How many Americans are making money from “on-demand” jobs — like being an Uber driver, selling stuff on Etsy, or renting out a room on Airbnb — that either didn’t exist until a few years ago or have exploded in popularity thanks to technological innovations? No one really knows, with various reports putting it at anywhere from 5% of the workforce to more than a third. So, for the first time in more than a decade, the U.S. Department of Labor will try to get a more accurate headcount on so-called “contingent” workers. [More]
Where is a business supposed to draw the line between a traditional employee and an independent contractor hired by the company? Some say it’s a question of hours worked, or whether the position is project-based, while others claim it’s whatever the company and the worker agree to call it. In an effort to clarify the matter, the U.S. Dept. of Labor has chimed in with new guidance for employers.
Working more than 40 hours a week but not getting paid overtime because you make too much already? If so, you might soon be pocketing more dough for your extra hours under newly proposed federal regulations that raise the threshold income level at which workers are exempt from overtime pay of time-and-a-half wages. [More]
When visiting a financial adviser for consultation about retirement savings one might assume those counselors have their best interests in mind. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. To better ensure consultants are working for consumers and not for fees, the Labor Department will propose new rules to increase standards for brokers who recommend investments for retirement accounts. [More]
If you think an employee of yours might be too quick to gripe or prone to exaggerated complaints, there are proper ways to handle that situation. Among those accepted methods is not falsely telling others that he’s a terrorist and that he’d threatened to blow up your building. [More]
You might have seen the news a few weeks ago that President Obama issued an executive order that would expand how many workers who are eligible to receive overtime pay. Under current rules, salaried workers with administrative or supervisory duties, like retail managers, are exempt from federal overtime rules as long as they earn more than $455 per week. That includes an anonymous assistant manager at Walmart who spoke to Salon’s Josh Eidelson about what that really means in his life. [More]
Many of us have the option of taking at least one brief lunch and/or rest break during the work day (whether you take it or not is a different discussion), and lots of people believe they are legally entitled to a break for every few hours worked. But the fact is that it is perfectly legal in most states for employers to not give employees any rest during the time they are on the clock. [More]
Was anything you own made with forced or child labor? It’s more likely than you think. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor finally released a long-awaited report on the use of child labor or forced labor worldwide. The unsurprising result: Children and forced laborers work in agriculture, mining, and manufacturing worldwide.
The waiting area of the New York Department of Labor Office is getting increasingly crowded. It’s not just the economy, more people are showing up because they can’t get anyone on the phone.
Last week, news broke that a sweatshop in Queens, NYC was producing clothing for several large U.S. retailers, while overworking its mainly Chinese immigrant employees and cheating them out of wages. At the time, Macy’s announced it was cooperating with New York’s Department of Labor and investigating the matter internally. Now the company has confirmed that it never did business with the sweatshop—in fact, it investigated it twice in 2007 while evaluating potential suppliers and rejected it for shoddy record keeping. Use your crazy Macy’s coupons all you want, readers.
With feverish paws, we unsheathed the latest Consumer Price Index report (C.P.I.), released this morning, from its brown package. Flipping quickly to the middle our eyes roamed over Ms. January C.P.I.’s rising crests of .8%.