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Wage theft increases during recessions

A newly released study shows wage theft by employers grows significantly during troubled economic times, mirroring a rise in unemployment numbers. Women, people of color and noncitizens are the most likely targets.

According to a paper released by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, low-wage workers victimized by unscrupulous employers lose, on average, about one-fifth of their hourly pay. Minimum wage workers are the hardest hit.

Legal rights of nursing mothers at work in New York

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Nursing mothers in New York have the right, under both federal and state laws, to take breaks during work to express breastmilk. These laws are important because they allow nursing women to take necessary breaks without worrying about jeopardizing their jobs, they reinforce the importance of appropriate conditions for nursing mothers, and they help reassure women who are concerned about having to choose between advancing a career or forming a family. 

Understanding the impact of quid pro quo sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a widespread yet increasingly reported occurrence in the workplace. While many victims of sexual harassment never report their abuse, the 'me too' movement and growing awareness has motivated many victims to step forward.

Sexual harassment comes in two forms. The first, hostile work environment, arises when a supervisor, coworker, subordinate, vendor, or anyone else in the workplace engages in inappropriate sexual conduct, such as unwanted touching, making sexual jokes or comments, posting or looking at sexually suggestive pictures or videos, or repeatedly asking you out on a date, and as a result creates an intimidating or demeaning environment.

The second form of sexual harassment, quid pro quo, occurs when a supervisor takes advantage of his or her position of power and uses it to procure sexual favors from a subordinate or even a job applicant.

McDonald's faces another racial discrimination lawsuit

40 years after the first racial discrimination allegations against McDonald's came to light, the fast-food giant continues to be accused of race-related prejudice. Most recently, 52 former black franchisees filed a lawsuit against McDonald's, alleging that the company essentially operated a "two-tiered system" of black and white franchisees, where black franchisees were subtly pushed to fail by McDonald's itself.

Among other allegations, the plaintiffs claim that they were fed misleading information about the sales projections at their restaurants, were stuck with poor locations in economically depressed areas, and did not receive the same financial support as their white counterparts. They were ultimately set up to fail and, as a result, received bad reviews in order to push them out of the McDonalds system.

Employers must diligently track employee hours during explosion of remote work

On August 24, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a news release announcing important guidelines clarifying the legal responsibilities of employers to track employees' remote work hours. COVID-19 has forced more employees to work from home than ever before. Because of the increase in remote work, and because the last interpretive rules for remote work were from 1961, the agency felt it was an appropriate time to address this topic in its Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2020-5.

FLSA rules require employers to pay their employees for all time worked, even if it means paying overtime. Employers bear the responsibility of tracking extra, nonscheduled time worked, which is likely more challenging during a telecommuting or remote work period of time.

Ex-TV host's case yet another example of the ongoing issue of workplace sexual harassment


The recent case of former Public Broadcasting Service host Tavis Smiley, whose television show was suspended nearly three years ago after allegations of sexual misconduct, reflects the reality that some people in positions of authority wield their power in order to commit workplace misconduct.

Recently, a federal judge ordered Smiley to pay $2.6 million to PBS for his acts of sexual harassment against employees. On Aug. 5, Judge Yvonne Williams of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia increased the $1.5 million amount initially awarded to PBS by a jury in March. After the initial jury award, PBS argued that it should receive additional monetary damages due to the fact that Smiley violated a morals clause in his contract.

Am I eligible for overtime pay?


Your employer may sometimes expect you to put in additional time outside of your regular hours-even if they will not pay you for it. Or, perhaps they do compensate you for these hours but not with the standard time-and-a-half expected for overtime wages. Both of these situations can frustrate you and leave you questioning whether you are being fairly compensated.

Wage and hour violations are common in the workforce, but that does not mean they are acceptable or legal. If you have been working off the clock without adequate compensation, you may have the right to seek overtime pay.

New decision allows transportation employers to enforce arbitration


As a truck driver or transportation employee under contract, it is important to understand how you can legally challenge or fight for your rights - especially when it comes to seeking fair pay. Keeping up with state and federal laws, as well as court decisions regarding your rights, can help you on your path to justice.

In two recent decisions, the New Jersey Supreme Court set the stage for how and where work-related disputes between employers and employees in the transportation sector will be resolved. The landmark decision essentially allows these employers to enforce arbitration on all its employees who have signed arbitration agreements, something that could not be done previously.

4 Reasons women don't report sexual harassment


If you are a woman in the workforce, chances are that you or someone you've worked with has been or will be a victim of sexual harassment. According to a 2016 study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), one in four women will experience sexual harassment in the workplace.

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