With the rise of the "gig economy," new companies have sometimes opted to classify their workers as independent contractors vs. employees. This immediately cuts their overhead, as contractors are not eligible for overtime or many job-based benefits like workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. They are responsible for paying 100 percent of their payroll taxes, while employees receive half paid by their employer. Hiring independent contractors can save a lot of money for the company by shifting the cost of even basic benefits to the worker.
At the start of this year, Florida’s minimum wage rose to $8.25 per hour—a full $1 above the federal minimum wage. While this may be good news for many people in the workforce, there are some exceptions to the rule. As a young person, you may get the short end of the stick when it comes to compensation.
A man who worked as one of Donald Trump's personal chauffeurs for more than 20 years has filed suit against the Trump Organization and associated companies claiming that he was never paid for overtime hours as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and applicable state law. He also says the organization stiffed him on unused sick and vacation pay.
“We were harassed, we were bullied and we were body-shamed for $7.25 an hour,” a former Houston Texans cheerleader told reporters.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in one of the longest debated cases of the session. In a 5:4 decision, the Court ruled that an employer may prevent its employees from joining in a class action lawsuit against the employer. Under the terms of many employment contracts, this decision prevents a vulnerable employee from pursuing litigation altogether--forcing them instead to resolve disputes through arbitration.
In what many employee advocates see as a blow to workers and the employment laws that protect them, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that employers may require mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts. The 5-4 ruling makes it more likely that companies will require these clauses, which typically prohibit employees from banding together to bring class action lawsuits.
When it comes to your paycheck, state laws govern how often your company has to pay you. Obviously this means that from state to state, the rules are going to be different. Some states have specific laws that others won't follow. But, in general, companies are supposed to give their employees weekly, biweekly, semiweekly, or monthly paychecks.
There are times when an employee makes a startling discovery about his or her company. They learn that the company has been using illegal tactics or have been skirting the law in some way to defraud partners, employees, customers, or other groups of people. It can be difficult in some cases for outside regulatory agencies to know the full picture without having some help -- and this is where that employee comes in, ready to blow the whistle on their employer.
Imagine that you walk into your office one day and your manager is waiting at your desk. He or she tells you to come to their office to discuss an important matter. It is there that you learn you are being laid off or terminated, and as a result you will no longer be working for the company. Of course, you have put in plenty of hours since your last paycheck, and after the shock of the day wears off, you start to wonder: what about those hours I worked? When will I get my next paycheck?
For today's wage and hour story, we leave the area of Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the considerably colder confines of Buffalo, New York, where a restaurant in the Lake Erie city has been accused by six former employees of a number of violations that infringed upon their rights and violated a law created in 1999.