Workers in fast food in New York City continue to face serious problems and violations of their rights on the job. While their movement for a $15-per-hour minimum wage was victorious and sparked similar movements across the country, they continue to deal with wage theft, inappropriate firings or retaliation for reporting harassment, and other types of inappropriate conduct. One member of City Council said that he plans to introduce legislation requiring fast-food companies to show just cause before dismissing workers; fired employees could also appeal their dismissals through an arbitration procedure.
Workers in New York and throughout the United States are entitled to work for employers who do not discriminate when it comes to providing compensation. Workers are protected by a variety of legislation including the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They are also protected by Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Employers are not allowed to discriminate in any forms of payment whether they are wages, bonuses or stock options.
American women make about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. However, the wage gap throughout New York and the rest of the country varies based on a woman's profession. For instance, a female lawyer makes about 76 percent of that of a male counterpart. The discrepancy in wages is smaller for registered nurses as women earn about 91 percent of what a man in the same role earns.
A New York City resident who was a personal driver for Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit claiming that he was not paid for more than 3,000 overtime hours in the past six years. Although a driver for the Trump family for 25 years, the statute of limitations limited the number of years that he could seek relief for.
Some women employees in Long Island may be paid less than their male coworkers for doing the same job. Despite the signing of the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963, women still do not make the same amount of money as men. Equal Pay Day recognizes this with a celebration on April 10. This is the amount of time a woman has to work into the new year to make as much money as a man does during the year.
Public hearings are being held in New York to evaluate the state's minimum wage tip credit. Restaurants and other employers in the Empire State are permitted to pay tipped workers less than the minimum wage, which is currently $12 or $13 depending of the size of the workforce. The first hearing was held in Nassau County on April 20 and chaired by the state's labor commissioner. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to hold the meetings during his 2018 state of the state address in January.
People in New York who work in gig economy jobs, such as drivers for companies like Lyft and Uber, might get more protection if a ruling in the California Supreme Court is followed by other states. The case before the court there involved a delivery company called Dynamex. In 2004, the company changed its delivery drivers from employees to independent contractors. In a lawsuit filed by some workers, they argued that they should still be classified as employees since they worked exclusively for Dynamex and the company controlled their pay rates, their assignments and what they wore.
Some employees in Long Island might be affected by opinion letters issued by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. The letters, released on April 12, deal with Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
In the latest battle for fair pay by New York ridesharing drivers, Uber and Lyft employees are seeking oversight from the city to ensure that drivers receive at least minimum wage for their work. The Independent Drivers Guild represents over 60,000 drivers in the city. Originally organized with Uber's support, the organization has since come into conflict with the company on multiple occasions.
Long Island restaurant workers may start making more per hour since a number of state lawmakers, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are considering raising the minimum wage in this industry. New York is one of several states that pays restaurant workers more than the federal minimum of $2.13 per hour but less than the full state minimum wage.