Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an act earlier this year that will have a significant impact on employers in the transportation industry by changing the tests used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The act, titled the “New York State Commercial Goods Transportation Industry Fair Play Act,” takes effect on March 11 and amends the New York Labor Law.
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.
If you are working at Starbucks and think your “shift supervisors” shouldn’t be sharing in your tips, then it may be time to move out of New York State and into Massachusetts.
The 2nd Circuit Court, whose jurisdiction extends to New York, Vermont and Connecticut, ruled against baristas in a class action claiming that their shift supervisors should not be allowed to grab a cut of their bounty under state labor law. In 2008, baristas Jeana Barenboim and Jose Ortiz sued Starbucks for more than $5 million on behalf of more than 5,000 of their fellow employees serving at 400 New York stores. They claimed that the chain’s corporate structure made them share their hard-earned tips with their “shift supervisors,” whom they alleged to be actually their bosses. This put the company in violation of New York Labor Law, according to the lawsuit.