New York’s Legislative Session Ends With Labor Rights Victories and Defeats

As New York’s legislative session came to a close last Friday, several pro-labor bills passed both the Assembly and the Senate to great fanfare from supporters. Still, several other pro-labor bills were forced to languish until lawmakers reconvene next year. Here’s a brief rundown of what passed and was left behind. Despite the age-old adage that the customer is always right, working in the retail industry has never been more dangerous. Over the past few years, retail workers have experienced a

Immigrant New Yorkers Debate Trump at Rally in the Bronx

Thousands of New Yorkers gathered in South Bronx’s Crotona Park on Thursday to hear the former president give a defiant speech amidst his ongoing criminal trial currently taking place in Lower Manhattan. Local residents of the neighborhood, many of them immigrants, came out to protest or voice support for the presidential candidate. The crowd was an eclectic mix of New Yorkers mingling amongst the heavy fog of marijuana smoke. Although passionate debates and outright arguments could be heard, t

Employees at 1199SEIU, One of the City’s Most Powerful Unions, Are Organizing for Their Own Staff Union

Staff members at 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, one of the city’s most powerful and influential unions, have not been able to enjoy the same union protections they help ensure for thousands of New Yorkers. To change that, 1199SEIU staff, which includes many immigrant workers, are pushing to form their own union with the Newsguild-CWA Local 32035 and AFL-CIO. Yet despite working directly for a labor union, staff say the campaign, which was first discussed in January but was made public

Nail Salon Workers' Reproductive Health Crisis Exposed in New Report

In the span of eight years, Pabitra Dash said she suffered seven miscarriages. Speaking with Documented in 2022, Dash, a Nepali nail salon worker, attributed her string of miscarriages to the daily exposure of toxic chemicals present in the nail polishes and glues she inhaled while working at various nail salons. Now a new report by the New York Healthy Nail Salons Coalition confirms that many of the mostly immigrant women workers like Dash have experienced complications during pregnancy becaus

NYC Company Pinned to 'Dirty Dozen' List of Most Dangerous Employers

Although Ivan Frias, 36, was certified in fall protection by Valor Security & Investigations, on Nov. 28, 2022, he fell 15 floors to his death while working on a non-union construction site in the Upper West Side. His death became another grim statistic as it was the third death of a worker that month. The year 2022 was a particularly deadly year for construction workers in New York, with 24 construction workers losing their lives on the job, up from 17 just the year before. Most were immigrant

Is Your Job Unsafe? Start a Workplace Safety Committee

It’s a dangerous time to be a worker in New York right now. In 2022, there were 83 fatal workplace injuries, up from 70 just the year before. Latino workers accounted for 40 percent of those who died. Many of the workers died doing low-paid non-union jobs in the construction industry. Now thanks to a new law, workers have been given a new tool to make their workplace safer: Workplace Safety Committees. On Dec. 28, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Senate Bill 9450, which inc

Brooklyn Man Targeting Migrants, Allegedly Taking Wages-

On the outside, the small two-story house that stood on an otherwise quiet street in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, seemed deserted. But from the sidewalk, the sounds of drills and banging hammers rumbled inside. When a worker opened the door, nearly a dozen migrant men appeared. Most were from Ecuador, and were dressed in work boots with paint splattered on their pants. They said they worked 8-hour days — sometimes longer — in close quarters without any safety equipment. Despite the two stop work

Wage Theft: What to Know If You Think Your Wages Are Stolen

Wage theft is rampant across New York. Between 2017 and 2021, federal and state agencies reported that over 127,000 workers across the state have fallen victim to wage theft amounting to $203 million in stolen wages. Many more cases go unreported. Although any worker could have their wages stolen by unscrupulous employers, it’s important to be aware of what your rights are in case you find yourself in that unfortunate situation. The first thing to know is that regardless of your legal status,

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
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