Uber Drivers Are Independent Contractors, Not Employees, According to NLRB

In a recent ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that Uber drivers, and other ride-share drivers working for companies like Lyft, are independent contractors rather than employees. This means they do not have the right to unionize and are not afforded many of the legal protections they would receive if they were considered employees. Uber considers this ruling a major victory, as most of their workforce are drivers working under ride-share agreements, and their financial and legal obligations would have substantially increased if their drivers were ruled to be employees instead.

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Federal Government Seeks to Limit Wage Claims Against Large Chains

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor released a proposal that would limit wage claims against chain corporations like McDonald’s for employment-law violations filed against franchise owners or contractors. This announcement comes just days after McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant chain, released a statement that it will stop lobbying in Congress against industry wage hikes.
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The Employees Lawyer Weighs in on Age Discrimination in the Workplace

Prospective employers, under law, cannot ask a prospective job applicant such questions as “How old are you?” “Aren’t you a little old to apply for this job?” or “What year were you born?” This applies to companies accepting online applications.

Placing a question about the job seeker’s date of birth or year of graduation from college may be illegal because it allows the interviewer to dismiss the applicant on the basis he or she is “too old” or “overqualified.”
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U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Increasing 2004 Salary Levels for Overtime Eligibility

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently proposed a rule that would raise the salary levels for certain employees who are eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. It would be the first update in 15 years. Currently, those who make less than $455 per week, or $23,660 a year, are required to be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week. (This has been in effect since 2004.)
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Despite Lawsuits by Lyft and Juno, Minimum Wage Hike Goes into Effect

On February 1, 2019, the new minimum wage for app-based drivers took effect, despite legal action taken by ride-sharing companies Lyft and Juno to prevent the wage increase. Crain’s New York Business reported the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted to establish the first minimum wage in the nation for ride-sharing drivers.
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Does Your Work Contract Contain a Noncompete Clause?

Unbeknownst to many workers, when they enter into an agreement with their new employer and sign the paperwork, they may have agreed to a noncompete clause. What this tells the employee is that, if the employee decides to leave, they cannot immediately work for a competitor. These non-competes may also contain restrictions as to where you may work and how long before you can work for a competing company.
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De Blasio Introduces New Worker Protections and Benefits

On January 10, 2019, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he will introduce a package that includes improved benefits for private-sector workers and protections to ensure they are paid as promised.
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Psychological Workplace Bullying and its Effects

Having a boss or supervisor who constantly yells or curses at you is engaging in psychological workplace bullying. The employee who is on the receiving end of this abuse usually does not feel the physical pain as if he or she were assaulted by their boss. But the pain is still real, nonetheless.

Psychological harassment occurs just as frequently as sexual harassment, but it is not as frequently reported. That is because, when the employee is being abused by the superior, he or she believes that their superior is right and they are the problem. As a result, the worker does not believe they are the victim in this situation.
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Workplace Closures and Severance Pay

Vox reported that employees of the department store Sears were let go after the retailer announced it was shutting down its stores. Many store associates were told they would receive an eight-week severance package, but, according to the article, after two weeks, the checks stopped coming after Sears announced it was filing for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Sears executives were allowed to collect $25 million in bonuses after the filing, according to the Chicago Business Journal.
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Sexual Harassment in The New York City Hospitality Industry

New York City is an icon for the rich and famous.  It is also known for its extravagant restaurants and exclusive nightlife. However, for many young women and men working in the NYC hospitality industry, incidents of sexual harassment are very common.  According to a recent report, 8 in 10 hospitality workers have experienced being sexually harassed.

There are many federal laws, as well as many state statutes and city ordinances that govern sexual harassment in the workplace.  According to the law, any unwelcome sexual advances, comments or actions constitute sexual harassment. Advances may be by a co-worker, supervisor, or anyone else in a place of authority. When a person brings an issue of sexual harassment to the attention of a superior or boss, the employer is responsible for addressing the problem and taking action. If not, an employer will be liable regardless of being directly involved in the sexual harassment.
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