Immigrant Construction Workers Secure Victory in 4-Year Battle for Improved Workplace Safety

New York City’s construction industry is notoriously dangerous, especially for immigrant workers on non-union construction sites. In 2022 alone, 24 construction workers died at construction sites across the city, a 20% increase from just the year before, with Latino workers making up a disproportionate number of the fatalities. Although construction site death continues to trend upward, indigenous Guatemalan construction workers in Brooklyn have succeeded in making their workplace a lot safer.

City Data Shows Success of NY Minimum Wage for App Workers

On April 1, delivery workers across the city received a bump in pay to at least $19.56 per hour before tips, thanks to the second phase of New York City’s historic minimum wage law for app-based delivery workers. Despite some concerns regarding apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash complying with the law, since last December, data obtained from the New York Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) shows that the law has had transformative results by putting more money in delivery workers’

Uber and Lyft Wage Theft Settlements: AG Warns Against Scams

The claim process for Uber and Lyft drivers to receive their portion of the back pay settlement began on March 7. Following the New York State Attorney General’s investigation on wage theft, on November 2, Uber and Lyft agreed to a $328 million settlement on wage theft allegations in New York State. To be eligible, Lyft drivers who worked between October 11, 2015, and July 31, 2017, and had deductions taken for New York sales tax and Black Car Fund fees are eligible for a settlement. They can f

Immigrant Advocates: 'Leave Blank' in Democratic Primary

With the New York Democratic presidential primary here, a dedicated movement has been organizing across the state to convince voters to leave their ballots blank in opposition to the Biden administration’s support of Israel’s attacks in Gaza. Although President Biden is all but assured of his party’s nomination, the organizers hope that if enough ballots are left blank, it will send a powerful message to the president to support a lasting ceasefire in Gaza. “The Abandon Biden campaign is a civi

NYC Civil Rights Groups Demand Probe of West Bank Home Sales

Arab-American and Muslim civil rights organizations are calling for state and federal officials to investigate the sale of Israeli-occupied West Bank settlements in the Tri-State area that they allege were only open to Jewish buyers, a claim that the event organizers dispute. Lamya Agarwala, supervising attorney for the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), told Documented that real estate events that are only open to prospective Jewish buyers could be in dire

Canary Mission Targets City Council Member for Pro-Palestinian Comments

When Shahana Hanif took her seat on the New York City Council in 2022, becoming the city’s first Muslim woman elected to the body, she expected her fair share of criticism. As a vocal progressive, she has not been shy in her support for numerous left-wing causes, such as defunding the NYPD’s budget and blocking U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from targeting immigrant communities. More recently, however, Hanif’s call for a ceasefire in Gaza and her October arrest at a rally demanding bo

In Historic First, Construction Contractor Criminally Charged in Immigrant Worker's Death

When 46-year-old immigrant construction worker Jose Vega was killed on May 4, 2021, his death was another incident in the growing number of trench-related fatalities for the year. But on Monday, Vega’s death made history when a Westchester County Grand Jury indicted his supervisor, Michael Conway, 59, who was overseeing the construction site when Vega died. The indictment, which comes after a 3-year investigation, marks the first time Westchester County has ever held an employer criminally res

New OSHA Rule Could Allow Workers to Bring Advocates Onto Work Sites

Workers may have new allies in the fight for better jobsite conditions. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) issued a final rule on February 7, that will allow both union and non-union workers to select a representative from a workers’ center, a labor union, an attorney, or any representative they choose, to accompany OSHA during a worksite safety inspection. “Congress considered worker participation a key element of workplace safety and health inspections when it pa

New York’s Delivery App Minimum Wage Law, Explained

Since New York City’s historic minimum wage law for app-based delivery workers came into effect last December, numerous labor issues have surfaced. Apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash have implemented new policies to limit the number of delivery workers on the road and have made tipping harder. The workers themselves have reported unfair deactivations based on minor infractions. A recent Documented investigation found that, since December, the New York Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

Uber and Lyft Wage Theft Settlement Explained

Following a New York State investigation on wage theft, on November 2nd, Uber and Lyft agreed on a settlement that would pay out drivers $328 million to settle wage theft allegations in New York state. For Lyft Drivers: The Office of the New York State Attorney General negotiated a settlement with Lyft that creates a $38 million settlement fund. You may be eligible for payments if you drove for Lyft between October 11, 2015, and July 31, 2017, and had deductions taken for New York sales tax and

New York Department of Labor Not Doing Enough to Stop Child Labor, Report Finds

Every year, thousands of New Yorkers fall victim to wage theft and other workplace violations, with child labor in particular on the rise. Despite how widespread those problems are, the New York Department of Labor is leaving labor violation cases to languish, in some cases for up to a year, according to an audit released last week by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Of the wage-related cases reviewed in the audit, 80 percent remained open after one year. Of the 225 cases that they manage

Delivery Workers Say Apps Have Failed to Compy with New Pay Rate

When New York City’s minimum wage law for app-based delivery workers came into effect in December, workers were guaranteed a minimum wage of at least $17.96 per hour. Yet advocates and delivery workers say that apps like UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub have been finding ways to avoid paying the new wages. Since December, according to the New York Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), which is responsible for enforcing the new wage standards, the agency has received approximately

Delivery Workers Fear Mayor's Plan to Regulate Industry Could Lead to Criminalization

As part of his State of the City address on Wednesday, Mayor Eric Adams announced an ambitious proposal to create a brand new city agency called the Department of Sustainable Delivery. The proposed agency would regulate the booming app-based delivery industry which currently employs 65,000 delivery workers. If implemented, the first-in-the-nation regulatory entity would establish clear goals and guidelines for the growing delivery industry and consolidate enforcement currently spread out over m

Queens College and NYPD Investigate Muslim Student Association's Instagram Post

With the start of the CUNY spring semester this week, members of the Queens College Muslim Association are fearing returning to a campus that they believe has turned increasingly hostile toward them. “I really felt like I did not belong in Queens College and that I had to fight extra hard and I had to suppress my emotions just so I can fit in and be a part of the college,” said Nahian Islam, 24, an international student from Bangladesh, who started classes Thursday. Also Read: New York City Hi

Warwick Hotel Workers Say Union Failing to Help Get Jobs Back

When the pandemic began, the historic Warwick Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, like many businesses at the time, received millions in the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program was set up during the height of the pandemic to help small businesses keep workers on their payrolls. Small business owners and nonprofits were encouraged to rehire employees who were laid off due to the pandemic, but they were not required to rehire them. However, to qualify for full forgiveness, businesses h

New York’s 65,000 Delivery Workers One Step Closer to Earning Minimum Wage

Today, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled that New York City’s app-based food delivery workers’ minimum pay rate should take effect. The law, which is to be enforced by the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection and was set to take effect on July 12, would guarantee that app-based delivery workers be paid at least $17.96 an hour, not including tips. Almost immediately, delivery app-based companies such as Uber Eats and DoorDash filed a lawsuit to block the law, placing i

NYC's Unionized Building Cleaners Move Closer to Striking

New York’s nearly 20,000 unionized building cleaners are getting closer than ever to walking off the job for the first time since 1996. On November 28, 32BJ, the union representing the workers, met for the second time with The Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations (RAB) to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. As the union initially feared, RAB, an association representing commercial property owners, offered minor wage increases but asked that workers contribute to their healthcar

Halal Cart Vendors Harassed by Former Obama Adviser Stuart Seldowitz

On November 7, a man approached Q Halal Cart on 83rd and Second Avenue and launched into an Islamophobic tirade, attacking the operator’s faith and culture and accusing him of supporting terrorists. It was the first of several incidents where Stuart Seldowitz, a former senior political officer in the U.S. State Department, berated the operators of the street cart. “We never have any trouble with anyone,” said Sam, an Egyptian immigrant who works at the cart and declined to give his full name. “

New York’s 20,000 Building Cleaners Ready to Strike for a Fair Contract

New York City’s office buildings employ nearly as many cleaning workers as it took to build the Hoover Dam. Like clockwork, the 20,000 office cleaners work day and night to ensure New York’s 1,300 buildings have their trash disposed of and their bathrooms clean. Now many of those cleaners, members of the labor union Local 32BJ, have vowed to walk off the job on New Year’s Eve if a new and fair contract isn’t reached with some of the largest real estate companies in the city. Their current colle

New York City High School Students Walk Out to Demand Ceasefire In Gaza

Outside the steps of the 42nd Street Library, close to a thousand demonstrators gathered Thursday night, demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, which has cost the lives of nearly 10,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis thus far. Among the demonstrators were hundreds of New York City public school students who had walked out of their classrooms earlier that day in protest. Together they chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as they stood atop the library
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