April 14, 2014

Fascinating Look at the Top 10 Most Common Professions in the United States: Are Employees Being Paid Fairly?

The team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum is on a mission to help make our city (and our country) a more equitable place for employees, who often don't understand their rights, according to legislation like New York Labor Laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

These workers often feel intimidated, confused or just oblivious about their rights.

A new report put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shines a light on why salespeople, retail workers, restaurant workers and other service industry professionals need protection against wage and hour abuse. The following statistics vividly illustrate that workers live on a razor's edge. Even small cuts into their salaries -- caused, for instance, by an employer's violation of overtime rules or tip pool violations -- can have huge ramifications. The nickel-and-dime-ing can prevent workers from feeding their families well, paying their medical bills, and supporting their children's educations.

Critics sometimes minimize the importance of overtime and wage and hour cases, because they genuinely don't appreciate how damaging employer "nickel and diming" can be -- but these statistics show the true, sobering reality.

Most Common Professions in the United States (as of May 2013), per the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

• Retail salespeople (nearly 4.5 million);
• Cashiers (nearly 3.5 million);
• Food preparers and servers (just over 3 million);
• Office clerks (around 2.8 million);
• Registered nurses (around 2.3 million);
• Waiters and waitresses (around 2.4 million);
• Customer service reps (around 2.4 million);
• Laborers and freight, stock and material movers (around 2.3 million);
• Secretary and admin assistance (around 2.1 million);
• Janitors and cleaners (around 2.1 million).

Although Registered Nurses can make a relatively good living, almost all the top 10 professions do not pay particularly well. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual mean wage in the United States is roughly $48,000. Registered Nurses earn substantially more than that -- nearly $70,000, annually. However, most popular professions earn substantially less. Secretaries and customer service representatives earn around $33,000 per year. Office clerks earn around $30,000 a year. Laborers and freight, stock and material movers clock in at just around $28,000 a year, while janitor and retail salespeople earn slightly less - around $25,000 a year. Waiters and waitresses and cashiers earn just around $20,000 a year, and food preparation and serving workers even less than that - around $15,000 a year.

The statistics are stunning, if a bit sad. But they highlight how important it is to stop employers from "nickel and diming" workers who struggle to make ends meet. If you or someone you know faces employer discrimination, a wage and hour issue, a tip pool violation, or harassment at your job, call the Joseph & Kirschenbaum team now for a free consultation at 866-348-7394.

April 7, 2014

Powerful "Upworthy" Cartoon Exposes Awfulness of Unpaid Internships

Back in 1992, only 17% of college graduates took an unpaid internship. That percentage has nearly tripled -- today, it's around 50%. Meanwhile, companies justify unpaid internships as "just the way things are" and "a great way for young people to get experience." But more and more people are rebelling against the practice of unpaid internships, calling it illegal, and filing lawsuits to get it to stop.

As this blog (and many other sources) reported, last year, unpaid interns at Fox Studios sued the big production company for making them work jobs without actually paying them.

The United States has minimum wage laws for a reason -- to protect workers from exploitation, even if they might consent to such practices. A powerful new cartoon published on the site Upworthy exposes the astonishing hypocrisies at work in the unpaid internship industry. The cartoonist hopes to inspire people to crack down on this preposterous practice and compel employers to pay young workers for their time and service.

The cartoon [will link to cartoon] makes the following trenchant points:

• "The popular link-bait site, Huffington Post... even auctioned off an unpaid internship for charity. $13,000 for the pleasure of fetching a millionaire's coffee without compensation."
• "Millennials have had billions of dollars in wealth stolen from them while career paths have been shut off for the less fortunate. You can't get a foot in the door when it's shut on your face."
• 26-year-old Rashida Salaam just filed a class action suit against Bad Boy Entertainment [P Diddy's company]: "It's surprising that [P. Diddy] couldn't afford to pay Salaam, who says that she was used more like a personal assistant to run errands, answer phones, and book trips. You know, work."
• "Salaam joined a growing number of cases being brought against employers like Harper's, The Charlie Rose Show, and Gawker Media, who have stretched the word 'intern' to the outer bounds of legality. But they are still quite popular, especially among the rich and clueless."
• Unfortunately, even lawmakers have gotten in on the racket. As cartoonist Matt Bors points out: "Congress exempts itself from the Fair Labor Standards Act under the Congressional Accountability Act, which they apparently passed on Opposite Day... [Even] working man Senators like Harry Reid exploit a new crop of young people every summer."

The team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum fights hard every day to ensure the rights and welfare of employees who either don't know their rights or don't how to protect themselves from employers who subject them to harassment, discrimination, tip pool violations, or other unfair and despicable practices. We would be happy to talk to you about your case in confidence. Please call at any time at 866-348-7394.

March 31, 2014

President Obama Strives to "Fix" Overtime: Employees Who Earn Over $450 a Week Will Soon Qualify

In a push to make the labor market fairer, President Obama recently signed a memorandum that will offer overtime to many employees who currently don't have that protection.

The Department of Labor (DOL) will likely soon mandate overtime for workers who earn more than $450 a week (roughly $23,600 annually). This move could have far reaching effects, not only for laborers and employers, but also for consumers and the general economy. For one thing, analysts believe this change will boost payroll tax revenue. Critics fear, however, that it will put greater burdens on businesses that are already struggling, thanks to the new healthcare regulations. Here are some other likely implications of this new overtime paradigm:

• Employees who had previously been exempt from getting overtime will now be able to collect time and a half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours a week.
• Many employees will be excited to get extra income. However, some employers may simply slash hours, so they don't have to pay overtime.
• The law will create procedural requirements for both employers and employees. Employers must be careful not to violate these overtime rules, unless they want to become defendants in wage and hour cases.
• Firms like Joseph & Kirschenbaum are leading the charge to protect workers and ensure that employers meet their wage and hour obligations. The movement is growing. The number of wage and hour cases has actually been shooting up -- 2013 witnessed 10% more wage and hours cases than did 2012.
• The new rules could burden employers struggling with cash flow.
• Employees should make sure to track their hours meticulously and clock in and clock out.
• Start-up businesses may be challenged because businesses in initial growth and startup phases often keep labor costs to a minimum.
• Some critics fear that the overtime rules may be bad for consumers, because employers will just pass on the higher cost of labor in their products. But this view is naïve and misguided. It doesn't take into account, for instance, the fact that wage earners also are consumers. If workers earn more money, thanks to overtime, they'll be more likely to put that money back into the economy and thus fuel market competitiveness.

If you or someone you love has been struggling with a wage and hour issue -- or any other employment issue, such as discrimination, harassment, or retaliation -- the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum can provide a clear and confidential assessment of your case. Call us immediately at 866-348-7394 to speak with us about your case.

March 24, 2014

What Does It Mean to "Practice Law"? Major FLSA Case Takes on This Question

In December, a New York federal judge heard arguments in a wage and hour case brought by Joseph & Kirschenbaum on behalf of contract attorney, David Lola. The case could have profound ramifications for law firms across the city and beyond.

Our own attorney, Maimon Kirschenbaum, argued that Lola should have been entitled to overtime pay, per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), since Lola needed to adhere to "extremely detailed protocols" when he did document review work, and that he had no ability to "exercise any judgment" that an attorney typically might render.

Unsurprisingly, representatives for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Tower Legal Staffing -- the defendants in this case -- have taken a different view of document review. In a brief that they submitted to the court, Skadden made a passionate argument that "the federal overtime laws were not designed for advanced-degree professionals to accept premium wages and then make 'gotcha' arguments that they were misclassified for every period they performed a task a nonprofessional could allegedly also complete."

So questions remains: does the kind of contract law work that Lola did count, per the FLSA, as 'lawyer work' or not? Should a document reviewer be entitled to overtime, per the FLSA?

It is interesting to consider the language that Skadden used in the brief. In describing Mr. Lola as an "advanced-degree professional" who was receiving "premium wages," the brief almost made it sound like the plaintiff only got two Lamborghinis, when he wanted three Lamborghinis.

The reality is that contract work is many ways tantamount to data entry. It's not like a robot could do it. But it's certainly not work that you need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a law school education to know how to do.

One of the interesting points made by Judge Richard Sullivan was that many first and second year associates also engage in mundane, clerical tasks during work. Judge Sullivan worried about a scenario in which the court would find itself tasked with calculating the percentage of an attorney's work that truly constituted the practice of law. He worried: "there might be full-fledged associates with Skadden who do 90 percent document review and who want overtime on their $160,000 a year salary." Attorney Kirschenbaum appreciated the nuance of this argument but noted that: "a first year could make photocopies, but that doesn't change that he was hired as a lawyer."

It's also important to consider this issue in a global context. There are reasons why the FLSA overtime rules (and exemptions) exist. Lawmakers wanted to compensate difficult service work appropriately and protect employees from being exploited. At the end of the day, this case is about ensuring that big businesses (including big law firms) pay their employees appropriately for the work they do and for the hours they work.

For help with your New York wage and hour case, turn to the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum for a free, confidential consultation at 866-348-7394, or email us immediately at info@jhllp.com.

March 17, 2014

Motion to Dismiss Claims for Relief Denied (Or: What Happens When Your Boss Tries to Kiss You on Your Neck, Twice?)

In January, a District Judge denied a motion to dismiss claims for relief in an a major sexual harassment and wage and hour case. Let's take a quick look at the background of this case and extract a few lessons for you, if you've experienced sexual harassment, gender discrimination, or other unfair treatment at your workplace.

According to the allegations in this case, the defendant male worked as an IT supervisor. A female IT associate started working for the firm. The supervisor invited her to go to a bar after work hours. After accepting this invitation, she told her supervisor that she had been a victim of domestic violence that had left her feeling awful and physically and emotionally traumatized.

Once they were at the bar, the interactions took a bizarre turn, according to the complainant's allegations.

The defendant stroked plaintiff's hand in what was allegedly a "sexually suggestive fashion," prompting her to leave. The defendant then allegedly grabbed her, and tried to give her a hug and a kiss her on her neck. She pulled away, but he pulled her closer and kissed her on the neck.

As a result of this encounter, the female employee claimed to have experienced severe emotional distress. Her psychologist suggested that she should not return to work because of the potential for adverse emotional and health consequences.

The defendants fought this claim on a variety of grounds, but the District Judge did not find their arguments compelling. The plaintiff filed for seven claims of relief including claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, New York Minimum Wage Act, and New York Labor Law, suggesting that the defendant had failed to pay her overtime, among other allegations.

The defendants countered that "the defendant's conduct was [not] motivated by [the] plaintiff's gender." The court begged to differ: a "male supervisor asked a female employee out to a bar, stroked her hand in a sexual manner and twice attempted (and once succeeded) to kiss her on the neck... [ask] any reasonable observer what motivated this encounter [and they would] almost certainly answer the male supervisor's actions were prompted by the female employee's gender, not by her interest in collecting stamps or her affection for a particular sports team."

Even in situations that seem like (and are!) clear violations of law, the defense can put up surprisingly stiff legal resistance. Protect your rights and ensure a fair resolution to your traumatizing employment situation. Connect with the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum at 866-348-7394 or info@jhllp.com today for a free consultation.

March 10, 2014

Tipping at Starbucks and Other Coffee Houses: A Curious Phenomenon. Will Wage And Hour Cases Soon Follow?

Joseph & Kirschenbaum has been involved in many of the most prominent wage and hour cases of the 21st century - especially cases concerning restaurant tip pool violations. That said, even though we have deep experience and knowledge in this area of law - and about the cultural and economic implications of tipping - this topic is constantly evolving.

For instance, consider this curious trend: the proliferation of tipping at Starbucks and other coffee houses. Restaurant servers, who often earn less than minimum wage, often make up the difference through tips. Yet Starbucks employees earn above the federal minimum wage already, so the tips just add to their net. That's a good thing, obviously. This model helps baristas earn a decent living, and it helps prevent management from engaging in practices that would violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or New York Labor Laws (NYLL).

Tips Going Up; Tippers Becoming More Numerous

Estimates suggest that the size of the average tip is going up, and the number of people who tip at coffee shops may also be going up. That's obviously good news for business, but it also marks a peculiar cultural milestone. John McCarty, a professor at the College of New Jersey, conducted research for the American Association of Consumer Research about this practice. He says the custom of tipping coffee shop and sandwich shop workers only began around 20 years ago. Prior to that, people tipped for table service but not for counter service.

McCarty, who says he now tips 20% of his order at his coffee shop, describes the habit: "many people tip automatically and don't think through how much it affects the quality of service they get, or the rationality of it."

Auburn University's Head of Dietetics and Nutrition, Martin O'Neill, celebrates the progress, saying: "[baristas] work very hard, and putting a bit of extra cash into their pockets is not a bad thing."

Welcome Rewards for Baristas: But Potential for Legal Issues?

Whenever a new source of money gets injected into an industry - particularly a restaurant-related business - you can expect financially savvy owners and managers to try to exploit it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you own or run a business, you want to look for and exploit (legal!) efficiencies. However, it raises questions. Will the proliferation of over the counter tipping lead to litigation, ultimately? It's probably unlikely that bad practices will evolve at a restaurant chain like Starbucks, particularly since that company has a good labor record. However, at smaller coffee houses or restaurants, it's conceivable that tip pool violations could occur.

If you or someone you love has a potential restaurant wage and hour tip violation case, call Joseph & Kirschenbaum today at 866-348-7394 for a free consultation.

March 3, 2014

Exactly What Not to Do After Winning an Age Discrimination Lawsuit: Daughter's Boast on Facebook Costs Dad $80,000

Note to any potential plaintiffs out there: if you win $80,000 in an age discrimination lawsuit, and you sign a confidentiality agreement, avoid bragging about your win on social media to 1,200 people, many of whom are intimately connected with the defendant.

Unfortunately for 69-year-old Patrick Snay, the Headmaster of a Miami school (Gulliver Preparatory), such a gaff just cost him a major settlement. He had sued his former school for age discrimination, after Gulliver terminated his contract in 2010. He won $80,000 in November 2011, and that should have been that.

However, there was a catch. (Isn't there always?)

Snay apparently told his college aged daughter, Dana, about the victory and she proceeded to boast about her dad's success -- thus violating the confidentiality agreement -- to her 1,200 plus friends on Facebook. The Boston College student (and part time barista) bragged: "Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver ... Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT."

Snay had still been friends with many current and ex-Gulliver students. Unsurprisingly, word about her boasting ultimately got back to the lawyers who represented the school, who then used her breach of confidentiality to appeal the verdict. The Third District Court of Appeals promptly tossed the settlement. The judge in the case explained why: "Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do ... his daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent."

Snay tried to backtrack. He said he only told his daughter because she had experienced "psychological scars" from her experience at Gulliver and that "we knew what the restrictions were, [but] we needed to tell her something." Technically, Snay can ask for a rehearing and appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, but case watchers believe that his odds of success are slim.

What's the moral here? The lesson is that, if/when you win a major settlement, be discrete, and abide by the critical terms and stipulations.

Of course, if you have experienced age discrimination anywhere, your first step is to actually try to win the case. Call the Joseph & Kirschenbaum team today at 866-348-7394 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

February 24, 2014

Understanding the Earned Sick Time Act

What is the Earned Sick Time Act? What rights do this new law confer on employees?

The New York City Council worked hard to pass this Act,
which allows many New York City employees the opportunity to take up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. [Ineligible employees can still get 40 hours of unpaid sick leave.] The City Council advocated for this for months and finally got the law passed on May 8, 2013. At the time, Mayor Bloomberg swore that he would veto the Act, but the City Council had enough votes to override Bloomberg's veto. The Act will take effect on April 1, 2014, as long as the local economy is doing better than it had been doing in January 2012, as assessed by New York's Independent Budget Office.

Who is eligible?
Anyone hired in New York City who works 80 plus hours in a calendar year -- who does part time or full time work -- can collect benefits under the Earned Sick Time Act. Those who are ineligible include independent contractors (people New York Labor Law would not deem to be "employees"); licensed employees of the New York State Department of Education; and people paid at a premium rate, who call in for work assignments.

The Act does not apply to government employees or public employers
, and it will apply to companies that have 15 or more employees. (For the first 18 months of the program, it will only apply to private employers with 20 or more employees). If your employer does not accrue sick leave during a calendar year, you may carry over unused hours. However, employers can limit the total amount of paid sick leave to just 40 hours a week.

The Act is pretty broad in terms of how it defines sick leave. Per the language: a sickness is defined as "the employee's mental or physical illness, injury or health condition." People can also take paid sick leave to help care for family members who are sick or otherwise in need of care, pursuant to certain conditions.

Do you need help understanding your rights with respect to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or New York Labor Law (NYLL)? Connect with the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum today at 866-348-7394 or info@jhllp.com for a free consultation.

February 17, 2014

Will the 2022 World Cup Be Built "On the Blood of Innocents"?

Wage and hour cases are not the sole province of the U.S. Last year, nearly 200 migrant laborers from Nepal died in the country of Qatar while working on construction projects in that country. To protect the rights and welfare of migrant employees, the International Labor Organization, together with officials in Qatar, constructed a 50-page document. These guidelines aim to protect migrants working on creating the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar.

FIFA, the world governing body for the sport of football, had demanded that Qatar reform its working practices. However, independent organizations, such as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), say that the new proposed guidelines will fall far short of what's needed. Qatar uses an employment system known as "kefala," that gives sponsor companies huge rights over the lives of migrant workers. For instance, workers cannot get an exit visa from Qatar without first getting permission from their employers.

Qatar's so-called "World Cup Supreme Committee" has tried to upgrade the welfare standards for workers, who include contractors and subcontractors working on the World Cup stadium. The committee argues that the new guidelines will be "robustly and effectively monitored and enforced for the benefits of all workers."

What will these new guidelines provide?

• A telephone hotline will be available for workers to report grievances and concerns;
• Workers will get three weeks paid holiday every year;
• Assuming a 48-hour work week, workers cannot work more than 8 hours a day;
• Workers will get a rest day every week or be compensated for extra work;
• A forum to resolve grievances will be created.

The ITUC, nevertheless, is less than impressed. The body claims that 4,000 migrant workers could die in Qatar by 2022, unless more substantive changes are made. The ITUC calls the workers welfare standards charter "a sham" that will do little to shield workers from abuse. Sharon Burrow, the General Secretary of ITUC said, "These standards are built on an old, discredited self-monitoring system which has failed in the past in Bangladesh and other countries, where thousands of workers have died."

Qatar plans to spend $200 billion on infrastructure projects related to the World Cup, so clearly a ton of money is at stake for the country, and the decision by FIFA to pull the World Cup from Qatar would have huge economic ramifications both for that country and for the general region.

This story also illustrates how the fight for workers' rights and fair compensation is a global one.

If you have had problems closer to home, the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum would love to hear your story and advise you about your rights. Call us today at 866-348-7394 or connect with us at info@jhllp.com.

February 10, 2014

La línea delgada entre el coqueteo y el acoso sexual: ¿Dónde está el límite?

El acoso sexual en el lugar de trabajo toca una fibra sensible porque es emocionalmente y visceralmente ofensiva. Pero para obtener el comportamiento que se detuviera, las víctimas a menudo tienen que ser objetiva y sistemática. Esto puede ser bastante difícil. Considere la delgada línea entre el coqueteo y acosar a alguien. ¿Cómo puede usted decir la diferencia, y cómo se puede probar en la corte?

Es fácil encontrar ejemplos extremos que caen claramente en un lado de la línea o del otro. Por ejemplo: dos compañeros de trabajo comparten un abrazo mutuo tras el cierre de una gran cuenta - que es probablemente muy bien. Sin embargo, cuando un supervisor envía sus correos electrónicos secretario lascivo acerca de sus fantasías sexuales, eso probablemente es acoso.

Pero no todas las situaciones son tan fáciles de determinar.

Por ejemplo, ¿es el acoso pedir un compañero de trabajo en una cita? La respuesta es: depende. ¿Cuál es el contexto de la relación? ¿Cómo fue la " invitando a salir " hecho? ¿Cuál es la política de la empresa? ¿Cuál es la relación de trabajo entre las personas involucradas? Etcétera

La gente puede tener fundamentalmente diferentes sensibilidades. Por ejemplo, una persona puede apreciar o incluso deleitarse con "azul humor. " Otra persona puede encontrar el mismo humor profundamente ofensivo.

¿Qué hacer si usted siente que el comportamiento "Coqueto" fue sobre la línea?
Si algún comportamiento laboral - "coqueta" o de otra manera - hizo sentir incómodo, usted tiene derechos y opciones. He aquí algunas estrategias.

1. En primer lugar, documentar exactamente qué sucedió, cuándo sucedió y quién estuvo involucrado. Hacerlo tan pronto como sea posible después del evento, para que pueda recordar todos los detalles pertinentes.

2. En segundo lugar, considere hablar con su supervisor o con el departamento de recursos humanos de su empresa por lo que pasó.

3. Por último, si aún no se ha conectado con un abogado de acoso sexual para discutir la situación, usted podría beneficiarse de una llamada al equipo de José y Kirschenbaum para una consulta gratis al 866-348-7394.

La moraleja es ésta: la diferencia entre el coqueteo y el acoso a menudo está en el ojo del espectador. Sólo porque una persona que le molestaba en el trabajo insistió en que estaba " sólo coqueteando " no hace que su comportamiento aceptable. Usted se merece - y, de hecho, la ley exige - que se puede disfrutar de un lugar de trabajo libre de acoso. También, la ley puede proteger a usted si / cuando se hace un reclamo legal. Por ejemplo, si usted se queja o una demanda por acoso sexual, su empleador no puede bajar de categoría , despedir , o de lo contrario se castigue por hacer esa afirmación.

Llame al equipo de José y Kirschenbaum para una consulta gratuita y un conocimiento profundo de su situación.

February 3, 2014

Equipos profesionales de béisbol solucionan las demandas de salarios y horas: ¿Qué tan grave es el Problema de trabajo de Béisbol?

En este blog, hemos derramado mucha tinta virtual sobre casos de horas y salarios en la industria de restaurantes de Nueva York. En particular, con frecuencia informan sobre casos relacionados con la Ley de Normas Razonables de Trabajo (FLSA) y Nueva York Leyes Laborales ( NYLL ) .

Pero los problemas de salarios y horas no son la única provincia de la industria de restaurantes de Nueva York. De hecho, por desgracia, los trabajadores en los EE.UU. quedan estafados en una amplia variedad de industrias.

Caso en cuestión: el Departamento de Trabajo de EE.UU. ha estado investigando a dos clubes profesionales de béisbol - The Giants de San Francisco y The Marlins de la Florida - violaciones de la ley federal de salarios. Los cargos contra estos dos equipos pueden ser sólo la punta del iceberg. Según un memorándum del Departamento de Trabajo de fecha 12 de septiembre de 2013, las prácticas de pago pueden ser "endémica de [el béisbol profesional] de la industria." En agosto, The Giants de San Francisco establecieron una demanda colectiva que proporcionó casi $ 550,000 en daños y salarios atrasados ​​a 74 trabajadores que trabajaban en la casa club y en las operaciones de vídeo.

De acuerdo con la División de Salarios y Horas funcionarios de San Francisco, los Gigantes pagaron muchos trabajadores 55 dólares por día, pero ellos trabajaban tantas horas que su tasa de pago promedio cayó por debajo del salario mínimo federal de $ 7.25 la hora. Además, estos trabajadores no reciben pago de horas extras.
En junio de 2013, The Giants se establecieron una demanda colectiva privada independiente llevado por guardias de seguridad - también por $ 500,000 en daños y perjuicios. En ese caso, el equipo no dio guardias horas extras y también los obligó a trabajar durante las comidas y tiempos de descanso. Equipos de béisbol, al igual que The Giants, también se enfrentan a posibles problemas legales para la creación de prácticas no remuneradas. Directrices del Departamento de Trabajo dicen que si se permite que las prácticas no remuneradas sólo si están creadas para educar a los internos y no a desplazar a los trabajadores asalariados. Major League Baseball no controla la forma en clubes como The Giants manejan sus prácticas de empleo , pero la División de Horas y Salarios trabaja en estrecha colaboración con el Comisionado de la MLB para garantizar que los equipos cumplan con las normas sobre salarios y horarios.

Las travesuras de salarios y horas, aparentemente, no se limitan a los equipos de las mayores. Algunas evidencias sugieren que los trabajadores de la casa club de las ligas menores se enfrentan a problemas similares.

Si usted es un jugador profesional de béisbol, corredor de bolsa, abogado, o un trabajador de restaurantes que se merece un salario justo y un trato justo por su trabajo duro. Si usted cree que su empleador le ha maltratado o pagado mal, por favor conectarse con Joseph y Kirschenbaum hoy en 866-348-7394 para una consulta gratis o envíenos un email a info@jhllp.com.

February 3, 2014

5 Common (But Ultimately Nonsensical) Excuses Restaurant Workers Get When Their Bosses Steal Their Tips

Whether you work at a fine Manhattan restaurant or a small diner in the outer reaches of Queens, you're protected by powerful pieces of legislation, including the Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) and New York Labor Laws. Here are 5 common excuses that may be keeping you from getting the help that you really need:

• "They're just taking a little money - it's not that big a deal"

First of all, an injustice is injustice. An illegal act is an illegal act. Even small acts of "nickel and diming" can adding up. For instance, perhaps you're "only" losing $50 a week due to unfair tipping or wage practices. That adds up to $200 a month or $2,400 a year!

• "I don't like what they're doing, but this job was hard to get, and I need to keep it."

The law prevents employers from retaliating against workers who complain about wage and hour violations. Your employer cannot fire you for complaining -- or demote you or fail to promote you for good performance.

• "No one else at the restaurant seems has a problem."

Just because no one's complained does mean that the problem does not exist or that other people are not suffering because of it. In fact, if your employer has been breaking the law routinely for years, a class action lawsuit might be the most appropriate remedy.

• "I'll just make up the money by taking a second job or cutting back on expenses."

It's smart to try to live within your means. You're trying to deal with your financial issues resourcefully. But again, there is no rational reason to allow wage and hour abuse to continue.

• "I'm scared about what other people, like my co-workers or even my family, will say if I complain or file a lawsuit."

The sad fact is that many people choose discomfort over uncertainty. The devil you know might be unpleasant, but at least he is familiar. But this kind of thinking can lead you to suffer brutal or at least highly unfair situations for months or years. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone a little bit - particularly when so much is on the line for you and your family.

The team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum has taken on and won many prominent wage and hour battles. Call us at 866-348-7394 for a free consultation with our team, or email us at info@jhllp.com.

January 27, 2014

Decisión de reparto de propinas: Corte Suprema de Nevada dice propinas de Casino Dealers pueden ser compartidas

La Corte Suprema de Nevada emitió una decisión unánime en octubre que podría tener profundas consecuencias para las industrias de juego de Las Vegas y Reno.
Los trabajadores de Wynn Casino en Las Vegas alegaron que su compañía les obligó ilegalmente para compartir consejos con sus supervisores. Éstos son algunos de los hitos clave en el caso:

• En 2010, el Comisionado de Trabajo de Nevada, Michael Tanchek, dijo que la política del tip-pooling de Wynn no violó la ley del estado de Nevada.

• En 2011, el juez de distrito, Kenneth Cory, revocó la decisión del Comisionado.

• En 2013 , la Corte Suprema de Nevada volcó la decisión , una vez más , escribiendo : "Sostenemos que el Tribunal de Distrito se equivocó al anular la decisión de la comisión de trabajo , debido a que el Wynn no cumplió ninguno de los consejos de la piscina , sino que el Wynn distribuye el dinero entre sus empleados " .

• El caso será ahora regresar a la Corte de Distrito, donde las partes tratarán de resolver las cuestiones relativas a cuestiones de salario mínimo y reducciones.

Porque el reparto de propinas es un asunto tan contencioso

Concesionarios del casino, el personal del restaurante y otros empleados que reciben propinas necesitan el dinero que obtienen de propinas para cumplir con sus necesidades presupuestarias. Incluso un pequeño "corte" en la piscina de la punta puede tener gran alcance, efectos restrictivos sobre estos trabajadores y sus familias. Algunos estudios también sugieren que la reducción de las ganancias de punta puede desmotivar a los empleados. Esto tiene sentido. Si usted sabe que no será capaz de mantener sus consejos, es posible que no sea tan dispuestos a " llegar hasta el final " para los clientes.
Por supuesto, como el caso de Wynn ilustra, la ley puede ser muy matizada. Incluso los tribunales superiores pueden estar en desacuerdo sobre cuándo, cómo y bajo qué circunstancias los consejos pueden ser compartidos.

Entonces, ¿qué puede hacer usted, si su empleador ha estado compartiendo o para ojear sus propinas? El primer paso es conseguir el sonido perspicacia legal a sus posibles opciones. Llame al equipo respetado de derechos laborales. Llamen ahora a Joseph & Kirschenbaum al 866-348-7394 para una consulta gratis o envíenos un email a info@jhllp.com ayuda inmediata.

January 27, 2014

Can You File a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit in New York? [Not If You're an Unpaid Intern]

26 year-old Lihuan Wang recently filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss at Phoenix Satellite Television's New York Bureau. Wang said that, when she served as an unpaid intern for the Bureau back in 2010, her supervisor "grabbed her butt and tried to kiss her." A Manhattan Federal Court Judge, Kevin Castel, put a damper on her quest for justice. A local New York paper summarized his decision: "the judge said that, since unpaid interns are not technically employees, they cannot sue for sexual harassment.

Or, as the New York Post put it: "no paycheck, no benefits - and no protection from creeps." After Castel's ruling on October 3rd, Wang's attorney expressed outrage and consternation: "this is terrible ... there is no logical reason to allow an intern who is young and vulnerable to be sexual harassed."

Upon learning of this loophole, Gale Brewer, a city councilman from Manhattan, said that she will put forward legislation to prevent this kind of human rights issue in the future. Both Washington D.C. and Oregon have amended their human rights laws accordingly. Wang was so disturbed by what happened that she left United States to go back to her native China. But her lawsuit will go forward on different charges. She contends that the Television Bureau did not hire for a paid position as retaliation for her turning down her boss's advances.

Wang's complex and challenging case illustrates that sometimes it can be very difficult to win justice, even whether you have a compelling story and good evidence on your side. Fortunately, you do not have to fight your own legal battles and "make the system work for you" on your own. The team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum has the experience and track record to help you obtain justice and fair compensation for harassment. Call us at 866-348-7394, or email us for immediate assistance at info@jhllp.com.

January 20, 2014

¿Se puede presentar una demanda de acoso sexual en Nueva York? [Si eres un pasante sin pago, no]

Con 26 años de edad, Lihuan Wang presentó recientemente una demanda por acoso sexual contra su ex jefe en Nueva York Oficina de Phoenix Satellite Television. Wang dijo que, cuando se desempeñó como pasante sin pagar por la Oficina en 2010, su supervisor " agarró el trasero e intentó besarla. " Un juez de la Corte Federal de Manhattan, Kevin Castel, poner un obstáculo en su búsqueda de justicia.

Un periódico local de Nueva York resumió su decisión: "El juez dijo que, dado que los pasantes no remunerados no son técnicamente empleados, no pueden demandar por acoso sexual.

O, como el New York Post lo expresó así: " Sin sueldo, sin beneficios - y ninguna protección contra pelos de punta " Tras el fallo de Castel el 3 de octubre, el abogado de Wang expresó su indignación y consternación: " esto es terrible... no hay ninguna razón lógica para que un pasante que es joven y vulnerable a ser acosadas sexual. "

Al enterarse de esta laguna, Gale Brewer, un concejal de la ciudad de Manhattan, dijo que presentará legislación para evitar este tipo de cuestiones de derechos humanos en el futuro. Tanto Washington DC y Oregon han enmendado sus leyes de derechos humanos en consecuencia. Wang estaba tan perturbada por lo que ha pasado que dejó los Estados Unidos para volver a su país, China. Pero su demanda seguirá adelante en diferentes cargos. Ella sostiene que la Mesa de Televisión no contrató para un puesto remunerado como una represalia por su rechazar los avances de su jefe.

El caso complejo y difícil de Wang demuestra que a veces puede ser muy difícil ganar la justicia, incluso si usted tiene una historia convincente y una buena prueba de su lado. Afortunadamente, usted no tiene que luchar contra sus propias batallas legales y "hacer que el sistema funcione para usted" por su cuenta. El equipo aquí en Joseph y Kirschenbaum tiene la experiencia y trayectoria para ayudarle a obtener justicia y una compensación justa por el acoso. Llámenos al 866-348-7394 o envíenos un correo electrónico para obtener asistencia inmediata en info@jhllp.com.