The Right to Unionize

The Constitution of the United States guarantees its citizens the right to freely associate, and to peacefully assemble for political purposes. However, the modern labor union only dates to the 1930s, with the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Until that point, labor unions were made illegal, and were often broken up by police, or sometimes even by the State or National Guard. Moreover, there are still many people who are not allowed to legally unionize, or who have their right to organize significantly restricted. How can this be true? Continue reading “The Right to Unionize”

When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky

When people think of employment discrimination, whether based on gender, race, age, sexuality or disability, they usually have a specific picture of what that looks like. They imagine bigoted tirades or inappropriate physical contact, or managers or executives outright declaring their refusal to treat certain kinds of people as equals. That said, with employers now more conscious of lawsuits than ever, discrimination can often take more subtle forms. Continue reading “When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky”

The Problem of Wage Theft

When you get hired for a job, the terms of your employment are supposed to be laid out for you before you agree to be hired. This includes your benefits, your hours, your vacation and sick days, and of course, your wages. However, not every employer will stick to their end of the bargain. Some will choose not to pay overtime or will refuse to pay for all the hours you worked, or they’ll deny you sick days or vacation days that you’re entitled to. Some will refuse to pay you your last paycheck when you leave, and some may “forget” to pay you at all. Continue reading “The Problem of Wage Theft”

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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The Supreme Court and The Debate Over Joint Employment

On January 8th of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari to take another look at the case of DirecTV, LLC v. Hall. The issue in this case was whether or not the Fourth Circuit misinterpreted the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which ultimately decides minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, youth employment, and other employment issues. The FSLA issue the Supreme Court declined to hear is joint employment.
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AG Files Lawsuit against Brooklyn Car Wash for Wage Theft

On January 25, 2018, New York State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman announced he filed a lawsuit against Tropical Breeze Car Wash in Brooklyn, alleging its managers cheated its employees out of more than $540,000 in wages and deliberately filed false information to the state regarding the number of employees and payroll to avoid paying unemployment insurance. The lawsuit names the owner/manager and managers as defendants.
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New York State’s Paid Family Leave Program Begins

What constitutes paid family leave and whether employers should be required to offer it has been a widely debated topic for decades. Recently, New York State has taken a step forward in this issue by granting employees new rights regarding family leave. As of the first day of the new year, the laws outlining employees’ eligibility for paid family leave have been improved in New York State to make it one of the most generous plans in the nation. The program for New York State will be phased in over the course of the next four years, beginning with 8 weeks of paid leave and eventually growing to 12 weeks of paid leave by 2021.
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5 Workplace Laws Employees Need to Understand

Employment at Will

An at-will employee generally has no right to their job. Many employees believe that there are laws that protect them from being fired without reason or notice, but those employees are wrong. Being an at-will employee means that, absent a contractual relationship, your boss does not have to provide you the benefits of such protections as notice or reason for termination. While this may be discouraging news, this also allows you the benefit of quitting your job with no notice or no reason as well.
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Paid Sick Leave Law

Under New York City’s Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL), which is enforced by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), any employer with five or more employees must provide paid sick leave, while those with four or less employees are required to only provide sick leave.  The law covers all employees who work more than eighty hours per calendar year and either live or work in New York City. Attending client meetings in New York City constitutes “working in New York City.” This law covers workers that are:
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Seasonal Hires Receive Many of the Same Labor Law Protections

Seasonal employees are typically hired to work on a part-time basis for retailers that need extra help around the holiday season. These seasonal positions are a perfect way to provide employees the opportunity to earn extra income to pay for gifts, meals, and even bills. In addition, already employed workers may have the opportunity to receive a supplemental income, which may help to offset the extra money spent during the holiday seasons. Continue reading “Seasonal Hires Receive Many of the Same Labor Law Protections”