Many employers like having their employees work in an office, even when it isn’t strictly necessary. It allows them to keep their resources and personnel in one place, and it allows them to oversee and control their employees’ activities more efficiently. With concerns about the coronavirus growing, however, more employers are looking at the benefits of having their employees work from home. Continue reading “Employers Ask Employees to Work from Home Due to Coronavirus”
Across the country, more employers are hiring individuals on an as-needed basis. This often leads to denying workers benefits such as health insurance, overtime, and sick pay, among others. Hiring employees on an as-needed basis may be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Department of Labor has set forth a legal test to determine whether or not a worker is considered an employee or a contractor.
Continue reading “Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors”
Recently, the New York Post reported that Bloomberg, a financial media company, has agreed to pay $3.2 million in a settlement for overtime wages. The Manhattan federal class-action lawsuit was initiated by customer service employees who claimed they were not compensated for overtime.
All companies must now be familiar with the Labor Department’s new rules defining independent contractor versus employee status for several reasons. In addition to working for principals as an independent worker, many rep firms hire employees to assist in their businesses. When are workers employees? When are they contractors? These are differences in definitions that have huge legal implications.
In 2014, New York City Mayor de Blasio signed into effect the Earned Sick Time Act, and later approved further amendments that would offer employees greater protection by expanding the Act. Recently, companies such as Best Buy and FedEx have been fined for not complying with the law that went into effect in April 2014.
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.
Recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled that companies are not obliged to pay employees for the time they spend undergoing security checks at the end of their shifts.
The case presenting the issue of overtime pay involved the elite online marketplace Amazon.com and employees of a company in Nevada responsible for processing and shipping amazon purchases. Specifically, the employees of the Nevada company had sued the company for back wages and overtime pay. They claimed that they should have been compensated for time spent in security screenings. While the employees claimed that such screenings, designed to prevent against theft, took up to 30-minutes, Amazon maintained, that the screening process is designed to take 90-seconds per employee.
In a recent groundbreaking decision announced on October 23, 2014, the United States Office of Special Council found that the United States Army discriminated against a transgender civilian worker who transitioned from male to female.
According to the report, the employee, a disabled vet, was working in the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (“AMRDEC”) in Redstone, Alabama, when she transitioned from male to female in 2010. During that time, the Office of Special Council found that her employer engaged in a several discriminatory practices including, improperly restricting her restroom usage, referencing her with male pronouns, excessively monitoring her conversations with coworkers, and not giving her work.
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.
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.