How misclassification can raise tax liability

A new report from the National Employment Law Project explains how misclassification of employees as independent contractors affects the tax liability of workers.

If you receive 1099s instead of W-2s for your work, are you sure that you are properly classified? Or is the business depriving you of your rights and potentially costing you money?

Misclassification is one of the primary sources of wage theft.

Read the article.

State minimum wage increases helped 4.3 million workers, but federal inaction has left many more behind

News from the Economic Policy Institute shows how many workers are receiving a raise with the new year.

On January 1, 19 states increased their minimum wage, lifting the pay of over 4.3 million workers. This is the largest number of states ever to increase their minimum wages without an increase in the federal minimum wage. In seven of these states (Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota), the increases …

Source: State minimum wage increases helped 4.3 million workers, but federal inaction has left many more behind

Louisiana nursing home operator pays nearly $120K in penalties, back wages, damages to resolve violations following federal investigation – United States Department of Labor

NEW ORLEANS – Two U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigations found that a nursing care operator with multiple southern Louisiana facilities violated the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Source: Louisiana nursing home operator pays nearly $120K in penalties, back wages, damages to resolve violations following federal investigation – United States Department of Labor

Workers, individuals and families needing home care, and employers can find more information about the wage laws that apply by clicking here.

Bipartisan support for stopping misclassification of workers

As we close in on election day, one thing seems clear: no matter what their political affiliation, voters want an end to corporations’ manipulations to boost profits and the pay of their top officers at the expense of working people.

In a survey conducted by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), 84% of  those surveyed — Democrats and Republicans across age groups — disapproved of corporations misclassifying employees as “independent contractors.” “[P]olling shows that 7 in 10 voters don’t trust employers to treat their employees fairly. A majority of voters believes that working hard isn’t enough anymore, because companies simply aren’t loyal to their employees. The strategy of hiring workers as contractors, even if lawfully done, is still offensive to most of us. By 78 percent to 12 percent, voters feel that workers are better off as direct employees than as independent contractors.”

WJP is working with the La. Workforce Commission to make sure workers and employers understand what it means to be an independent contractor. Most workers are employees and should be treated that way.

 

INFORMATION FOR WORKERS AFFECTED BY THE FLOODING IN LOUISIANA

DO YOU HAVE WORK ISSUES ARISING FROM THE LOUISIANA FLOODS IN AUGUST 2016?

UPDATE: La. Workforce Commission has updated information about filing for unemployment benefits http://www.laworks.net

Call (504) 861-5571 to speak to someone at the WJP’s Wage Claim Clinic.

Has your employer failed to pay all or part of your wages? Workers with a wage claim should make an appointment for services at our Wage Claim Clinic.  Leave a message on the Clinic’s phone line — (504) 861-5571 or send an email to wccnola@gmail.com. Someone will follow up with you as soon as possible. Please be prepared to answer some questions about your situation. Be prepared with the full name and address of the person who owes you wages.  Clinic staff members, law students, and volunteers use this information to help determine how best to handle your claim. The first step will be to help you to draft a demand letter and send it to the employer who owes you wages.

Feel free to pass this information and this website address co-workers, friends and family to learn more about your rights in the workplace!

Employment claims can also be filed with:

The Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division enforces certain wage claims, overtime and minimum wage violations, and prevailing wage claims.

Local: (504) 589-6171 (extension 300 for Spanish) OR http://www.dol.gov/whd/

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates workplace discrimination charges, based on things like race, gender, national origin, age, and disability status.

Local: (504) 595-2843 04 (800) 669-4000 OR http://www.eeoc.gov/
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)  helps to assure a safe and healthful workplace. Workers are entitled to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.(225) 298-5458 OR http://www.osha.gov/

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) protects workers from adverse actions taken by their employers for working together with other employees to better their working conditions.

Local: (504) 589-6361 OR http://www.nlrb.gov/

The Louisiana Workforce Commission is where to file claims for unemployment or workers compensation at (225) 342-3111 or http://www.laworks.net

For more information on unpaid wages and a sample demand letter, please visit this page created by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

Good News for Homecare Workers — Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Overtime Law

On June 27, as its term ended, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the case of Home Care Association of America v. Weil, closing the door on the industry’s and for-profit companies’ last-ditch attempt to prevent home care workers from keeping their newly-won right to the minimum wage and overtime pay. More about the decision is here.

The National Employment Law Project has a good review of the long road to achieving this important victory for some of our lowest-paid, and most vulnerable, workers, most of whom are women of color. Home Care Workers Long March to Justice

Fines for Workplace Safety Violations Rise for the first time in 25 Years

Penalties for workplace safety and health violations — investigated and administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — are among the lowest of all federal regulatory agencies. For example, the maximum fine that OSHA can administer, even where a violation causes death, is $7,000. If the death is caused by the employer’s willful conduct, the fine can rise to $70,000. By comparison, the Federal Communications Commission can fine TV or radio stations up to $325,000 for indecent content. The Environmental Protection Agency can impose a $270,000 penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act.

As of July 1, OSHA has announced it will raise its fines for the first time in decades. Maximum OSHA fines will increase by about 80 percent, to approximately $12,000 for a serious violation and $120,000 for a willful violation of the law. Even with this increase, the fines are still low in comparison to other federal agencies. But it is a step in the right direction. Read more here.

Have a question about conditions at work or need to file a complaint about health and safety violations at your workplace? In Louisiana, call (225) 298-5458 or 1-800-321-OSHA.

Hotel housekeepers make the beds but still can’t afford to lie in them

This week marks the beginning of summer—family reunions, barbeques, and beach vacations— for those who can afford it. Those who can’t include hotel housekeepers, who like many U.S. workers over the past three decades have seen the standard features of a middle-class lifestyle grow even farther out of reach while productivity has more than doubled. …

via Hotel housekeepers make the beds but still can’t afford to lie in them.