Earlier this week, New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon Inc., for mishandling worker safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. This lawsuit is not the first time Amazon has faced criticism for not providing a safe working environment for its employees. In 2020, workers filed several complaints against the company, including a petition signed by 600 employees  that urged the online retailer giant to improve working conditions. Attorney general, Letitia James, filed the complaint in the state Supreme Court asserting that Amazon has “repeatedly and persistently failed to comply with its obligation to…
Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Amazon will pay $61.7 million to settle allegations that the company stole Amazon Flex drivers’ tips for two and a half years. The FTC says this number represents the amount of tip money that Amazon did not give to drivers until the company became aware of the FTC investigation in 2019. FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra said, “Today, the FTC is sanctioning Amazon.com for expanding its business empire by cheating its workers. Amazon stole nearly one-third of drivers’ tips to pad its own bottom line.” Flex drivers are independent contractors, meaning…
A new study in the American Economic Journal of Economic Policy concluded that working mothers who took paid maternity leave had better long-term health outcomes compared to women who did not have paid maternity leave. Researchers studied pregnant workers in Norway both before and after paid maternity leave became the law of the land in 1977. The study found that women who gave birth after 1977 had better health outcomes in middle age than women who did not have paid maternity leave. Health Benefits of Paid Maternity Leave Researchers found that women who had paid maternity leave earlier in life…
Some decisions that elders have to make are appropriate for mediation. Issues surrounding care, continued autonomy or legal decisions involving assets are entirely appropriate for mediation. When it comes to decisions about an elder’s care, family members may need to be involved in deciding whether the elder will stay at home, move to a family member’s home or relocate to an assisted living residence or a nursing home. While each family member may have a different opinion on what would be best for the elder, mediation provides a forum for people to air their opinions with the goal of working…
In the past few years, the Department of Labor (DOL) launched an investigation into pay disparities affecting female and Asian employees working at Google. The agency found that these disparities impacted software engineering employees working in Mountain View, California; Seattle, Washington; and Kirkland, Washington. The investigators discovered the pay gap during a routine compliance evaluation. Additionally, the DOL identified hiring differences that disadvantaged female and Asian applicants for software engineering employees in specific locations. As a result of the DOL case against them, Google has agreed to pay over $3.8 million to settle allegations of systemic gender and race discrimination…
On February 8, the Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it will hold a public meeting on February 23. At this meeting, the MRAC will hear reports from the Climate-Related Market Risk, CCP Risk and Governance, Market Structure and Interest Rate Benchmark Reform subcommittees, and will discuss diversity, equity and inclusion in the derivatives industry and financial markets more generally. The meeting will be held via conference call in accordance with CFTC’s implementation of social distancing due to COVID-19. Market Risk Advisory Committee meeting on February 23.…
On February 8, the National Futures Association (NFA) released three Notices to Member that cover educational resources, common regulatory and compliance deficiencies, and recent amendments to NFA Rules and Interpretative notices, each aimed at a different audience, as indicated below. These Notices are intended to assist members in efficiently and effectively meeting their regulatory obligations. Notice I-21-06 is for swap dealers; Notice I-21-07 is for futures commission merchants, forex dealer members, and introducing brokers; and Notice I-21-08 is for commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors.…
Instacart has terminated ten employees working at a grocery store in Illinois who voted to form the first and only union for the grocery delivery company in early 2020. The workers unionized with The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1546. The news of their termination was “buried” in a blog post the company published in January about introducing new curbside pickup models. The blog also informed readers about further layoffs of in-store shoppers. According to the UFCW, Instacart plans to fire 2,000 of its 10,000 workers and offer only $250 of severance pay. Marc Perrone, president of UFCW…
The Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act, which was enacted on March 27, 2020, as part of the CARES Act, significantly expanded unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the number of weeks of benefits, increasing the amount of benefits, and covering individuals who would traditionally not be eligible for benefits.  On December……