and Immigrant Services, Dacier, brought suit against the commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”), claiming he wasn’t hired for a position because of his race. Plaintiff Dacier applied for the position of “state monitor advocate” in 2010, 2012, and 2016, however he alleges he met all required qualifications for this position, but “[e]ach time the position became vacant in 2010, 2012, and 2016 [DOL] filled the position with Hispanic female candidates who had far fewer ... Read more

Miami Judge Uses Racial Slur to Describe Defendant Then Blames New York Childhood

MIAMI, FLORIDA  — Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stephen Millan who grew up in New York is under fire for using the word “moolie” to describe a black defendant and for other racially insensitive comments while in chambers. The first instance of misconduct involved Judge Millan on a break with attorneys in his chamber, where he instructed a bailiff to return to the courtroom and retrieve his wallet because he didn’t “trust it in there with those thugs.”  A defence attorney in the room believed the judge was referring to his client or the client’s family or friends waiting in the courtroom. ... Read more

What Are My Rights During the Application Process?

No Discrimination in Hiring Process It does not matter if you are a hired as an employee yet or if you are a fully hired employee, you have the right to be free from employment discrimination. During the job application process, federal and state anti-discrimination laws protect applicants—like you— from discrimination. In particular, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal laws it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and genetic information. Moreover, under Equal Pay Act of 1963 employers ... Read more

First Male Gymnast To Accuse Larry Nassar of Abuse

As if the Larry Nassar saga could not get any worse, a male gymnast has recently come forward, making him the first man to speak out against the disgraced doctor. In 2017 and 2018 Nassar was convicted and sentenced to a life in prison as a serial child molester due to his unspeakable criminal acts while working as a national team doctor for USA Gymnastics and an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University. In April 2016, Jacob Moore, now 18 years old and a freshman gymnast at the University of Michigan, went to visit Nassar, a gymnastics doctor and family friend, in Nassar’s ... Read more