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Total Articles: 12

New York Appellate Court Reverses Arbitrator's Decision in Sexual Harassment Case

Executive Summary: On April 10, 2018, the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department (“the First Department”), in Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v. Phillips, 2018 NY Slip Op 02442, in a remarkably strongly worded opinion, reversed the determination of an arbitrator who had ruled that although the terminated employee sexually harassed a co-worker, he should only have been subjected to a ten-day suspension.

New York Toughens Equal Pay Laws: State Contractors Must Disclose Salary Data, State Agencies Cannot Ask Applicants for Salary History

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed two executive orders: one requiring state contractors to regularly disclose employee job title and salary data and the other prohibiting state agencies from making pre-job offer inquiries about candidates’ prior or current salary. The executive orders are aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap and strengthening equal pay protection in New York.

New York’s High Court Issues Pro-Employer Ruling In Misclassification Case

On October 25, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – ruled that non-staff instructors at a yoga studio were properly classified as independent contractors, and were not employees. The Court of Appeals’ decision was the culmination of a case that had more twists and turns than an expert yoga instructor (Matter of Yoga Vida NYC, Inc.).

NYC’s "Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act" Prohibits Most Employment-Related Credit Checks

New York City’s Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA) amended the NYC Human Rights Law by making it an unlawful discriminatory practice for employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies to request or use the consumer credit history of an applicant or employee for the purpose of making any employment decisions, including hiring, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment.

"Ban-the-Box" Guidance Issued in New York City

New York City’s “ban-the-box” law — entitled the Fair Chance Act (FCA) — became effective October 27, 2015 and amended the NYC Human Rights Law by making it an unlawful discriminatory practice for most employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies to inquire about or consider the criminal history of job applicants until after extending conditional offers of employment. The FCA also requires an employer that wishes to withdraw its offer give the applicant a copy of its inquiry into and analysis of the applicant’s conviction history, along with at least three business days to respond.

NYC Commission Issues Guidance on the Citywide Bill Restricting Employers from Using Credit Information in Employment Decisions

As previously reported, on May 6, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the "Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act" (Act), which makes it unlawful for most employers to use an applicant's or employee's credit history for employment purposes, except in certain circumstances.1 The New York City Council intended it to "be the strongest bill of its type in the country prohibiting discriminatory employment credit checks," and joined the growing list of states and cities that have enacted similar laws, such as California, Chicago, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.2

No Credit, No Problem: NYC’s New Guidance Further Limits Employer Credit Checks

As we previously reported, New York City recently passed a law prohibiting employers from requesting or using an individual’s credit history in making employment decisions. On September 3, 2015—the same day that the new law went into effect—the New York City Commission on Human Rights (Commission) issued official guidance on the new law, now called the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA).

New York City Passes Ban-the-Box Legislation Affecting Private Employers

Executive Summary: On June 10, 2015, the New York City Council passed the NYC Fair Chance Act (the Act) in a landslide vote. Sponsored by New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), the Act amends the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to prohibit private employers in New York City with four or more employees from inquiring into or otherwise considering an applicant's criminal background history prior to extending a conditional offer of employment to the applicant. In 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a law that prohibits New York City government employers from asking applicants during the initial application process whether they have been convicted of a crime.

New York Renews Binding Arbitration for Three More Years

In 1974, the State of New York amended its law on collective bargaining for public employees (the Taylor Law) by imposing compulsory interest arbitration to resolve bargaining impasses in police officer and firefighter bargaining units. This amendment to the Taylor Law was intended to be temporary, and was originally set to expire on July 1, 1977; however, it was extended by state-elected officials time and time again. The interest arbitration provision was set to expire on July 1, 2013, and unlike prior years, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would not renew binding arbitration unless the process was amended. -

Buffalo Joins “Ban the Box” Club

On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the Common Council of the City of Buffalo followed the lead of New York City, Newark, and Philadelphia, when it passed its own “ban the box” ordinance by a vote of 7-2. The ordinance, which amends Chapter 154 of the Code of the City of Buffalo, and which passed by enough votes to override any potential veto by Mayor Byron W. Brown, prevents the City of Buffalo, its vendors, and any Buffalo employer with at least 15 employees from asking questions regarding or pertaining to an applicant’s prior criminal convictions on any employment application.

Ring in the New Year With a New FCRA Summary of Rights Form

Employers that utilize a third party to obtain background information on applicants and employees, such as a criminal background check or a credit check, must provide applicants/employees with a new version of the Form Summary of Rights Notice prior to taking any adverse action based on the contents of that report. This notice requirement under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is not new: the contents of the form “Summary of Rights” has changed to reflect the fact that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has assumed rulemaking authority for the FCRA from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A copy of the new form is set forth in Appendix K of 12 C.F.R. Part 1022 (available here).

Reminder: Two Amendments to the New York Correction Law Take Effect February 1, 2009.

New York employers also are reminded that two amendments to the New York Correction Law regarding background checks of prospective employees went into effect on February 1, 2009.
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