Last year marked a movement from San Francisco to New York for lower-paid employees in the retail and food service industries to rally together in protest of near-poverty minimum wage levels. The Gap store stunned employees by making a surprise announcement that it would set forth a motion to establish $9 as a minimum hourly rate for its workers, committing to raise it to $10 in the coming year. This would include its subsidiaries, Old Navy and Banana Republic.
McDonald's recently agreed to settle a religion-based employment discrimination suit, agreeing to pay $50,000 and provide other relief to a Muslim employee who wasn't allowed to grow a beard.
A group of attractive women, all neighbors on a beautiful street in Anytown, USA, gather together for coffee on a regular basis to gossip, analyze fashion trends, spy on other neighbors, and spend endless hours waxing philosophically about the solutions to many world problems. If this sounds like a day in the life of a mundane, contemporary soccer mom in a New York suburb, you are sorely mistaken. It is a typical episode taken from a popular TV show, Desperate Housewives, which aired on prime time television for about 8 years.
A new regulation issued by the Obama Administration will extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home aides who care for disabled persons and older adults. Starting on January 1, 2015, all home aides will be covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which requires employers to pay at least the Federal minimum wage and time-and-a-half overtime premium when certain employees work more than 40 hours in a week. Traditionally, the FLSA excluded Home Aides and babysitters from these protections. However, in New York, home aides were already required to be a paid minimum wage under the New York State Labor Law. The new overtime pay requirement under FLSA will be the added benefit to home aides in New York State who often work longer than traditional 40-hr work weeks.
The conservative activist and filmmaker James O'Keefe is no stranger to negative press. He was previously implicated in the 2009 Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now video scandal, related to Democratic support of the Affordable Health Care Act. Mr. O'Keefe's latest charges surround his role in New York-based Project Veritas. He is currently the subject of a wrongful termination lawsuit from the project's former executive director, who states he was let go and then defamed by O'Keefe following his departure from the organization.
Nothing, as the saying goes, is written in stone and that includes the law. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. However, as society has evolved, other workplace protections have been put in place, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on a disability. Many believe that workplace protections may soon expand to prohibit discrimination based on weight.
New York is just one of the states in the country whose disabled workers are being subjected to unfair labor practices under an antiquated law that has not been updated to reflect the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
When New Yorkers order pizza in the city, they may not be aware that their delivery person is depending on a tip for their service. While the minimum wage in New York is $8.00 an hour, the minimum wage for those earning tips is only $5.00. The employer is supposed to pay the difference.
New York construction firms and building associations are protesting State Labor Law 240, also known as the scaffold law. They complain the law is not fair, and that the outcome of a negligent injury claim is already predetermined. However, the law is designed to protect employee rights to compensation following an accident on the job.
In response to a sexual harassment suit against her mass transit authority supervisor, a bus driver in the Bronx was given a temporary order of protection. A representative for the transportation union has stated the case is under investigation and that all employees would be undergoing sexual harassment training.