OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES TO BE TAKEN UNDER LABOR LAW

No matter the type of workplace in which you spend your day, you have certain rights as a worker. From having safe machinery and equipment to having the right to report an illness or injury sustained while on the job, U.S. labor law allows for these and other occupational health and safety measures on the …


ARE UBER DRIVERS EMPLOYEES OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS?

Currently, labor law recognizes workers providing services can be categorized as an independent contractor or an employee. Independent contractors and employees are differentiated by their degree of control and independence in their work, and laws generally provide employees with more employment rights. Uber classifies their drivers as independent contractors, evading expenses such as overtime pay, minimum-wage protections, …


SHOULD CALIFORNIA LABOR LAWS BE EXTENDED TO ALL ENTERTAINERS?

Many of our country’s record labels are based in the state of California, which is of no surprise since California is where people travel to make their dreams come true. However, many are not aware that California has specific labor laws that establish a seven-year rule for contracts. In 1944, the actress Olivia de Havilland …


MASSACHUSETTS BECOMES FOURTH STATE TO SIGN DOMESTIC WORKERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS INTO LAW

On July 2, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Massachusetts Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights into law. See Massachusetts Bill of Rights, National Domestic Workers Alliance, http://www.domesticworkers.org/mass-bill-of-rights (last visited Nov. 17, 2014). Under the new law, a domestic worker is defined as “an individual or employee who is paid by an employer to perform work …


JOINT EMPLOYERS SMOKED OUT OF HIDING

On July 29, 2014, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Richard F. Griffin issued a statement instructing regional offices to include McDonald’s USA LLC as a “joint employer” with its franchisees in 43 pending unfair labor practices cases. This development comes two months after a wave of fast food worker strikes across the …


EFFECTS OF THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN ON WORKERS, THE ECONOMY, AND MORALE

Most of United States is now aware of the federal government shutdown.  Throughout the country, members of Congress hurl insults and blame each other for the current calamity that affects thousands, if not millions, of Americans. While politicians continue their government standoff, much of the country is suffering. The media has drawn admirable attention to …


IMMIGRATION REFORM NEGOTIATIONS HIGHLIGHT LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT CONCERNS

Ongoing negotiations between major U.S. business and labor interests have reflected the polarizing nature of immigration reform, while also suggesting areas of potential compromise, as lawmakers work to draft legislation that can win support from both sides of the aisle.  Representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. have held meetings on immigration …


WORK, LIFE BALANCE: 20 YEARS OF THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is meant to alleviate some of the “work, life” problems that arise every day in families across the country. FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to provide employees leave for qualified medical and family reasons, without risk to the employees job. The law sought …


HOSTESS WORKERS STRIKE PROTESTING CUTS TO WAGES AND BENEFITS

This past September, employees at Hostess Brands came together and overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer by the company that seeks to cut wages and benefits by as much as 32%.  The contractual dispute led to the workers deciding to begin a strike on November 9, 2012 against the well-known maker of Wonder Bread, Twinkies, and …