Employment Law Solutions Berlingieri Law, PLLC provides legal services to employees with workplace problems.

Discrimination and Harassment

Berlingieri Law, PLLC provides legal services to employees suffering from all types of employment discrimination and harassment at work.

Wage and Hour Disputes: Overtime and Minimum Wage

Berlingieri Law, PLLC provides legal services to employees who are not being compensated properly at work – victims of wage theft.

Employment Legal Services in: New York and Connecticut

Berlingieri Law, PLLC provides legal services in New York and Connecticut.

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Supreme Court Rules Gay and Transgender Employees Cannot be Fired under Title VII for that Reason Alone

The Supreme Court in a series of cases, in what will be known as “Bostock” (Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and Altitude Express v. Zarda (on appeal from the U.S. Second Cir. Court of Appeals, originating from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York) both posed the question of whether sexual orientation was protected under the definition of sex under Title VII. R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Stephens centered on gender identity.) “Title VII” of the 1964 Civil Rights Act entitled protection for Gay and Trans employees on the basis of “sex”. The Supreme Court held that “sex” under Title VII encompasses one’s sexuality (LGBQ, etc.) and gender identity (trans, non-binary, etc.) and that employers cannot take adverse action against employees on that basis of protected class.

LGBT Pride Month Heart Gay Lesbian Pride Month - Lgbt Pride Month ...
The landmark 6-3 Supreme Court decision ruling in favor of gay and trans employment rights came during June 2020 Pride Month celebrating LGBTQ pride

Advocates for employee rights have asked why the definition of “sex” did not encompass such inherent sex related characteristics such as sexual orientation and gender identity. The Supreme Court had previously recognized that sex under Title VII granted protections for gender stereotyping and gender nonconforming employees at the workplace.

This next step by the Supreme Court enhances the ability of an employee who suffered adverse employment action on the basis of their sex to seek redress in court. The term sex under title VII is now more consistent with most state jurisdiction’s definition and protections of their respective human rights laws. New York City human rights law has long protected such rights of employees and now there will be more consistency of rulings in favor of employees who raise “sex” claims under Title VII in federal courts.

You can read the decision here. https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf

If you have been treated differently on the basis of your sex, you should speak to an experienced employment law attorney today for a free consultation to determine your rights.

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New York State Capitol for First Time in Pride Month 2019, June 5, 2019.


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Employment Increases in 2020 across the board and Minimum wages increase

All employees in the workforce benefit from an increase in total number of workers in the United States. Companies are expanding and many employees may face struggles in 2020 in the ever changing work environment of modern businesses.

Berlingieri Law, PLLC, provides legal services in New York and Connecticut.

The minimum wage in New York City is $15.00 per hour. The New York State Department of Labor oversees wage regulations in New York State. Businesses employing people in New York State should be aware of wage requirements and regulations.After December 31, 2019, all employees in New York City must be paid at least $15.00 per hour. In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, it is $13.00 per hour. In the remainder of the state, it is $11.80 per hour. There are different hourly rates for workers in the fast food industry and those who receive tips. These rates remain in effect until December 30, 2020. If you need additional assistance or want to file a complaint, please call:347-766-5185 for a free consultation

The minimum wage will continue to increase every year across New York State until it reaches $15.00 per hour on December 31st, 2020.  

Wage orders published by the Department of Labor can modify the minimum wage rate for workers in certain industries. Businesses should contact the Department of Labor if they will apply any credits, such as meals or tips, towards meeting the minimum wage rate. It is illegal to pay employees below the wage rate.

Under the Wage Theft Prevention Act, private employers in New York State must provide all of their employees (both exempt and non-exempt) with a pay notice. This pay notice must include the following information:

  • Pay rate, including overtime if applicable;
  • How the employee is paid (hourly, shift, day, week, piece, etc.);
  • When pay day is;
  • The Doing Business As (DBA) name of the employer; and
  • Contact information of the employer, such as the address and telephone number
  • Any allowances towards the minimum wage(tips, meals, lodging, etc);

Businesses should keep copies of all of their pay notices.


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New York State Human Rights Law Expanded In 2019

The New York State Human Rights law is now more pro employee in 2019.

For example an employee does not have to complain about discrimination in order to establish a hostile work environment, and/or prove discrimination.

The time to file a complaint with the division of Human Rights is now longer. The Complainant/Plaintiff/Employee can now recovery attorneys fees for all discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law, not only limited to sex discrimination or sexual harassment.

Important Updates to the New York State Human Rights Law

2019 SAW A GREAT EXPANSION FOR EMPLOYEES’ RIGHTS IN NEW YORK


On August 12, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation that strengthened protections against discrimination and harassment in the New York State Human Rights Law. The provisions of this law will go into effect at various times between August 2019 and August 2020. A brief description of these provisions, and their effective dates, is provided below.
Effective August 12, 2019:
• The Human Rights Law is to be liberally construed, under New York State law, without reference to any federal law that may lead to a more restrictive result.
Effective October 11, 2019:
• The Human Rights Law now explicitly includes protection in employment from harassment based on any protected class. In addition, domestic workers are now also protected from harassment on all bases. A list of all protected classes can be found in the adjoining section.
• The Human Rights Law now protects victims of harassment, including sexual harassment, in important new ways:
○ Harassment is against the law whenever an individual is subjected to inferior terms, conditions or privileges of employment.
○ The harassment need not be severe or pervasive in order for the employer to be liable. (However, the employer may raise a defense that the actions were not more than “petty slights or trivial inconveniences”).
○ In order to establish liability, the complainant does not have to identify a similarly situated person/employee that was treated more favorably.
○ A complainant does not have complain to their employer or file a formal grievance in order to establish liability.
• Non-employees working in the workplace are protected from all discrimination. The protections extend to contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants or others providing services in the workplace
• Punitive damages may be awarded against private employers.
• Attorney’s fees may be awarded in all employment cases.
• Under New York law, settlements of employment discrimination claims can only include the conditions of confidentiality if it is the complainant’s preference and agreements regarding nondisclosure must be “in writing to all parties in plain English, and, if applicable, the primary language of the complainant.”

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO in Human Rights Law in New York next year.


Effective January 1, 2020:
• Under New York law, settlements of employment discrimination claims cannot prevent complainants from speaking to an attorney, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, local human rights commissions, or any other form of law enforcement.
Effective February 8, 2020:
• The Human Rights Law will apply to all employers within New York State, even those with fewer than four employees. See adjoining section for more on the Law’s protections.

THREE YEARS TO FILE FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Effective August 12, 2020:
• The one-year statute of limitations for filing with the Division will be extended to three years for sexual harassment in employment cases only.

If you or someone you know has been subjected to workplace harassment contact Berlingieri Law, PLLC. Helping employees only in workplace matters. Call now for a free consultation.


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