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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”

Can My Employer Really Look at My Credit History?

When people think about what an employer might examine to evaluate their employees, they think of things like their resume or curriculum vitae, their references, their criminal background check or even how they dress. However, many employers now add an additional step to their employee evaluation process: a credit check. Most people may be surprised to discover an employer can do this, and they’re probably curious as to why. Continue reading “Can My Employer Really Look at My Credit History?”

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”

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.”
Continue reading “The Employees Lawyer Weighs in on Age Discrimination in the Workplace”

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.)
Continue reading “U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Increasing 2004 Salary Levels for Overtime Eligibility”

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.
Continue reading “Despite Lawsuits by Lyft and Juno, Minimum Wage Hike Goes into Effect”

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.
Continue reading “Does Your Work Contract Contain a Noncompete Clause?”