Barbara E. Hoey

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EEOC Releases Preliminary Fiscal Year 2018 Statistics on Sexual Harassment Claims

Last week, the EEOC released preliminary data on sexual harassment claims for its 2018 fiscal year. The report (not surprisingly) shows an eye-popping rise in sexual harassment claims and enforcement activity – a trend acting EEOC chair Victoria Lipnic anticipates will continue for a while. Even for employers not affected by New York and New … Continue Reading

Happy October! – A New Round of State Sexual Harassment Guidance And City Laws to Kick Off the Scariest Month of the Year

New York State and City have each passed new legislation addressing workplace sexual harassment and employer accommodations, which both have deadlines looming for New York employers. Just in time – on October 1, the State DOL (finally) clarified – in a good way – a number of employer obligations under the State law. The State … Continue Reading

Healthcare Headache: New Jersey Healthcare Network a Target for EEOC Religion Claim

Recent filings show healthcare employers remain susceptible to religious discrimination claims. In August, the EEOC filed suit against Hackensack Meridian Health (“Hackensack”), a New Jersey healthcare network, alleging an employee was harassed due to religion. According to the complaint, Hackensack hired Jojy Cheriyan in August 2015 to perform clinical informatics work. The EEOC alleges that … Continue Reading

The First “Me Too” Verdict in New York Should Send A Strong Message to Managers and Employers

On Friday, July 27, after a 3 week trial in Manhattan, a jury awarded $1.25 million in damages to Enrichetta Ravina, a former professor at Columbia University Business School, who claimed that she was denied tenure and forced to resign in retaliation for complaining that a senior professor, Geert Bekaert, had sexually harassed her.  Professor … Continue Reading

Fall is Coming! New York’s New Anti-Sexual Harassment Laws Just Around the Corner

As the summer reaches its peak, New York employers may be more concerned with juggling employee vacation schedules than drafting new policies. But with New York’s recent anti-sexual harassment legislation coming into effect this October, and continuing into the spring for New York City, employers need to begin rolling out new policies and ensuring that … Continue Reading

“Times Up” for New York Employers – Governor Cuomo Signs Historic Anti-Harassment Legislation

On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State budget bill, which makes some big changes in the obligations of New York employers relative to sexual harassment. The new law has both immediate and rolling implications for all New York employers. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY (I.E., RIGHT NOW) The New … Continue Reading

Is Misogyny Protected Activity? Part 2

Earlier, we blogged about James Damore, an engineer at Google who was terminated for his memo, which openly expressed his belief that women were not “biologically suited” for certain types of positions and criticism of the company’s efforts to diversify its work force. The engineer challenged his termination by filing a charge with the National … Continue Reading

Fiscal Year 2017 EEOC Statistics are Here (and So Is Retaliation!)

Last week the EEOC released its annual report breaking down charges received during the fiscal year. In fiscal year 2017, the agency received 84,254 charges and took in $398 million between voluntary resolutions and litigation. What’s striking is the number of retaliation charges – with 41,097 charges it is an overwhelming 48.8% of total charges … Continue Reading

Predictive Scheduling: New York (State) of Mind

Retail employers beware: New York City’s predictive scheduling law went into effect on November 26, 2017, and now New York State is now getting in the mix. The New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) recently released draft regulations that would amend the rules for scheduling employees covered by the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous … Continue Reading

Employer Vaccine Programs: A Case Where Religion is NOT a Factor

This year flu season came early and with a vengeance. As we mentioned in our October post, The Rise of Employee Religious Discrimination Claims, mandatory flu vaccines present a common pitfall for employers. As employers seek to avoid flu outbreaks in the workplace, they may unknowingly head toward a flu case in the courtroom. Issues … Continue Reading

The New Year Brings New Rules to New York

As January draws to a close, New York employers are confronting the reality of many new laws and regulations that govern the employment relationship – from the new Paid Family Leave law, to the new federal tax law. We are also tracking several newly-signed and proposed pieces of legislation, which could further complicate the employment … Continue Reading

A “Smoky” Legal Issue for 2018 – Medical/Recreational Marijuana In the “Workplace”

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. However, there are many states, and a few cities, which have legalized medical and recreational marijuana – creating challenges for employers, as these laws “sprout up” (pun intended) across the country. Also, prior to now, the caselaw was quite clear – an employer could discipline an employee for lawful … Continue Reading

WHERE’S YOUR HARVEY? How To Keep Your Company Out of the Headlines

Over the past year, we have all watched the garish spectacle of various sexual harassment scandals take down powerful men in media, Silicon Valley, and most recently Hollywood, where allegations of Harvey Weinstein’s lurid conduct have engulfed the industry. And we have read a lot of typical advice from law firms in the wake of … Continue Reading

The Rise Of Employee Religious Discrimination Claims

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin and religion. While the first four categories often dominate the news headlines and court dockets, the fifth category — religion — should not be underestimated. Possibly due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2015 Abercrombie decision — a religious … Continue Reading

No Summer Breaks for the EEOC

As many of us settle into September, with fond memories of our summer vacations, do not think that the federal agencies were on a hiatus. In fact and despite predictions that the EEOC under the new administration would be less aggressive in enforcing the discrimination laws, the Commission has been very active and did not … Continue Reading
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