As experienced Westchester County Employment Lawyers, we often get questions from employers as to whether they are required to have any kind of set protocols in the work place. "Does it have to be in writing?" "Does there have to be any type of employee manual or hand book, or what needs to be included in that manual?" There is no real law that dictates what has to go in an employee manual, and depending on the size of your work force and the type of activity that you carry out you may find that there is no need for an employee handbook or manual. However, things that would go in an employee handbook or manual would apply to all sizes of employers. That includes things on vacation time, sick time and how to utilize that time when that time accrues. It could also include things on how to make complaints of bullying in the work place or harassment in the workplace.
As an experienced Westchester Civil Rights Attorney I am often asked about safeguarding inmates while they are in custody. In the White Plains, NY, sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where you have been subject to arrest and you are not have yet to be arraigned and you are considered a pretrial detainee at that point. It may be after an arraignment that you are now pending a hearing and after being convicted of a charge you are confined in prison for a certain sentence or a term. Under those circumstances when you are in the custody and control of a prison guard there is a certain level of duty that these officials have to safeguard your health. Those forms of safeguarding can take any number of variations. For example, providing you with medication that you may need because of diabetes or providing you with medication that you may have because of some psychiatric diagnosis. It may be in the form of providing you with medical care while you are in the prison officials custody. It also could involve an inmate who comes into a facility as a suicide risk, and often times it's not known that family members on the outside who are concerned for this persons safety because they do pose a suicide risk.
Often times employees will contact employers to indicate that they feel they were being treated in a way that was not fair, unjust, or discriminatory and they make a lot of allegations sometimes on their own or even through counsel. You might have received in the past something called a demand letter and this is basically an attorney letter asking on behalf of a former or current employee for some type of settlement or a resolution. In the event that the employer doesn't do that it doesn't infer these demands that a lawsuit is going to be brought. In any situation when you receive a demand letter, you should never respond without obtaining the advice of an experienced White Plains Employment Lawyer. Anything that you say in a response could always be used down the road in litigation and you have to be careful about how you word things and how you specifically phrase your response to any such demand letters.
In terms of the EEOC, often times you will receive what is called intent to mediate form. This is typically sent to the respondent who is usually the employer in these cases asking whether they have any desire to mediate the claim. Of course you should always seek legal advice when the EEOC is in contact with you in order to determine whether your response to that type of claim is appropriate for your particular company. There are benefits, pros and cons to mediating, and measures should be taken to protect your rights in terms of paying any kind of a settlement that may be considered to be too much for the particular part of the case or the particular claim that’s against you. One of the things that needs to be evaluated in deciding whether to go to the EEOC for mediation is whether you have any defenses to the claim, whether those defenses are viable or even if those defenses are viable you might be facing several years of litigation which of course is expensive to you as an employer. Typically when you receive an intent to mediate, you need to evaluate the case with an attorney who has experience in the area of employment law so that you can get the best advice and best information in terms of determining what your risks are going forward.