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New York City Law Blog

Westchester County joins "ban the box" movement

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Westchester County has joined a growing movement to eliminate workplace discrimination against people with criminal records by "banning the box."

What is "ban the box" legislation?

Many employment applications traditionally included a box that applicants must check to indicate whether they have been convicted of a crime. Checking the box often excludes people with criminal records from being considered for the position at all.

Where there is a will to help at-will employees, there is a way

While New York workers won the recent battle for a $15.00 minimum wage, the war seems to be far from over. A powerful union is pitting itself against equally influential restaurant industry professionals. Casualties are mounting as a significant number of fast food employees are being fired for reasons that, at best, are elusive, if they exist at all.

New York City Councilman Brad Lander, who previously helped to enact legislation to protect freelancers and increase wages for rideshare drivers, is on the front lines of the fight, leading the charge to require fast food businesses to show just cause for terminating its employees. Lander points out that employers' practice of firing "at will" employees for no reason is not based on any law that affords employers that right. Enacting mandates, once exclusive to unions, and converting said mandates into law could provide employees the protections they need. In his proposal before the City Council, Lander is also mandating that employees be provided an appeals process via arbitration.

Human Rights Commission issues employer guidance on hair policy

In February of 2019, the NYC Commission on Human Rights released a statement on legal enforcement guidance and race discrimination. This statement was specifically about hair, and how anti-black racism includes issues such as not allowing black people to wear their hair in natural styles in the workplace.

In short, the Commission affirmed that any appearance or grooming policies that limit, ban, or restrict natural hairstyles violate the Commissions' provisions on anti-discrimination.

Enforcing a Judgment Against Ownership Interests in Entities

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Judgment debtors come in all shapes and sizes and can include both individuals and entities. In some cases, a creditor may obtain a judgment against both the entity and the individual owners of that entity. Other times, the judgment is only against the entity or the individual, but not both. 

What if your natural hair were stigmatized as unprofessional?

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Some African-Americans' hair and hairstyles have long been stigmatized for not meeting European beauty standards. Yet clean, natural hair is nothing to be ashamed of, and our culture has been gradually moving toward recognizing the beauty and normalcy of all types of hair.

Yet the stigma continues to hold in many areas of life, including employment. Far too often, African-Americans are forced to change their hair or even lose their jobs for sporting a head of natural hair -- or hairstyles like locs, braids, cornrows, Bantu knots, and others that are commonly associated with black people.

Collecting a Judgment Against the Founder of a Startup

Collecting a Judgment Against the Founder of a Startup

Savvy creditors can employ various strategies to enforce judgments and collect on debts. Our next several posts highlight real-world scenarios, each of which illustrates a different technique that can be used to enforce judgments.

Another court win for truckers

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Your rights as an independent contractor can seem a bit murky. You may be entitled to some employment protections, but not others. This is particularly true if you drive a truck as an independent contractor. Employment protections have been at times hard to come by for drivers.

But drivers do have legal protection. A recent post on the blog highlighted a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing arbitration in wage-and-hour disputes in transportation. In what appears to be another win for truckers, a recent appeals case in New Jersey has helped make your employment rights easier to define.

New Jersey approves gradual minimum wage increase to $15/hour

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Recently, the New Jersey Legislature approved gradually increasing the minimum wage for most workers to $15.00 an hour over the next five years. New Jersey already increased its minimum wage slightly on January 1, 2019 to $8.85 an hour. Most workers can expect to see another raise on July 1, 2019, when the minimum wage will rise to $10.00 an hour. Thereafter, employees will see a tiered increase over time, as follows:

  • January 1, 2020: $11.00 an hour
  • January 1, 2021: $12.00 an hour
  • January 1, 2022: $13.00 an hour
  • January 1, 2023: $14.00 an hour
  • January 1, 2024: $15.00 an hour
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