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”

Employers Are Not Allowed To Ask About Past Employment Compensation

On October 31, 2017, a law banning New York City employers from “(1) asking job applicants about their compensation history and (2) relying on a job applicant’s compensation history when making a job offer or negotiating an employment contract, unless freely volunteered by the applicant” took effect. Furthermore, the law also prohibits a potential employer from searching public records in order to obtain a person’s past salary history. A potential employer may only inquire about an applicant’s salary and or benefits expectations, but not history. However, if an applicant freely volunteers his or her past salary, an employer is entitled to verify the information. Continue reading “Employers Are Not Allowed To Ask About Past Employment Compensation”

Updates To The New York State Paid Family Leave Law

The New York State Paid Family Leave Law requires that every New York State employer provide employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the following:

  • the birth, adoption, or placement of a new child
  • to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or
  • for a qualifying exigency arising from a family member’s military service.

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Mayor de Blasio Passes Laws to Protect Fast Food and Retail Workers

Previously, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that his administration plans to implement greater protections to New York City’s 65,000 hourly fast food employees. Recently, the mayor signed several bills into law that affect the fast food industry, including one that protects workers from last-minute schedule changes. Additionally, Mayor de Blasio signed a bill that prohibits on-call scheduling for retail employees.

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Another Court Settlement in Unpaid Intern Case

Recently, American fashion designers and former child actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have moved to settle a lawsuit brought by a former intern. In September 2015, Shahista Lalani filed suit against the the sisters, known collectively as the Olsen twins, in New York Supreme Court, alleging that she worked 50-hour weeks without pay or college credit. Ms. Lalani filed a “proposed class action to join other unpaid interns” who had worked for the Olsen twins. She requested the court grant damages, minimum wage, and overtime. In 2012, Ms. Lalani worked for the clothing line “The Row,” a high-end fashion line owned by the Olsen twins.

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