Stryker Can’t Slip California Workers’ Wage Suit

Shavitz Law Group

Law360 (January 30, 2024, 5:40 PM EST) — Medical device company Stryker cannot escape former workers’ wage claims, a California federal judge ruled Tuesday, saying it was unclear whether the company was the workers’ employer because it still retained some authority over workers employed by the company’s subsidiaries.

Former Hertz Managers Seek Class Cert. In OT Suit

Shavitz Law Group

Law360 (January 5, 2024, 1:57 PM EST) — Former Hertz managers accusing the company of cheating lower-level managers out of 10 to 15 hours of weekly overtime wages asked a Florida federal judge to certify a collective, saying Hertz’s standardized operations prove they are similar enough to proceed as a group.

Teva Workers Say Proposed OT Class Had Same Duties

Shavitz Law Group

Law360 (December 18, 2023, 2:45 PM EST) — A group of sales workers urged a New Jersey federal judge to certify a class in their suit accusing Teva Pharmaceuticals of unlawfully denying them overtime wages during an extended training program, arguing that the company had admitted to the misclassification, proving they had a common claim.

The Gender Pay Gap: Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men in the Workplace?

Shavitz Law Group

Despite progress in achieving gender equality, one issue that continues to persist in the modern workplace is the gender pay gap. Women in the United States, on average, earn less than their male counterparts for performing the same work. This article delves into the reasons behind this disparity and explores the legal measures that have been implemented to address it. 

Understanding the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap refers to the difference in average earnings between men and women in the workforce. Despite similar educational qualifications, experience, and skills, women tend to earn less than men in various industries and professions. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, women in the United States earned approximately 82 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2020. This gap is even wider for women of color and those in higher-paying positions.

Root Causes of the Gender Pay Gap

  • Occupational Segregation: Women are often concentrated in industries and occupations that traditionally pay less. This occupational segregation, along with the undervaluation of feminized industries, contributes significantly to the pay gap.
  • Motherhood Penalty: Women are disproportionately affected by the motherhood penalty, which refers to the negative impact on earnings and career advancement that often occurs when women have children. This penalty is driven by factors such as biases, limited access to flexible work arrangements, and inadequate parental leave policies.
  • Lack of Representation in Leadership Positions: Women continue to face barriers in reaching senior leadership roles. This lack of representation not only affects their earning potential directly but also perpetuates gender disparities throughout the organization.

Legal Measures Addressing the Gender Pay Gap

Recognizing the need to address this pervasive issue, the U.S. government has implemented the following legal measures to tackle the gender pay gap:

  • Equal Pay Act of 1963: This federal law prohibits gender-based wage discrimination by mandating equal pay for equal work. However, challenges remain in enforcing this law effectively.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, ensuring that women have equal opportunities in the workplace. It covers aspects such as hiring, promotion, and compensation.
  • State and Local Laws: Many states and localities have introduced additional measures to combat the gender pay gap. For example, some have implemented salary history bans, which prevent employers from considering an applicant’s previous salary during the hiring process.

Collaborating with Seasoned Employment Lawyers

Navigating the complexities of employment law and addressing gender pay gap issues requires expertise and guidance from experienced lawyers. Seasoned lawyers specializing in employment law can provide essential support to individuals facing pay discrimination. They can assist in analyzing compensation data, identifying discriminatory practices, and pursuing legal remedies.

Shavitz Law Group

Despite advancements in gender equality, the gender pay gap remains a persistent issue in the United States. Shavitz Law Group is committed to empowering individuals and fighting for workplace equality. We understand the emotional and financial toll that pay discrimination can have on individuals and are dedicated to seeking justice on their behalf.

If you have been the victim of pay discrimination in the United States, call Shavitz Law Group at (800) 616-4000. 

No Records? No Problem!

Shavitz Law Group

In its last weeks, the Trump administration adopted regulations which would make it easier for workers to be classified as independent contractors.  Those regulations never took effect. Now the Biden administration has rejected them, opting instead to keep the economic realities test. 

The proposed but not implemented regulations would have allowed employers to exempt themselves from minimum wage and overtime laws if their workers were considered independent contractors under a new test whose factors favored such a finding.  Had it passed, more workers would not have been covered by a number of laws, simply because they would not been considered employees.  Such laws would have included not only the Fair Labor Standards Act governing overtime and minimum wage, but also state laws such as workers’ compensation.  These workers also would not have been eligible for many benefits, including health insurance, and could not participate in 401k plans.

The current law which will remain in effect applies a multi-factor test to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.  In announcing the decision to keep the existing economic realities test, the administration emphasized that federal law favors giving the broadest interpretation possible to the definition of an employee.  This approach favors workers being classified as employees, thereby entitling such workers to the protections of federal law and benefits only available to employees.

If you have questions relating to the use of company-issued email or computers, or any other employment-related matter, contact Shavitz Law Group  at (800) 616-4000 or email us at [email protected].   

Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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Employees’ Right to Inquire About or Claim Overtime Pay Without Retaliation

Shavitz Law Group

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a vital piece of legislation that safeguards the rights of workers in the United States. One crucial protection offered by the FLSA is the prohibition of retaliation against employees who assert their rights to seek unpaid overtime.

Under the FLSA, employers are required to compensate eligible employees for any overtime hours worked. However, workers may have questions about how they are being paid and disputes regarding unpaid overtime can sometimes arise between employers and employees. To address this issue, the FLSA guarantees the right to seek unpaid overtime and protects employees from retaliation for asserting this right.

Retaliation can take various forms, such as termination, demotion, reduction in hours, pay cuts, or any adverse action that negatively impacts the employee’s employment status or working conditions. The FLSA’s retaliation protection covers a wide range of activities, including but not limited to filing a complaint with the Department of Labor, cooperating with an investigation, or simply requesting information about their rights from their employer. It is important to note that retaliation is illegal regardless of whether the employee’s claim for unpaid overtime is ultimately successful or not.

Employees who have faced retaliation must understand the significance of the FLSA’s protection against such actions. It empowers workers to assert their rights without fear of adverse consequences. By familiarizing themselves with the specific actions covered under anti-retaliation provision of the FLSA—such as filing a complaint, cooperating with an investigation, or seeking information, or claiming backpay for unpaid overtime within the past 3 years —employees can better protect themselves. Employees should also seek legal counsel if they believe they have experienced retaliation, as they have rights and recourse under the FLSA to ensure fair and legal treatment in the workplace.

Were you Misclassified by Nike as a Temporary Office Workers?

Shavitz Law Group

As recently reported by The Guardian, the iconic sneaker brand Nike may be liable for over $530 million dollars in taxes and fines for misclassifying its temporary office workers as independent contractors. Nike’s purported misclassification of temporary office workers includes – but is not limited to — people hired by Nike to do business consulting, T-shirt graphics, photography and event planning.

In addition to avoiding taxes, companies like Nike may classify workers as independent contractors to evade billions in overtime, paid time off, restricted stock options, retirement plan contributions and healthcare. Thus, a finding that temporary office workers are actually employees and not independent contractors raises a separate and equally important issue: did Nike pay these temporary office workers overtime wages for the hours they worked over 40 in a work week? The answer to the question undoubtedly is “no.” Because it classified these temporary office workers as independent contractors, then Nike could use that independent contractor classification to wrongfully withhold overtime wages and benefits.

According to The Guardian, a report on Nike’s classification of temporary office workers warns “Employers who are found to have misclassified workers as freelancers are also potentially liable for other potential costs,” including unpaid overtime, among other things. In addition, the report also notes that Nike could be subject to class-action lawsuits for unpaid overtime and other benefits.

Shavitz Law Group handles lawsuits where companies misclassify workers as independent contractors. If Nike – or another company – misclassified you or someone you know as an independent contractor contact Shavitz Law Group to learn more about your legal rights.

How the Fair Labor Standards Act Can Help if You Are Working Off the Clock

Have you ever found yourself working off the clock? Maybe you have been asked to work through lunch or asked to stay late without getting paid for those extra hours. If this has happened to you, you are not alone. Unfortunately, many employers take advantage of their employees and ask them to work off the clock in order to save money. But there are laws in place to protect you, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In this article, we will discuss how the FLSA can help you if you are working off the clock and how experienced employment attorneys at Shavitz Law Group can help you fight for your rights.

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor standards for employees in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. Under the FLSA, most employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

How Does the FLSA Protect You if You Are Working Off the Clock?

If you are a non-exempt employee, your employer is required to pay you for all hours worked, including any time you work off the clock. This includes time spent working before or after your shift, working through lunch, or having to participate in after hours communications or team chats outside of regular working hoursl. If your employer fails to pay you for these hours, they are violating the FLSA.

How Experienced Employment Attorneys Can Help

If you believe that your employer is violating the FLSA by failing to pay you for all hours worked, the experienced employment attorneys at Shavitz Law Group can help. Our attorneys have years of experience fighting for the rights of employees and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

Our team will first assess your situation to determine if you have a case. If we believe that your employer is violating the FLSA, we will work with you to gather evidence and build a strong case. We will then file a complaint with the appropriate government agency and negotiate with your employer on your behalf.

Get the Compensation You Deserve 

If you are working off the clock, it is important to know your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If your employer is violating the FLSA by failing to pay you for all hours worked, the experienced employment attorneys at Shavitz Law Group can help. We have the knowledge, experience, and dedication to fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today at (800) 616-4000 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

Equal Pay for Equal Work? Know Your Rights.

It may be hard to believe, but in 2022, women in the United States made only 78 cents, on average, for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. That actually is a drop from 80 cents, which was the average for a number of preceding years. This gender pay gap is even worse when comparing Black and Hispanic female workers to their white male colleagues (69.5 cents and 64.1 cents, respectively).

These stark discrepancies produce staggering financial inequalities over time. Moreover, these differences in pay persist at all levels of education and economic background. That is, women are earning less than men in every sector of the job market, from hourly fast-food workers to high-powered financial analysts.

Female employees have the law on their side. The Equal Pay Act (EPA) is designed to address pay disparities between men and women who performed similar work. The EPA requires “equal pay for equal work.” The EPA covers all elements of an employee’s compensation, including base salary, overtime, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing, and benefits.

The first step to bringing EPA claims is demonstrating the discrepancy between the pay for women and men performing the same work. Fortunately, many state laws and local ordinances require pay transparency. As of early 2023, these states have enacted legislation addressing salary range disclosures: California, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington. In addition, some Ohio, New York, and New Jersey localities have also enacted similar legislation. While these laws may vary in their details, they generally all require employers to disclose wage rates and salary ranges upon request by a job candidate or employee. If you are not in an area that requires pay transparency and believe that you are earning less than your male co-workers performing the same work, then you might simply ask the male colleagues who you trust to share this information with you. And, if you cannot confirm but have a well-founded belief that your pay is unequal, an attorney can help investigate potential EPA claims.

Once the discrepancy in pay can be established, much of EPA litigation focuses on the equal work element: how does an employee establish that she performed the same job as a man? Under the EPA, “equal work” means jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility and that are performed under similar working conditions (and in the same type of work location). The jobs do not have to be identical, but they must be substantially equal. It is the content and duties of the job, not the job title or the employer’s job description, that controls.

An employee who succeeds on an EPA claim is entitled to her lost wages (meaning the difference between her pay and that of her male co-workers) for the two- or three-year statute of limitations period. If her employer cannot establish that it acted in good faith (meaning that it had reasonable grounds for believing that it was not violating the law), she will receive liquidated (i.e., double) damages in an amount equal to the lost wages. The EPA also requires the employer to pay the successful employee’s attorney’s fees, which drives many of these cases. Importantly, the EPA allows female workers to bring a suit collectively in a class action.

At Shavitz Law Group, we stand up for the rights of our clients by ensuring that their voices are heard. If you believe you may be a victim of pay discrimination, call us today at (800) 616-4000.

What Are Some Examples of Unlawful Employment Practices?

Have you ever experienced discrimination or mistreatment at your workplace? Unfortunately, there are several examples of unlawful employment practices that can impact workers’ lives. It is important to be aware of these practices and know that there are legal avenues to fight against them.

Discrimination in Hiring Practices

One example of an unlawful employment practice is discrimination in hiring. This can take various forms, such as rejecting a qualified candidate due to their race, gender, religion, age, or disability. Discrimination can also occur during the job interview process, such as asking inappropriate or discriminatory questions. If you have ever been turned down for a job despite meeting the qualifications, it is important to evaluate if discrimination played a role in the decision-making process.

Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

Another example of an unlawful employment practice is harassment or creating a hostile work environment. This can happen when an employee is subjected to offensive, unwelcome, or intimidating behavior based on their race, gender, religion, or other protected characteristic. Such behavior can include verbal abuse, physical assault, and unwanted touching. If you have ever experienced harassment or a hostile work environment, it is important to report it to your employer and seek legal advice.

Retaliation for Protected Activity

Retaliation for engaging in protected activity is another unlawful employment practice. Protected activity can include filing a complaint with a government agency, reporting illegal conduct or safety violations, or participating in a union. Employers are not allowed to take adverse actions against employees who engage in such activities. If you have ever been fired, demoted, or otherwise punished for engaging in protected activity, you may have legal options.

Unpaid Wages and Overtime

Employers are required to pay their employees the minimum wage and provide overtime pay when applicable. Failure to do so can result in wage theft and other unlawful employment practices. If you have ever worked overtime but not received the proper compensation, or if you have not been paid the minimum wage, you may be entitled to back pay.

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for illegal reasons, such as discrimination, retaliation, or in violation of an employment contract. If you have ever been fired without just cause, it is important to evaluate if your employer violated any laws or breached any contracts.

How Shavitz Law Group Can Help

If you have experienced any of the above unlawful employment practices, or if you have other workplace concerns, it is important to seek legal advice from experienced employment attorneys. Shavitz Law Group is dedicated to protecting workers’ rights and fighting against unlawful employment practices. We have years of experience representing clients in various employment law matters, and we are committed to obtaining the best possible results for our clients.

Shavitz Law Group can help you navigate the complex legal process and protect your rights. We can provide legal advice, represent you in negotiations and settlements, and litigate your case if necessary. We understand the emotional toll of facing workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other unlawful practices, and we will work with you every step of the way to achieve justice. Call today at (800) 616-4000.