Law Blog

Actress Gabrielle Union Fired From America’s Got Talent After Complaints of Racism and Unhealthy Workplace

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NBC Universal once again finds itself entangled in another employment scandal after actress Gabrielle Union was dropped as a judge on the show, America’s Got Talent, amid complaints of racism and an unsafe workplace. According to reports, NBC fired Union – a known advocate for minority communities - because she spoke out about the toxic and racist workplace culture during production of the show. Union allegedly spoke out about several discriminatory practices during her time on the show, including being told by producers that America would not get behind a ten-year old black rapper; that the network discouraged her from wearing certain outfits and hairstyles they considered “too black” for viewers; and for raising concerns that host Simon Cowell was creating an unhealthy workplace by smoking indoors. But it was her complaint to producers about a racist joke comedian Jay Leno allegedly made about Korean restaurants during taping that apparently sealed her fate. Though producers allegedly dismissed Union’s complaint, the joke was cut from the show, then in retaliation, they terminated her three-year contract after just one season as a judge on the show. 

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Can Catholic Schools Discriminate? The U.S. Supreme Court is About to Weigh In.

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Catholic Schools and Discrimination

The United States Supreme Court will review two decisions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit involving the ministerial exception to federal employment discrimination law claims. On December 18, 2019, the Supreme Court granted petitions for a writ of certiorari in St. James School v. Biel and Our Lady of Gudadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, both decisions from the ninth circuit in which Catholic religious schools argued that the ministerial exception protected them from claims of discriminatory employment practices.

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Are Atheists Protected from Religious Discrimination in the Workplace?

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Atheism and Religous Discrimination in the Workplace

Most people know they are entitled to protection from religious discrimination in the workplace, but what if you don’t practice a religion? Do any of the current laws against discrimination in the workplace protect you if you are a non-believer?

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1408 Hits

New York to Penalize Employers for Retaliating Against Immigrant Employees

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Employers are not allowed to retaliate against immigrant employees in New York

On July 27, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that prohibits employers in New York State from retaliating against employees by contacting or threatening to contact immigration authorities. The measure also extends the protection to threats or actions against an employee’s family or household members. The law took effect on August 15, 2019.

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860 Hits

New York Lawmakers Propose Updates to Discrimination Laws

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New Anti Discrimination Laws Proposed in New York

New York lawmakers have proposed legislation that would expand the protections available to employees under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”). The bill, sponsored by Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, is the bedrock of a package of eleven bills intended to strengthen the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

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805 Hits

New Ruling Expands the Age Discrimination in Employment Act to Cover Small Government Employers

Age Discrimination

On November 6, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido, holding that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) applies to state and federal government employers regardless of their size. In Mount Lemmon, a small Arizona municipal fire department terminated its two oldest employees, arguing that it was exempt from the requirements of the ADEA because it had fewer than 20 employees. The Supreme Court disagreed and found that all government employers, regardless of size, are subject to the ADEA. The Supreme Court’s opinion focused its analysis on the phrase “also means” as it was used in the statute, finding that the phrase was additive as opposed to clarifying and meant that under the statute “employer” “also means … a State or political subdivision of a State.” As a result of the decision, employees working for state or federal government agencies with less than 20 employees now have protection against discrimination on the basis of age and it is important for such employees to be aware of their new rights and protections.

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Have You Been Threatened in the Workplace? Here’s What to Do

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Hostile Work Environment

The workplace can be a tumultuous place where we must deal with demanding bosses, moody co-workers, and difficult customers or clients. The price employees pay for financial security is enough to give anyone a headache, but what happens when a not-so-pleasant situation turns into one that is downright hostile?

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17125 Hits

Religious Discrimination in the Workplace: What You Should Know

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Despite efforts to prevent all types of discrimination in the workplace, people are still harassed and abused on a regular basis while working. Discrimination on a religious basis is no exception. Individuals are still treated differently in the workplace because of their religious beliefs and practices, even though the law is supposed to prevent this from happening.

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Alvarado and Alvarado v. 2000 Auto Sales, Inc. d/b/a Smith Haven Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, and Chris Markakis, individually Case No.: 2:18-cv-02370

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New Collective Action filed in the Eastern District of New YorkAlvarado and Alvarado v. 2000 Auto Sales, Inc. d/b/a Smith Haven Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, and Chris Markakis, individually Case No.: 2:18-cv-02370

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1268 Hits

Second Circuit Rules that sexual orientation discrimination is illegal under Federal Law

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As we previewed in our earlier post LGBTQ Rights and the Workplace, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has released its decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express, holding that sexual orientation discrimination is considered sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sex discrimination is one of the types of discrimination historically barred under Title VII. After a 10-3 vote, Chief Judge Robert Katzmann authored the majority opinion, which gives three separate legal grounds for their holding.

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1008 Hits

New York Launches Human Rights Law Ad Campaign

In an effort to spread the word and educate employees about their protections under the city’s Human Rights Law, New York has launched a print advertising campaign concerning the law.

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1266 Hits

Protecting Domestic Violence Victims of Discrimination in the Workplace

Domestic violence happens in the home, but it affects every aspect of a victim’s life. This is especially true when it comes to work.

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1453 Hits

Five Things You Need to Know If It’s Your First Time in the Workforce

The start of your first job is one of the most exciting times in your life, but it can also be intimidating. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done to prepare or how qualified you are for the job, there’s still a lot that can go wrong.

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Are You a Victim of Workplace Age Discrimination?

Employees are protected from workplace discrimination based on a variety of factors, including their age. As long as someone is able to perform his or her job duties, laws protect against negative treatment based on age. Age-related discrimination is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).

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1635 Hits

Sexual Orientation and Your Job

There are federal and state laws protecting employees from discrimination in the workplace and these laws apply to sexual orientation. No matter what your sexual orientation, you are legally entitled to be protected from harassment or differential treatment. You might be further protected by specific company policies regarding sexual orientation, too.

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2610 Hits

Did a Recent Job Interview Include Any of these Questions? Your Potential Future Employer Just Broke the Law!

If you are a job hunter, you already know how intimidating an experience the interview can be. Answering detailed questions about your work history and professional goals is enough to drive anyone into panic mode.

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3049 Hits

What are Your Employment Rights as a Service Member?

What are Your Employment Rights as a Service Member?As a member of the United States military, you have earned certain employment rights and job protections not afforded to non-military members. These rights and protections are covered under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The laws within this act were designed to ensure individuals that are called to service do not lose their jobs while serving; and the law prevents discrimination based on past and present military service of applicants and employees.

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3249 Hits

Revealing Medical Conditions to Potential Employers: What You Should Know

Interviewing for a job can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you are concerned about health issues that could interfere with your ability to be hired. Though employees are discouraged from letting health issues or disabilities affect their hiring decisions when they do not affect a person’s ability to do a job, proving this to be the case can be tough. Knowing your health could play a role in whether or not you are hired might leave you wondering if, when, and how to disclose your health information.

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How Can I Be Sure I Have a Valid Age Discrimination Case?

As you get older, you tend to feel more confident about things. You might have a comfortable savings and some equity in you home. Though you might be strapped with college costs or helping adult children in other ways, in general, things are far more secure than they were in early adulthood.

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2991 Hits

New Rights for Unpaid Interns in NY

In 2013, it was held that an unpaid intern working in New York City did not have a right to sue for sexual harassment because she was not an “employee” under the City’s Human Rights Law. Since the classification of “employee” did not apply to unpaid interns, such interns also did not have standing to sue in New York City administrative agencies. The effect of this narrowed classification eliminated unpaid interns from having standing to sue for sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination.

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