Sunday, September 7, 2014

McDonald’s labor decision is important for workers in the US

"Why the McDonald’s labor decision is important for workers in the US", 23 Aug 2014

Last month, the general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which settles labor disputes in the U.S., decided for the first time that when considering labor complaints at McDonald’s franchises, it would deem the chain jointly responsible. A variety of observers have noted how this is an important breakthrough for fast food workers — one that prevents the multinational corporation from palming off labor abuses on bad-apple franchisees. But the implications are much wider than that...Today a huge number of people...work in jobs that are temporary, freelance or outsourced...Our labor laws have yet to catch up to this new reality. Yet employees’ ability to form collective organizations, protect their rights and create fair working standards is directly connected to how we resolve this issue...The issue of employer of record — finding out which boss to hold accountable when there are multiple employers...is central in determining whether working people are able to organize in our new economy. If we are ever to bring legal protections in line with today’s economy, expanding on the McDonald’s decision and rejecting corporations’ efforts to evade responsibility for labor abuses must be a first step...As a next step, labor law needs to catch up to conditions that working people in the U.S. have put up with for decades.
Overtime and Construction Workers – What are the laws in Florida?


Construction workers in Florida are entitled to overtime, one-and-half times the regular wage, for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in a work week.
Common overtime issues include:

(1)  Failure to record all hours actually worked to include time spent working before or after the shift.
(2)  Shorting of hours by using terms such as down time or rain delay.
(3)  Failure to compensate for meal breaks where the employee is not completely relieved of all duties to enjoy uninterrupted time for the meal.
(4)  "Banking" of overtime hours or payment of overtime in the form of "comp time".
(5)  Failure to combine the hours worked for overtime purposes by an employee in more than one job classification for the same employer within the same workweek.
(6)  Failure to segregate and pay overtime hours on a workweek basis when employees are paid on a bi-weekly or semi-monthly basis.
(7)  Failure to pay for travel from shop to work-site and back.

Contractors and sub-contractors working at construction sites are usually paid according the contracts/bids they make to complete a part of the project or the job. Make sure you are being properly paid for ALL of the hours you work each week by keeping a separate record of time you clock in for work, your lunch breaks, and the time you clock out each day.

The exemptions provided by FLSA Section 13(a)(1) do not apply to manual laborers or other “blue collar” workers, including non-management construction workers, who perform work involving repetitive operations with their hands, physical skill and energy.

Such nonexempt “blue collar” employees gain the skills and knowledge required for performance of their routine manual and physical work through apprenticeships and on-the-job training, not through the prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction required for exempt learned professional employees.

Non-management construction employees in production, maintenance and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, construction workers and laborers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime premium pay under the FLSA, and are not exempt no matter how highly paid they might be.

 If you are not being properly paid, call us to discuss your options.
Updated 9/7/2014