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Letters to the Editor for Thursday, June 6

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, June 6

Your Voice

Bill adds protections against harassment  

This legislative session, New York has an opportunity to ensure that the right to equal employment opportunity is available to all employees, across all protected categories, including race, disability, and sexual orientation and that the right is actually enforceable in practice, not just on paper.
S3817A/A7083A, sponsored by Senator Biaggi and Assemblywoman Simotas, will allow all employees access to justice by awarding prevailing plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases attorney fees, not just in sex discrimination cases which is current New York state law.
Currently, employees must prove that harassing conduct was sufficiently “severe or pervasive” to permeate the workplace.
Time after time courts have dismissed claims that allege outrageous behavior including touching of intimate body parts or use of highly offensive language on the basis that the conduct was not severe enough or that it did not happen enough to be considered pervasive.
S3817A/A7083A proposes a different minimum threshold, where harassing conduct is unlawful unless the employer proves the complained conduct was a petty slight or trivial inconvenience. This is currently the standard only within New York City, not under state law.
Punitive damages are also included in this bill as a form of damages in employment discrimination cases to deter employers from permitting egregious or persistent harassment. This is currently not available under state law.
It’s time that employees throughout New York be extended the same protections.
Sarah J. Burger, Esq. 
Saratoga Springs
The writer is an employment attorney with Burger Law Group PLLC and Second Vice President of the National Employment Lawyers Association/NY Chapter.

Force all politicians to show tax returns 

The Democrats are clamoring to see President Trump’s tax returns. 
They’ve tried everything else, and now they want to turn people against him because he avoided paying taxes. I admit that that idea bothers me. However he’s doing what other successful businessmen have done before him. No one enters the business sector with the desire to lose money.
As long as we’re delving into the realm of public opinion, I’d like to see the tax returns of all the politicians. The Pelosis, Clintons and Maxine Waterses are all multimillionaires.
Bernie Sanders claimed earning a million dollars last year, and I’m sure the Obama’s aren’t far behind. 
How do people who aren’t millionaires upon entering the political arena leave as millionaires? I don’t recall any campaigns in which they said vote for me, and I’ll get rich. 
How did they use their office to benefit themselves? Their wealth hasn’t helped me in the least. I thought they wanted to help the public.
Political office is akin to winning the lottery. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the last president to leave office as an everyday person was Truman.
Pete Pidgeon

Is this how you make America great again?

On this, the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we have a president, supported by millions, who mocks American POWs, denigrates Gold Star families and thinks there are good neo-Nazis. MAGA
Michael Boehm

Do the right thing for St. Clare’s retirees

Concerning the St. Clare’s Hospital employee pension fund fiasco: 
Did the corporation inform the employees that no deposits were being made into their fund so that they could explore options early on? 
Also, before New York state gave its $25 million-plus, did a licensed actuary determine the required amount necessary to maintain the pension fund? If so, did a financial manager competently manipulate the fund all those years?
Apparently not, not, and not. 
There are many to blame for the disgraceful disregard and abandonment of the St. Clare’s employees. 
It is past time for each entity to do the right thing.
Marilyn B. Guidarelli

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