Blog Categories

Blog Archives

Author Archives: James G. Ryan

Southern District Rules: Unpaid Interns are Not Eligible to Assert NY Sexual Harassment Protections

In October of 2013, the Southern District of New York[1] dismissed an intern’s claim for sexual harassment brought under New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law on the grounds that the state law protections did not extend to unpaid interns. According to the Complaint, former intern LihuanWang alleged that […]

Supreme Court Hears Second Affirmative Action Case This Year

On October 15, only four months after the United States Supreme Court heard arguments regarding an affirmative action program for the University of Texas[1], the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action[2], a case challenging a Michigan ban on affirmative action policies. The action arose in 2006 when Michigan […]

Legislative Update: Senate Moves to Approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

On November 4, the United States Senate in a 61-30 vote moved to continue debate on the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA” or the “Act”). The ENDA seeks to ban workplace bias against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Act also provides an exception for smaller businesses that contain […]

Australia’s High Court Denies Employee Worker’s Compensation Claim for Sex Injury

Ruling in a 4-2 decision, the Australian High Court denied a government employee worker’s compensation claim for an injury the employee sustained while having sex in a motel room during a business trip.

UPDATE: Fox Appeals in Second Circuit for Guidance on Unpaid Interns

In June of 2013 in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York held that Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. (“Searchlight”) violated the Federal Labor and Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Laws (“NYLL”) when the company failed to pay two interns who were assigned to perform […]

New U.S. Labor Secretary Proposes to Extend U.S. Minimum Wage Laws to Home Health Employees

After only being sworn in two weeks ago, the new U.S. Labor Secretary, Thomas Perez, has not wasted any time in setting up the goals he planned to obtain during his term, especially when it comes to minimum wage laws for home health care workers. .  The new law will become effective in January of […]

Employers: Telling Your Employee to “Hang Up [THEIR] [] Superman Cape” May Result in a Successful Age Discrimination Claim

In reversing the District Court decision, the Eighth Circuit found that a supervisor’s disparaging comments to an older employee was enough to establish a prima facie case that the employee was terminated because of his age.  In this case, Johnson v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. No. 12-2129 (8th Cir. Aug. 26, 2013), 76 year […]

New York Court of Appeal Rules: Laboratory Suable for False Positive Test Results

Last Thursday, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in a 4-3 decision that a man may bring a negligence claim against a drug testing company for a false positive drug test. At the time of the disputed test results, Eric Landon (“Landon”) was 42 years old and was ordered[1] to random drug testing as […]

Rule 68 Offer of Judgment: Advantageous for Defendant-Employers

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 68 (“Rule”), offers of judgment have become a cost effective way for employers to quickly resolve individual, collective or class actions. For example, in employment cases, the Rule effectively imposes penalties on a plaintiff-employee (1) who rejects a reasonable settlement offer made by a defendant-employer and (2) […]

ESTA: New York City to Join Other Major Cities in Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Plan

Many employers have offered paid sick leave plans for their employees as part of their business practice. However, under the Earned Sick Time Act (“ESTA”) (the “Act”), employers in New York City (“NYC”) with 15 or more employees must now provide up to five (5) paid sick days per calendar year for all eligible employees […]

DOMA’s Tax Benefit Implications

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law. Section 3 of DOMA defines “marriage” as a legal union between one man and one woman, and defines “spouse” as a husband or wife of the opposite sex.  However, on June 26, 2013, in the case United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court held that Section […]

Free Interns-The End of an Era?

As an employer, at one time or another, you have probably helped eager students gain real work experience as interns at your company. The intern isn’t paid; but that’s okay because you provide the intern with great on-the-job experience and educational training while you are able to observe the intern in what amounts to a […]

Company Parties or Legal Nightmares?

The summer provides a great opportunity for employers to host company parties for the whole office to enjoy. These parties are a great way for employers to get the company together to celebrate holidays and recent achievements. However, they also open the door to myriad liabilities that all employers need to take note of. A […]

Supreme Court Narrows Scope of Employer’s Liability for Title VII Claims against Co-workers

On June 24, 2013 in the case Vance v. Ball State University,  the Supreme Court defined the scope of supervisory status as it applies to harassing co-workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).  In a five-four decision, the Supreme Court held that a co-worker employee is a supervisor only […]

Unemployment: New Basis for Discrimination under Proposed Law

The New York City Council has recently taken steps to expand anti-discrimination laws by prohibiting employers from discriminating against job applicants on the basis of their employment status. If enacted, Bill 814-A would provide recourse for jobless individuals who believe they have suffered an adverse decision as a result of their unemployment. Although other jurisdictions, […]