November 18, 2022

New York State Human Rights Law Invoked in Sexual Harassment Arbitration Case

A split has appeared in how to handle sexual harassment cases with a New York trial judge ruling recently that the state’s Human Rights Law prevents companies and employees from entering arbitration over sexual harassment. This contradicts an earlier ruling in New York’s Southern District where a judge ruled that arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) supersedes New York’s statutory prohibition against arbitration. 

There is a useful summary of the most recent decision at Mintz, but the quick takeaways are that when statutory law changed in 2018, which allowed plaintiffs to seek relief in court rather than through arbitration, employers, even those who had previous employment agreements that stipulated arbitration, were arguably no longer able to seek arbitration under the FAA laws; furthermore, the judge argued that any mandatory arbitration clauses were invalidated by the new state law. 

Confounding matters further, in February another trial judge in New York ruled that changes in the law do not invalidate previous arbitration agreements. At the moment, it remains unclear whether employers’ mandatory arbitration clauses regarding sexual harassment complaints are valid any longer. As there are sure to be appeals, this is a case we will be watching.

Berke-Weiss Law Attorneys Speak at Endometriosis Foundation Conference

March 27, 2023
Disability Discrimination
Berke-Weiss Law in the News
Berke-Weiss Law attorneys, Laurie Berke-Weiss, Alex Berke, and Rosa Aliberti, spoke at the EndoFound Global Patient Symposium, commonly referred to as Patient Day, about the legal rights and protections for those with endometriosis.

AI and Compliance, Employers Brace for a Brave New World

March 16, 2023
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Over the last decade, more and more companies have utilized automated tools to aid in hiring, training, retaining. Historically, when practices and technologies are adopted rapidly, the law takes time to catch up and this is no different, with 2023 looking to be a year where companies are going to come under more detailed regulatory and compliance regimes focused on AI.

Elon Musk’s Public Mocking of Employee’s Disability Highlights the Importance of Reasonable Accommodations and Health Information Privacy

March 16, 2023
Disability Discrimination
Elon Musk mocked a Twitter employee for his disability and lack of clarity regarding job status, highlighting issues disabled workers face in the workplace.

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