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On May 12, 2021, the Second Circuit court of appeals in the case of Quinones v. City of Binghamton, 20-3078 reversed the dismissal of a discrimination case brought by police lieutenant Alan Quinones against the City of Binghamton, the City’s Mayor and two police department officials. In so doing, the appellate court made clear that even in the absence of a specified claim for discrimination, if there are sufficient facts, that is sufficient to…
The New York State legislature is currently considering passage of the Medical Aid in Dying Act (Assembly Bill 4321-A) which is an extremely important piece of legislation which will benefit many New Yorkers and their families, but they are unaware of it. This legislation was initially introduced by Assembly member Amy Pauling, and currently has multiple sponsors. The proposed law is modeled on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.  First introduced for consideration in…
March 24, 2021 was Equal Pay Day in the U.S. The White House issued “A Proclamation on National Equal Pay Day, 2021” in which the Biden-Harris Administration drew attention to the fact that in 2019, women working full-time were on average paid just $0.82 for every dollar paid to male employees. The pay disparities are even greater for women of color, with Black, Native American and Hispanic women, earning 63% , 60% and…
On December 31, 2020 the Healthy Terminals Act was signed into law by Governor Mario Cuomo requiring employees working at airports and with contractors providing airport food services to receive fringe benefits or cash supplements. The bill was co-sponsored by State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, D-Bronx and supported by Service Employees International Union Local 32 BJ, the union representing many of the airport workers.  It is expected that this new law will offset the…
Mayor De Blasio recently signed legislation amending NYC’s paid safe and sick leave law. The new changes took effect on September 30, 2020 and bring NYC’s law more into line with NYS’s paid sick leave law. Key Changes to Be Aware of The key changes in the law that employees in NYC should know about are the following: Employees begin accruing leave immediately upon starting a job and can use the leave as soon…
The coronavirus pandemic has raised many issues for employers and older employees.  Many employees, over the age of 40, are faced with questions and concerns about the potentially discriminatory decisions being made by their employers regarding layoffs, terminations and returning to the workplace. A significant increase in age discrimination lawsuits is expected due to the pandemic. These claims will be based on the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination against workers…
In a June 18, 2020 unanimous decision in the case of Hosking v. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr, 2020 NY Slip Op 03484, written by Justice Acosta, the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed a decision issued by Bronx County Judge Lizbeth Gonzålez which granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint of Jeanette Martinez.  At issue on appeal was whether Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the defendant employer, properly engaged in a good faith dialogue…
As non-essential businesses reopen, employers are grappling with issues of when and how to safely return employees to the workplace.  The use of antibody testing of employees has been posited as a potential screening tool to assist employers in their decision making, by identifying those employees who had COVID-19 and thus may have developed some measure of immunity. On June 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 related guidance to make…
During the pandemic, the Human Resources Administration (HRA), which administers Medicaid in New York City has responded with flexibility regarding the application and renewal process to ensure Medicaid applicants or recipients are able to access the care they need. Previously, HRA issued a General Information System message to announce changes to Medicaid eligibility and enrollment processes in light of COVID-19.  This week, HRA issued a new alert providing updated information on its handling of…
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, lawmakers and regulators in Washington have turned their attention to addressing the inevitable retaliation against employees who report misuse of the federal government’s pandemic relief funds and questions about the reopening process for workplaces. COVID-19 WHISTLEBLOWER BILL On June 15, 2020, Senator Kamala Harris and Representatives Jackie Speier and Jamie Raskin introduced  into Congress the COVID-19 Whistleblower Protection Act. If passed, the proposed bill would protect workers who blow the…