Have you ever been asked at a job interview if you are married or have children? Whether you’ve ever been arrested? Treated for a mental disorder? Has your employer ever sexually harassed you? Listened in on your phone calls? Refused time off for religious observance? Have you ever been denied unemployment benefits? Do you know if you can be fired for off-the job-conduct? For any reason at all? These are only a few of the issues we are asked daily about rights on the job both in public and private employment. In fact, we receive more work-related inquiries than any other kind. So we have written this 38-page handbook in question and answer form, in plain English, about how the law protects you or does not protect you. The questions are those most frequently asked us about fairness and legality at work.

Here are the areas covered:
  • "DISCRIMINATION" discusses lawful and unlawful pre-employment inquiries, sexual harassment, forced retirement, retaliation and more.
  • "TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE JOB" includes rights of speech and privacy, time off when sick, pregnant or for religious holidays, disability benefits, access to personnel files, residency requirements, speaking English on the job, civil service disqualification and more.
  • "PRIVACY" discusses polygraph tests, monitoring phone calls and e-mail, fingerprinting requirements and Social Security numbers.
  • "DISCHARGE AND DISCIPLINE" includes "employment at will," whistleblowers, off-duty conduct and discharge before eligibility for benefits.
  • "UNION MATTERS" covers retaliation for union activity, complaints against the union, and paying dues for non-union members.
  • "POST EMPLOYMENT" includes inquiries about restrictive covenants, credit references, bad references and unemployment benefits.
Though written in lay language, the text includes footnotes citing case law, state and federal law, rules and regulations, and should be useful to employers as well. The handbook is available from both the Nassau Chapter and the main office at $2 each or $1.50 for orders of ten or more plus book rate postage. Call 516-741-8520 or email nassau@nyclu.org for further information.

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