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What if My Boss Was a Strong Trump Supporter, but I voted for Hillary (or the Other Way Around)?

Author: Bill Cafaro

What Rights Do I Have if This Causes Me a Problem at Work?

 Employees of Private Businesses:

What about the First Amendment? Can’t I say whatever I want?

Do I have Any Legal Protection at Work at All?

What Political Activity is Protected? Read More

Example: A records clerk for the Nassau County legislature was fired from his job less than four months after an election in which Republicans took control of the Legislature, and claimed that he had gone door to door for Democratic candidates, volunteered at phone banks, and distributing campaign literature.  The Legislature argued that it had let him go due to budget cuts, the fired clerk argued that the need for budget cuts arose only because the Legislature had hired three new employees—all Republican. His claim was valid Fishman v. County of Nassau, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47071, 2013 WL 1339466 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 1, 2013),

  • Absolutely not. Remember also that there will be generally little or no protection for any political activities conducted during work hours, on the employer’s premises, or using the employer’s equipment or materials; It gives you protection for what you do on your own time. Whether a simple one time statement of political affiliation at work is protected is not really clear from the law, and can probably be argued either way, but the more extensive the speech is at work, the better chance the boss will win. If the employee is wearing a campaign button for a particular candidate and the employer says to take it off, they should do it and put it back on when they leave work.

Remember – The General Rule is That There is No Free Speech Right When You Work for a Private (non-government) Employer on His Time. The law we’re talking about here provides some protection, but that protection is limited; it is by no means absolute.

Are Government Employees (Federal, State, City, County, etc.) Political Speech Rights Protected?

But here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The speech always has to be about a matter of public concern, and if it is, the employee’s right, as a citizen, to engage in the speech has to be weighed by the Court against the interests of the State, as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs, Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., 391 U.S. 563 (U.S. 1968).
  • This can also cover rights of political association; and
  • In order to be protected, it must generally be on the employee’s own time, without using the employer’s premises or materials; and
  • Anything a public employee says in the course of his/her employment will not be protected. Example: If an employee of the Mayor’s Office makes any statement on the news in his/her official capacity, the Mayor can fire or discipline them for anything they say or don’t say, whether it’s true or not. Remember also that policy making and confidential employees probably can be dismissed just based on their political affiliation where the employer can show that party affiliation is an appropriate requirement for the effective performance of the public office involved,  Vezzetti v. Pellegrini, 22 F.3d 483, 1994 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1994).

If you have strong political views which are very different from those of your employer, you should probably avoid any confrontation and get legal advice first as to how to best protect yourself. Call the Law Offices of William Cafaro at 212-583-7400 before you take any action like this.

 

Are gender identity and religious freedom at odds in America?

Author: New York Employment Discrimination Attorney: Leeds Brown Law

A recent ruling against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has inspired mixed reactions. The case (EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., E.D. Mich., No. 14-13710, 8/18/16) centered on whether a Michigan funeral home violated federal employment bias law because it required its biological male employee to wear a suit at work.

The EEOC claimed that the funeral home was sex-stereotyping when it fired the employee, who was transitioning from male to female, because she failed to conform to their dress code that required men to wear suits. The EEOC’s position was that the funeral home was discriminating based on gender identity and that that was sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Read More

Mixed responses

Religious groups generally and Alliance Defending Freedom specifically claimed the ruling was “a significant victory for religious liberty”. They chastised the Obama Administration for attempting to expand the reach of Title VII without going through Congress.

However, employment law attorneys and members of the ACLU felt the implications of the decision were “staggering,” “disappointing” and “dangerous”. Read More

Discrimination

 

Contact the Discrimination Law Attorneys at Leeds Brown Law, PCIf you feel you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination in the workplace based on race, gender, age, or disability you should speak to an experienced NYC discrimination law attorney. At Leeds Brown Law, we provide aggressive and effective legal counsel to individuals who believe they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination at work. Call us at 516-873-9550 or 212-661-4370 (toll-free at 1-800-585-4658) to schedule a consultation.

NY Employment, Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Lawyers

Our Blog—A Place to Learn More about Our Practice

Employment Law | Personal Injury | Medical Malpractice | Construction Site Accidents | Premises Liability | Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse | Motor Vehicle Accidents

When you are involved in a legal dispute, whether you’re experiencing unfair treatment at work, or you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, you want to be represented by attorneys who understand the law and the process, and who have proven their ability to get results for their clients. That’s exactly what you’ll get when you hire the Law Offices of William Cafaro. We’ve obtained several multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients, and always use our considerable experience, knowledge, skill and resources to pursue maximum compensation for our clients.

In this blog, we’ll offer insights into legal issues, so that you can be a more effective participant in your legal issue. We’ll address a wide range of topics, including:

Sexual-harassment-Sex-Discrimination

Employment Law

  • How to know if you have an overtime, discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge or other work-related claim
  • The best ways to protect your rights when you are being treated unfairly at work
  • What you can expect in terms of damages or other legal redress when you have a problem at work
  • What to expect from your employer during a work-related dispute
  • Any relevant changes in employment law. Read More:

Experienced and Effective Employment and Personal Injury LawyersOur attorneys and staff take a comprehensive approach to employment and personal injury actions, combining thorough preparation with extensive courtroom skills. We understand the stress and anxiety that accompany a personal injury, and place a premium on being available and accessible when you need answers to your questions.

To learn how we can protect your rights, call (212) 583-7400 for a free case evaluation or contact our offices online.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C., Represents Nassau County Police Officer

leeds brown law

PARTNER RICK OSTROVE WINS ON BEHALF OF POLICE OFFER

Nassau County Police Officer Wins After 6 Years of Desk Duty

Leeds Brown Law, P.C., representing a Nassau County police officer, received an award of $129,500 for emotional damages and a loss of overtime in a civil discrimination lawsuit. As reported by Newsday, the officer’s rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated, resulting in discrimination and limited duties. Partner Rick Ostrove explained, “He is excited to get back to work as a full-duty police officer and help protect the public.” Full Article

Author of Newsday article: Nicole.fuller@newsday.com

Is It Legal to Monitor Your Employees’ Phone Calls?

monitor your employees phone callsAs an employer, you may wonder where to draw the lines as far as monitoring employees’ phone calls at work. Certainly for quality control purposes, it makes sense to monitor calls with customers or clients. But how do laws limit what you can do?

If the call is made while in California and all parties are in California at the time, then CA state law requires you to inform parties when conversations are being recorded. Let’s say as a NY employer, you send a team of sales people to attend a conference in California. You would need to inform them that you’re monitoring calls based on CA state law.

According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, federal law under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act allows companies to monitor business-related calls without informing about monitoring. ReadMore

What about personal calls? Read More

At Stephen Hans & Associates, our attorneys routinely consult with business owners to help put company policies in place so they are in compliance with state and federal laws. Relying on trusted legal guidance is simply part of doing business in today’s world.

Author: Stephen D.Hans & Associates-Employment Defense Law firm located in LIC Queens, New York

What About Your Rights as an Employer to Monitor an Employee’s Social Media Accounts?

 

While in some states employers are able to establish company policies that limit what employees can post about employers, New York’s laws protect the employee’s privacy rights.

First of all, New York State law prohibits you from asking employees for the username or password to their social media accounts. It also prohibits accessing these accounts through other electronic means, which protects employees’ privacy regarding these accounts. The New York State Privacy Protection and Internet Safety Act determines when and how online personal and private information can be destroyed and establishes responsibilities and enforcement.

Read More:

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has general policies in place advising employers not to establish rules that prevent employees from discussing wages or working conditions with each other. However, if an employee is critical of the company and complaints are not in relation to group activities among employees, then the employee is probably liable. Situations vary depending on the facts involved.

If you’re concerned that an employee is posting opinions on Facebook or some other social media outlet that is damaging your company’s reputation or resulting in lost income, consult with one of our attorneys at Stephen Hans & Associates