The venerable New York Whistleblower Protection Act has long allowed employees to report misconduct by their employer, at which point the public interest could be vindicated by the state Attorney General. But does an employee have a right to bring a personal claim under New York’s whistleblower law against alleged wrongdoers? The answer now appears to be “yes.”

This past Friday, Justice Loren Bailey-Schiffman rejected arguments by defendants in a whistleblower case that the Attorney General and the Board of Directors of a non-profit school have the ability to file suit under the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013, which requires employers to enact policies to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. Instead, she ruled the whistleblower herself has a private right of action against the school and its Headmaster.

Continue Reading Whistleblowing as a Private Right of Action in New York?

New York employers be warned – your non-compete agreements may be under attack.

The office of the New York Attorney General (AG), Eric Schneiderman, has recently reached settlements with two different companies that require each one to suspend their practice of requiring incoming employees to sign non-compete agreements.  The settlements clearly send a signal that the New York AG is critical of employers who require low-level employees to sign non-competes as a condition of employment.  These agreements were never favored by New York courts, and this may be the time to re-think the broad use of such contracts.

Continue Reading NY Attorney General Sends a Message: Re-Think Non-Compete Agreements

Effective May 4, 2016, New York City employers with four or more employees are prohibited from firing or refusing to hire an individual, and from discriminating against an individual in compensation or terms and conditions of employment because of the individual’s actual or perceived “caregiver status.” This amendment to the New York City Human Rights

Colleagues in the firm’s ligation group, Bill Gyves, Nick Panarella and Damon Suden, prepared an advisory – Spotlight on Business Courts – addressing the uptick in proposed rule changes intended to promote increased efficiency in resolving the kinds of complex business disputes that are heard in New York’s commercial courts. They also note that in

Last year was a ‘big year’ in New York in terms of new employment laws, and 2016 is shaping up to be just as big – as employers come into compliance with the many new laws, and brace for additional changes to come.

Among the most significant new laws are the series of statutes signed by the Governor in October, which all go into effect next week – January 19, 2016 – and which focus on women’s rights and gender equality.  While some of these laws do not break new ground– as they mirror existing federal legislation – they increase penalties, expand the scope of existing laws, and will likely cause the issues of gender equality to be more in the forefront than they were before passage.

Combined with the new minimum wage and an aggressive “employee friendly” agenda by the Governor and the Attorney General, New York employers should stand by and be ready for even greater changes.

Continue Reading New York Employers – Looking Backward and Forward.