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

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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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New York Minimum Wage Now $15.00. per hour for some in NYC, $13.50, $12.00 per hour and $11.10 for New Yorkers

New York State’s Minimum Wage gives New Yorkers a raise for 2019.


New York State’s Minimum Wage will employees benefit or will there be less jobs for workers and higher prices for customers?

The path for a statewide $15 minimum wage plan will begin to raise the earnings of more than 2.1 million New Yorkers, in all industries across the state.

Location12/31/1612/31/1712/31/1812/31/1912/31/202021*
NYC – Big Employers (of 11 or more)$11.00$13.00$15.00
NYC – Small Employers (10 or less)$10.50$12.00$13.50$15.00
Long Island & Westchester$10.00$11.00$12.00$13.00$14.00$15.00
Remainder of New York State Workers$9.70$10.40$11.10$11.80$12.50*

Every year or at the time of a pay change New York employers must provide employees a wage notice pursuant to NYLL-195(1) and on each payday a wage statements (paystubs) pursuant to NYLL-195(3).


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How will the Supreme Court decide if sexual orientation is protected in the workplace under Title VII?

The Supreme Court will decide “Whether the prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1), against employment discrimination “because of . . . sex” encompasses discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation.”

The Supreme Court to decide Tile VII “Sex” questions.

Combined with the question

Issue: Whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.


Issue: Whether discrimination against an employee because of sexual orientation constitutes prohibited employment discrimination “because of . . . sex” within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2.

CERTIORARI GRANTED 17-1618 ) BOSTOCK, GERALD L. V. CLAYTON COUNTY, GA ) 17-1623 ) ALTITUDE EXPRESS, INC., ET AL. V. ZARDA, MELISSA, ET AL. The petitions for writs of certiorari are granted. The cases are consolidated and a total of one hour is allotted for oral argument. 18-107 R.G. & G.R. HARRIS FUNERAL HOMES V. EEOC, ET AL. The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U. S. 228 (1989).

https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/042219zor_9olb.pdf

Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda
Docket No.17-1623. Cert. Granted

Older Blog: Dec. 2018 –

The Supreme Court may want to take up the Zarda question to avoid an inevitable Circuit-Split and incongruous application of Title VII.  

The last conference for the selection committee of Justices could have granted the Zarda petition for certiorari should be heard by the 9 Justices was set for December 3, 2018, however it has since been rescheduled.  

The Supreme Court will have to decide whether it wants to hear the Second Circuit case in its upcoming 2019 term.


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