Even Unpaid Interns May Be Your Employees

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This article was originally published in The Daily Record June 2, 2015.  


“Back in the day” – this phrase causes my 17-year-old daughter to roll her eyes, assume the “I don’t want to hear this” pose, and begin scrolling through the songs on her iPhone. Anyway, back in the day when I was in college, unpaid internships were plentiful and filled with hours of filing, running to the bank and post office, and other mundane tasks. As an immediate reward, I received a glowing reference letter, which I proudly included with countless job applications. Looking back, I realize there were a number of rewards: valuable life lessons like the importance of personal and professional responsibility, Continue reading

Are You A Little Fuzzy On NY Medical Marijuana Law? You’re Not Alone

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This article was originally published in The Daily Record July 7, 2015.  


Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act into law on July 5, 2014, following weeks of closed-door negotiations between the Governor and a number of legislators. With the signing of the Act, New York became the 23rd state to enact a medical marijuana law. However, this is not your typical, “Dr. Dude…give me a prescription so I can light up” law. In fact, many are calling it one of the most complex and restrictive medical marijuana laws in the nation. From the beginning, it’s clear this law will have much broader implications for employers, and their covered employees, than merely legalizing a Continue reading

FLSA vs. The Gig Economy: Is A Showdown Looming?

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This article was originally published in The Daily Record December 8, 2015


I heard a great line on TV the other night that really hit home. Referring to an older physician, a twenty-something intern said, “He’s been here since dial-up!” Hey, wait a minute! I remember connecting to dial-up Internet service, listening for the unmistakable sounds that were the only indication that it was working. Back then, I was using a cutting-edge “portable” computer (the size of a large toolbox) with its small green screen, dual floppy disk drives, and 40 megabyte hard drive. According to the salesperson, “you’ll never fill that up!” I think it’s safe to say that neither he nor I imagined a world in which I’d be pushing the limits of the 64 gigabytes on my iPhone.

In the dial-up days, you only had a couple of ways to get a ride from point A to point B, hire someone to fix your gutters, or get your house cleaned. Either you knew someone to call, or you took the big floppy phone book out of the closet and looked in the Yellow Pages. I think it’s also safe to say that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, few people imagined a Continue reading

FLSA’s “Suffer or Permit to Work” Standard Alive and Well

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This article was originally published in The Daily Record on October 6, 2015


The Federal Department of Labor’s Wage-and-Hour Division has been very busy over the past several months, and there are no signs of it slowing down. Days after issuing its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding changes to the “White-collar” exemptions, an Administrator’s Interpretation was released which provides guidance on whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.

In the 15-page guidance document, WHD administrator Dr. David Weil begins by expressing a belief that a growing number of employers are intentionally misclassifying workers as independent contractors “as a means to cut costs and avoid compliance with labor laws.” To counter this trend, the WHD has adopted the most expansive definition of “employee” possible, and affirmed that the economic realities govern the determination of independent contractor status. None of this should come as a surprise, given Dr. Weil’s Continue reading

Moving Forward on Pay Equality in New York

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Posted by Frank Cania, MSEmpL, SPHR, SHRM-SCP – President of DRIVEN HR, LLC

The women of New York have waited far too long for this day to come.” Governor Cuomo made that statement following a 119-0 vote in the Assembly to pass a bill strengthening New York’s equal-pay law. The bill, A06075, which passed the State Senate with a 145-0 vote in January, is headed to the Governor’s desk for his promised signature. Continue reading

Bill Signed By Gov. Cuomo Repealing the Annual Wage Notice in NYS

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Posted by Frank Cania, MSEmpL, SPHR – President of DRIVEN HR, LLC

Yes, it is signed, sealed, delivered…and confirmed!

According to Governor Cuomo’s staff, the Governor signed bill A.8106-C/S.5885-B, which includes an amendment to the Wage Theft Prevention Act eliminating the annual wage notice requirement for all employees.  http://www.labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/employer/wage-theft-prevention-act.shtm

As reported in a previous post, in order to make the amendment effective in time to eliminate the annual wage notice requirement for 2015, legislative leaders and the Governor have agreed to a chapter amendment that will make the change effective immediately. Based on this agreement, the New York State Department of Labor will not require the annual wage statements in 2015. (Remember, employers are still required to provide new employees with a wage notice at the time of hire.)

I think I can speak for our clients, and my peers in the HR profession when I say, “THANK YOU Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for starting our 2015 with this great news!”

On behalf of everyone at DRIVEN HR, I want to wish you a very Happy, Healthy, and Safe New Year!

Frank-

Please feel free to contact me at frank@drivenhr.com, or 585-672-4142, x15 with questions or for more information.


Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute a legal opinion, and is not legal advice. The facts of each situation should be considered and analyzed individually. Therefore, you should always consult with competent employment counsel regarding any issues discussed here. 

Click HERE to learn more about Frank Cania, author of Employers’ HR Advisor.

Update: Gov. Cuomo Expected To Sign Bill to Repeal the Annual Wage Notice in NYS

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Posted by Frank Cania, MSEmpL, SPHR – President of DRIVEN HR, LLC

Call it an early holiday present to New York State employers, or call it long over-do, but according to my sources in Albany, A.8106-C/S.5885-B, the bill that includes the repeal of the annual pay notice under the Wage Theft Prevention Act, was sent to the Governor today for his signature!

As readers of this blog know, the amendment would make the change effective 60-days from the date the bill was signed into law. However, in order to make the amendment effective in time to eliminate the notice requirement for 2015, an agreement is in place between the Legislature and the Governor to make a chapter amendment to the bill that will be passed and approved in early January 2015. That amendment will, among other things, relieve New York State employers of any further obligation to issue the annual wage notice.

Thank you Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for making one of my Christmas wishes come true!

Happy Holidays!

Frank-

Please feel free to contact me at frank@drivenhr.com, or 585-672-4142, x15 with questions or for more information.


Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute a legal opinion, and is not legal advice. The facts of each situation should be considered and analyzed individually. Therefore, you should always consult with competent employment counsel regarding any issues discussed here. 

Click HERE to learn more about Frank Cania, author of Employers’ HR Advisor.