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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DOL Allows Two Former Uber Drivers to Collect Unemployment Benefits

The New York State Department of Labor has ruled that two drivers who used to work for Uber were considered employees and, therefore, eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits, as reported by Crain’s New York Business. This decision is considered to be the first of its kind regarding for-hire drivers in New York State.

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Discount Store Employee Says Boss’ Violent Temper Caused Her to Suffer from PTSD

A discount store employee from Virginia is seeking $1 million in damages, claiming that she began to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after her male boss flew into a rage and began to verbally and physically assault her, according to Courthouse News Service.

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The Zika Virus and Workers’ Compensation

The Zika virus, which was originally identified in 2015, has spread to approximately 33 countries.  Many of the countries are in the Americas.  Recently, the World Health Organization has announced an international health emergency because it is now thought the virus is linked in causing microcephaly.

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New York City Calls Uber Drivers Freelancers

New York Uber execs are off the hook; the drivers they employ are now considered freelancers, not employees, thanks to a statement by Meera Joshi, chairwoman of New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

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United States Supreme Court to Take on Pregnancy in the Workplace

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case (Young v. UPS, 12-1226) that has the potential to affect how pregnant workers are accommodated in the workplace.

The case involves popular package and parcel shipping company, UPS, and a female employee who had been working as a driver in Landover, Maryland. After becoming pregnant in 2006, the employee submitted a doctor’s note backing her request for a temporary assignment to avoid lifting heavy packages.

UPS declined to accommodate the employee and doctor’s request, reiterating its policy that drivers must be able to lift packages weighing up to 70 pounds.

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Maryland Hooters Waitress Claims Race Discrimination Over Hair Color

While many would think a Hooters waitress would have a charge for sexual assault pending, a former waitress of the chain has a legal matter of a different kind: a civil rights action. Farryn Johnson, 25, alleges she was fired from her job as a waitress at the Hooters restaurant after she was told by managers that her hair color violated the employee image standards.

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Steven Mitchell Sack Responds to Query on Hospital Worker’s Privacy Rights Regarding Illnesses

Attorney Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” was recently interviewed by Newsday in which an operating engineer at a not-for-profit hospital asked if the employer was being intrusive about his ailments. Mr. Sack says the hospital has certain legal rights to be informed of a worker’s injury or illness, but must be careful not to use an employee’s health information when making human resources decisions.

The employee suffered a broken foot as the result of falling off a ladder. After missing six months of work, the employee returned with a doctor’s note that cleared the employee to return to work. However, the human resources specialist — who is also a physician’s assistant (PA) — wanted to see if the employee had regained enough strength in the foot that was broken by performing exercises by walking around the room.

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