In a decision issued October 25, 2012, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed and extended one its most significant rulings in the recent past relative to public sector disciplinary proceedings for police officers.
Articles About New York Labor And Employment Law.
The New York State Court of Appeals recently issued a decision holding that a written determination that a firefighter violated his fire department’s Code of Conduct and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Policy, made after a lengthy internal investigation, may not be placed in the firefighter’s permanent employment file. In this ruling that impacts both public and private employers, the court held that the firefighter’s due process rights were violated, as the firefighter had no opportunity to examine any of the witnesses interviewed or to present any witnesses on his own behalf.
In New York Workers’ Compensation Case No. 00427749, the claimant, a driver, sustained injuries to her back, neck, right shoulder, face, and right thumb when she was rear-ended by a van in 2004. In addition to underscoring the requirements a claimant must meet to be classified with a permanent total disability, the proceedings that ensued in this case provide carriers and employers with an important defense against claimants’ physicians who do not properly investigate the true capabilities and daily lives of claimants.
Governor Cuomo signed into law amendments to Article 193 of the New York Wage Deduction Law which will permit employers to take additional lawful deductions from employees’ paychecks. The law will take effect on November 8, 2012.
Executive Summary: Two new amendments to New York General Business Law Section 399-dd, commonly known as the Social Security Number Protection Law, have been passed for the purpose of further safeguarding employees’ social security numbers. Signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on August 14, 2012, the first change becomes effective on November 12, 2012, while the effective date for the second change is December 12, 2012. The two amendments will be codified as Section 399-ddd.
Expanding the scope of permissible deductions from wages under New York law, Governor Mario Cuomo, on September 7, 2012, has signed legislation amending New York Labor Law §193. This change was in reaction to a strict position taken by the New York State Department of Labor in recent years severely limiting the types of permissible deductions — essentially prohibiting any deductions not specifically set forth in pre-amendment Section 193. The amendment goes into effect on November 6, 2012, 60 days after it becomes law, and, unless extended, will expire and be deemed repealed three years after the effective date.
A person may not be required to disclose or furnish his or her Social Security Number (SSN) for any purpose under a new law signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new law safeguarding SSNs (A.8992-A/S.6608-A) applies to employers and certain other entities in the state. It adds new section 399-ddd to the General Business Law of the Empire State and becomes effective December 12, 2012 (120 days from enactment). Businesses must review their practices with employees, customers and other individuals in situations where all or a part of the Social Security Number is involved.
The New York State Senate and Assembly recently passed a bill amending New York Labor Law section 193 to expand an employer’s ability to make deductions from employee wages. The bill is currently awaiting delivery from the New York State Assembly to the governor’s office for his approval. The governor’s approval is virtually certain as his office previously submitted a memorandum supporting the amendment.
On June 28th, the New York City Council voted to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent veto of the city’s living wage bill. The bill would increase wages to $11.50 an hour, or $10 an hour with benefits, for employees of companies receiving $1 million or more in city subsidies—an estimated 900 individuals. In response, Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to sue to block the bill from taking effect. Council Speaker Christine Quinn has stated that if Mayor Bloomberg sues, the Council “will defend the bill, and if we defend the bill, we will win.”
Reaffirming the continuing viability of New York State’s at-will employment doctrine, the New York Court of Appeals has rejected a wrongful discharge cause of action brought by a compliance officer who claimed to have been terminated for questioning the personal stock trades of the company’s president. Sullivan v. Harnisch, No. 82 (N.Y. May 8, 2012).
A conundrum employers face when protecting trade secrets is the obligation to identify the very secrets to be protected in litigation. A critical issue in the context of discovery is the extent to which trade secrets must be disclosed and identified by the plaintiff. When the secret is something as technical and unique as a computer source code alleged to have been used to augment a competitor’s source code library, the requirement to identify the misappropriated secret with “reasonable particularity” early in the case may become the “case within the case.”
New Yorkâ€™s landmark Wage Theft Prevention Act requires employers to issue to all New York employees an annual notice complying with the requirements of New York Labor Law Â§ 195 (as amended by the Act). The statute became effective in April 2011 and the first annual notice must be provided prior to February 1, 2012. The notice obligations are discussed in our article, New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Update: State DOL Issues Model Forms and Guidance. Notice can be provided electronically as long as certain requirements are met.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has certified to New Yorkâ€™s highest state court, the New York Court of Appeals, this question of first impression: whether a plaintiff is barred from pursuing federal law discrimination claims under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act if a New York state court previously dismissed similar state law claims by the same plaintiff as untimely.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law all protect employees from workplace discrimination based on religious beliefs and practices, and impose an obligation on New York employers to provide reasonable accommodations for the religious needs and practices of employees and prospective employees. Employersâ€™ obligation to provide religious accommodations to their New York City employees, however, will be expanded by legislation passed unanimously by the New York City Council, called â€œThe Workplace Religious Freedom Act.â€ (The effective date is dependent on whether Mayor Bloomberg signs the legislation or the City Council needs to enact the legislation over the Mayorâ€™s veto.)
New Yorkâ€™s highest court has ruled that a business seller may solicit and regain former clients for his new employer without incurring liability for improperly soliciting business under certain circumstances. Bessemer Trust Co., N.A. v. Branin, No. 63, 2011 NY Slip Op. 3307, 2011 N.Y. LEXIS 602 (Apr. 28, 2011).