October 2013           News | Upcoming Programs & CLE | Reports | Get Involved


The Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Gains, Losses and Next Steps
October 24
6:30 - 8:00 PM

On the 35th Anniversary of the Act, a distingushed panel from academia, non-profits, the EEOC and private practice examines the effectictiveness and gaps in the law.


Employment Laws Affecting LGBT Workers: Recent Developments & Best Practices
October 8
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Panelists will represent diverse points of view, including the plaintiff’s/employee’s side, defendant’s/employer’s side, and the government/agency side.

ERISA Regulatory Update 2013
October 10
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Perspectives from a panel of distinguished attorneys on recent regulatory developments affecting sponsors, administrators, and investment managers of employee benefit plans subject to ERISA.

Ethical Issues in Employment Law
October 17
6:00 - 8:30 pm
The panel will discuss common ethical pitfalls in employment litigation, as well as issues related to social media, the consideration of arrest and conviction records in hiring decisions, and whistleblower protection.

Employee Dismissals: Avoiding The Pitfalls
Monday, November 18
6:00 - 8:00 pm
This program will cover numerous legal issues and challenges that arise when an employee is to be dismissed.

Trends in E-Data: What to Look for When Employees Leave
December 13
9:00 - 10:30 am
This unique program will include instruction on utilizing the latest iPad apps for a competitive edge in legal and business deals.

Missed a Program? You Can Still Benefit! CLE Programs' CDs, DVDs and other course
materials can be found on the website.


In Case You Missed It
Recently, the NYC Council passed a bill that requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation “to the needs of an employee for her pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition that will allow the employee to perform the essential requisites of the job, provided that such employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition is known or should have been known by the employer.” It is an affirmative defense “that the person aggrieved by the alleged discriminatory practice could not, with reasonable accommodation, satisfy the essential requisites of the job.” The bill was signed into law by the Mayor.

A Guide to NYC Employment Laws for LGBT Workers
The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights drafted a brochure entitled Know Your Rights: A Guide to NYC Employment Law for LGBT Workers. The brochure is designed to provide general legal information to LGBT individuals who may have questions about their workplace rights and employment laws applicable in New York City. The brochure also lists organizations, along with contact information, where LGBT employees may be able to obtain free legal advice to assist them with understanding their legal rights and potentially pursuing an unlawful employment
discrimination claim.

Unemployment Discrimination
The Committee on Civil Rights expressed opposition to New York City Council bill Int. No. 0814-2012 (as amended), which would amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to prohibiting discrimination based on an individual’s unemployment. The Committee urged the City Council to let Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the bill stand. Though the Committee shares concerns for job seekers who are unemployed, and supports a key component of the bill, the report expresses concerns that other provisions of the bill might worsen, rather than alleviate, the difficulties experienced by the unemployed. In particular, the report notes, the bill does not provide sufficient guidance to those who would be required to comply with, rely on, enforce, and adjudicate the law. Ultimately, the Council decided to override the Mayor’s veto.

Women's Equality Act
The City Bar provided comments on and supported, with limited recommendations, an omnibus bill proposed by Governor Cuomo and dubbed the “Women’s Equality Act”. This bill, which lays out a 10-point plan for advancing women’s rights in a wide variety of areas, includes a number of measures affecting employment law, such as:

A requirement that employers provide equal pay to similarly positioned employees doing work that requires equal skill, effort and responsibility. This portion of the Act is aimed at closing the pay gap and ending wage variations based on sex by providing workers with the right to transparency, so that a victim of pay discrimination will have the necessary information needed to bring a successful claim for meaningful damages. Women subject to unlawful pay differentials will have a private right of action, with the ability to win 300% in back wages. Further, the Act prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who inquire about or disclose wage information.

An amendment to expand the NYS Human Rights Law so that all employers will be subject to the Human Rights Law prohibitions against sexual harassment, regardless of the number of employees.

Three measures aimed at combating employment discrimination against women. The first would provide reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in employment discrimination cases where sex was the basis of the discrimination; the City Bar recommended that this provision be extended to all cases of employment discrimination, not just those based on sex. The second measure would prohibit employment discrimination based on familial status. The final measure would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to the known “pregnancy-related conditions” of an employee.

The 10-part Women’s Equality Act was passed by the Assembly in toto; however, the Senate opted to pass nine out of the ten bills separately, and did not vote on a bill related to abortion. Thus, the Act cannot become law unless, before the end of the year, the Senate passes it in toto, which is unlikely. Alternatively, the Assembly can pass certain of the bills separately in order to match what the Senate has passed, something the City Bar has urged Assembly members to do. The fate of either course of action remains unclear.

Committee Involvement--It's Never too Late
Committees are how the City Bar’s work gets done. Working on a committee can give you great experience while opening up a number of career doors, some you may not even anticipate.

A full list of the City Bar committees along with a brief description of each and an application form can be found on the City Bar’s website. As a number of City Bar committees have more applicants than available slots, please consider applying to more than one committee.


Legislative Affairs
Have an interest in or questions about the City Bar’s legislative work? Send an email to legislation@nycbar.org, visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.