Employee or Independent Contractor? How Some Employers Are Committing Wage Theft

A September 1, 2014 report by the New York Times, revealed an increase in lawsuits across the nation, charging various employers of violating minimum wage and overtime laws. Some of the allegations include erasing work hours and wrongfully taking employees’ tips.

Both federal and state officials argue that more companies are violating wage laws than ever before.  Officials speculate that these violations are motivated by competition and higher profits. However, another argument supposes that the structure of these businesses essentially incentivizes wage theft due to their organizational structure.

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Rights of Pregnant Workers Clarified by the EEOC

In an effort to emphasize the fact that employers are legally prohibited from discriminating against workers because of past, present, or future pregnancies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently introduced new enforcement guidelines on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. This is the first time the guidelines have been updated since 1983.

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NYC Interns Now Protected

Over the past century, labor laws have evolved to protect many classes of individuals — including men, women and children.  US labor laws protections regulate workplace conditions including:  harassment and discrimination in the workplace, workers’ health, and minimum pay. However, in recent years, the social progress of employment protections have come under question regarding a specific group of people….interns. In late March 2014, interns in New York City were granted the rights and protections that they argue they so rightfully deserve.

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FDNY Settles Claims of Racial Discrimination

For years, New Yorkers and individuals around the country have been aware of the ongoing lawsuit that alleged racial discrimination against one of the most notable fire departments in the nation, the FDNY. However, in early March, Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration have finally brought the lawsuit to an end.

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Texas Construction Worker Dies on the Job

Although many safeguards are put into place to ensure the safety of employees, it is an unfortunate reality that accidents and casualties still occur. Unforeseen mishaps can turn into tragedy all too quickly, as was the recent case with an on-the-job accident involving a Texas construction worker.

One construction worker was treated for hypothermia, while another was pronounced dead after an on-the-job accident took place during construction of the Baylor University football stadium and pedestrian bridge.

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Former Employee Loses Job After Reporting Discrimination

As an employee, you spend much of your time and energy dedicated to your work and career. In return, you expect compensation but you also expect to be treated fairly, honestly and with respect. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination occurs all too often around the country and it acts a reminder of the difficulties many employees have to face.

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College Athletes Petition to Become Union

For the first time in history, college athletes are petitioning to be represented by labor unions and have taken the first step in the process of being recognized as employees under the National Labor Relations Act.

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NYC Pregnancy Protections in Effect; Federal Law Still Stalled

Although it may seem to be a primitive concept to many, that pregnant women deserve the same protections that other groups receive regarding employment laws, it is not the case. While there have been some small and local victories, a national victory has yet to be gained.

Despite the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978’s bar on discrimination toward pregnant employees, many American women are forced out of their jobs or denied accommodations that would allow them to continue working once they become pregnant.

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NYC Earned Sick Time Act May Be Expanding

Mayor Bill de Blasio and incoming Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that the New York City Council will look to expand the Earned Sick Time Act within the year.

According to the Mayor, the updated law would: (i) protect an additional 500,000 City employees, including those in the manufacturing sector, by expanding the paid leave requirement to employers with 5 or more employees starting in April 2014; (ii) expand the definition of family members so that employees could use sick leave to care for grandparents, grandchildren and siblings; and (iii) allow employees to use sick time as they accrue it rather than wait 120 days after they started working.

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Golf Course Accused of Age Discrimination by Former Employee

Ramon Alcantara, a former employee of Pebble Beach Co. for over 20 years, alleges he was fired as a result of age discrimination late in 2013. According to the complaint, Alcantara, who is over 55 years of age, injured his back while replacing a 50-pound pump motor at the beach and tennis club.

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