Connect with us

Workers

Potential Zoom Vulnerability | Unemployment Benefits for Gig Workers | Postponed Regulatory Reporting for Financial Institutions |

Published

on

COVID-19

Attorneys General Move to Limit Debt Collection in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

  • AGs across the country are taking action to limit or cease debt collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Massachusetts AG Maura Healey issued emergency regulations placing new limits on debt collection activities, including prohibiting creditors and debt collectors from engaging in activities that would require people to leave their houses or interact with others in person, like filing new lawsuits, repossessing cars, or visiting debtors at their homes or work places, and also prohibiting debt collection agencies and debt buyers from making unsolicited debt collection telephone calls to consumers.
  • North Carolina AG Josh Stein temporarily suspended debt collection efforts by the state’s Department of Justice. He also sent a letter to local and municipal utilities urging them not to disconnect residents with unpaid utility bills from essential services such as water, electricity, and gas, and to suspend late fees for nonpayment of utility bills.
  • As previously reported, New York AG Letitia James announced the temporary suspension of the collection of medical and student debt owed to the state and referred to the AG’s office for collection. The accrual of interest and the collection of fees on these debts will also be automatically suspended.

Data Privacy & Security

“Who Just Joined?” New York Attorney General Questions Sufficiency of Zoom’s Security

  • New York AG Letitia James sent a letter to videoconferencing company Zoom, Inc., seeking information regarding the security measures Zoom has put in place to handle surging traffic resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased activity of hackers on its platform.
  • According to reports, in the letter AG James expresses concern that Zoom’s “existing security practices might not be sufficient to adapt to the recent and sudden surge in both the volume and sensitivity of data being passed through its network.”
  • In part, the AG’s concerns relate to increasing acts of sabotage by internet trolls who hijack meetings and post offensive messages and images, a practice known as “Zoombombing.”

Labor & Employment

New York Court of Appeals Delivers Win to Attorney General, Gig Worker Over Unemployment Benefits

  • New York AG Letitia James obtained a favorable ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals against the food-delivery company Postmates, Inc., holding that workers for the company are considered employees for the purposes of unemployment benefits.
  • A terminated Postmates courier applied for unemployment benefits and New York’s Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board found the courier was an employee and thus entitled to receive unemployment benefits. Postmates appealed, arguing that its couriers were independent contractors and that it did not exercise sufficient control over their work to create an employer-employee relationship.
  • In its decision, the Court of Appeals found that Postmates exercised sufficient control because it controlled all aspects of pricing, payment, and delivery timing and destination.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

CFPB Temporarily Postpones Reporting for Financial Institutions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) announced a temporary relaxation of certain regulatory requirements so that financial companies can better assist their customers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The CFPB temporarily will “not expect” quarterly reporting by mortgage lenders required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation C, and reporting of information relating to credit card and prepaid accounts under the Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z, and Regulation E. The CFPB also announced a postponement of a survey of financial institutions seeking information on the cost of compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act, and a postponement of a survey of firms providing Property Assessed Clean Energy financing to consumers.
  • In addition, the CFPB will work with financial institutions to schedule examinations and other supervisory activities to minimize disruption and burden and in consideration of the circumstances that financial entities may face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumer Protection

Student Loan Debt Relief Offer with Steep Upfront Fees? That’s a Red Flag

  • The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with student loan debt relief companies SLAC, Inc., Navloan, Inc., and Student Loan Assistance Center, LLC and their owner (collectively “SLAC”) to resolve allegations that they engaged in deceptive or abusive marketing by falsely promising to lower or eliminate consumers’ student loans in return for illegal fees, and by using misleading consumer testimonials, in violation of the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
  • The FTC’s complaint alleged, among other things, that SLAC promised to lower or eliminate consumers’ student loans in exchange for an upfront fee of $699 and a monthly fee of $39 even though student loan payments could change every year and loan forgiveness cannot be guaranteed. The complaint also alleged that SLAC paid consumers for positive Better Business Bureau reviews without disclosing the monetary incentive in the review.
  • Under the terms of the stipulated final order, the defendants are banned from providing debt relief services. The order also includes a $23.9 million judgement, which will be suspended upon SLAC’s forfeiture of $470,000 in assets.

2020 AG Elections

Third Republican Enters Race for Washington Attorney General

  • Mike Vaska, a Seattle attorney in private practice, announced his bid for the Republican nomination for Washington AG.
  • Mr. Vaska is the third Republican to enter the race to unseat incumbent democratic AG Bob Ferguson, joining former Pierce County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Larkin and former Seattle police officer and attorney Brett Rogers.
  • The top two finishers in the state’s primary, regardless of party, will advance to the general election.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Workers

New weekly unemployment claims in state rise to 17,130, gig worker claims spike – Sterling Journal-Advocate

Published

on

By

DENVER — An additional 17,130 people filed for traditional unemployment benefits in the week ending Nov. 28, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday, an increase of 2,001 from the week prior.

The number of people in Colorado who applied for state-level Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in that week rose nearly 93%, from 7,369 claims in the week ending Nov. 21 to 14,242 in the week ending Nov 28. That program is assistance for gig workers, the self-employed and others who wouldn’t normally qualify for regular benefits.

CDLE senior economist Ryan Gedney said the increases in that segment of claims coincided with 15 counties in Colorado going to higher levels of COVID-19 restrictions and may also be driven by claimants exhausting other types of benefits.

The total number of continuing claims made in the state was at 224,076 for the week of Nov. 7, which include all state and federal assistance programs, up 10,373 from the week before.

The amount of regular benefits paid out by the department declined by $2.4 million from the prior week to $30 million.

Several unemployment beneficiaries are expected to receive a one-time $375 payment from the state coffers after Gov. Jared Polis ordered payments as a small stimulus.

Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department said 712,000 Americans filed for first-time benefits in the period, an increase of 75,000 from the week prior.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC

Source link

Continue Reading

Workers

DoorDash CEO Calls For 3-Step Plan To Modernize Workplace Law To Match Gig Innovation | Fisher Phillips

Published

on

By

In a recent op-ed penned in Business Insider, DoorDash co-founder and CEO Tony Xu laid out a three-step plan necessary to ensure that our nation’s workplace laws stay current to address the ever-growing gig economy by creating a hybrid model of worker somewhere between employee and independent contractor. The November 29 piece also discusses some of the ways in which his company and similar businesses have been instrumental in providing needed services to consumers and all-important compensation for workers looking to manage through the pandemic and ongoing financial crisis.

Some Facts And Figures

Xu explains why he think gig work has become a necessary component to the country’s economy, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. He notes that:

  • 7 million new workers joined the company’s platform since March 2020 to perform work;
  • during the first six-and-a-half months of the pandemic, workers on his company’s platform earned nearly $3.5 billion;
  • of that, $2.1 billion was earned by workers who live in zip codes with above-average Black and/or Latinx representation;
  • 76% of workers indicate that working for DoorDash has had a positive impact on their ability to provide for themselves and their family;
  • 91% of DoorDash workers work fewer than 10 hours per week, with an average of four or fewer hours;
  • 4 out of 5 DoorDash workers say that gig work is not their main source of income; and
  • more than 3 out of 4 of them say they have another job or are in school.

Why Is Innovation Needed?

Regular readers of this blog will appreciate these words from Xu: “Instead of getting caught in the no-win dichotomy of employment versus independent contracting, we need a third way that recognizes that this new approach to working is here to stay. That’s because workers want it and it provides the legal protections and benefits they deserve — it’s as simple as that.” He notes that the overwhelming support that Proposition 22 received from California voters is a testament to the importance of flexible work – and all the more reason why a new path is needed when it comes to workplace laws. “This is a signal to the rest of America that change is vital and now is the time for innovative solutions across the country,” he says.

Xu notes that he and his company are taking the lead and partnering with policymakers and a variety of stakeholders – including workers – in the hopes of building a legal framework that would support today’s workforce. “It’s a vision that reflects what Dashers have told us works best for them — not the workforce of 75 years ago,” he says, referencing the federal wage and hour law (the FLSA) that was crafted at a time that no one could have conceived of the concept of gig economy work as it currently stands.

So What Would Innovation Look Like? A 3-Step Plan

Xu suggests the need for a three-pronged platform to create the system necessary to support the gig economy of today. The three keys? It needs to be portable, proportional, and flexible. The system, as he proposes, would allow app-based gig workers to maintain their independence while getting access to employee-like benefits.

  • Portable: By connecting benefits to individual workers, individuals could freely move from platform to platform without interruption or loss of funding.
  • Proportional: Workers would receive the benefit of accident coverage and workers’ comp-like insurance in proportion to the engagement they have with a particular gig company.
  • Flexible: Gig workers would be able to choose the benefits they want or need, retaining the same sort of freedom that they enjoy with gig work itself.

Xu also notes that protections against workplace discrimination and harassment should exist for every worker – “full stop” – in any revised system.

This op-ed is another positive step towards advancing the conversation in this area. I recommend you read the entire piece here. We’ll continue to monitor this debate and report back with further developments.

Source link

Continue Reading

Workers

New weekly unemployment claims in state rise to 17,130, gig worker claims spike – The Fort Morgan Times

Published

on

By

DENVER — An additional 17,130 people filed for traditional unemployment benefits in the week ending Nov. 28, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday, an increase of 2,001 from the week prior.

The number of people in Colorado who applied for state-level Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in that week rose nearly 93%, from 7,369 claims in the week ending Nov. 21 to 14,242 in the week ending Nov 28. That program is assistance for gig workers, the self-employed and others who wouldn’t normally qualify for regular benefits.

CDLE senior economist Ryan Gedney said the increases in that segment of claims coincided with 15 counties in Colorado going to higher levels of COVID-19 restrictions and may also be driven by claimants exhausting other types of benefits.

The total number of continuing claims made in the state was at 224,076 for the week of Nov. 7, which include all state and federal assistance programs, up 10,373 from the week before.

The amount of regular benefits paid out by the department declined by $2.4 million from the prior week to $30 million.

Several unemployment beneficiaries are expected to receive a one-time $375 payment from the state coffers after Gov. Jared Polis ordered payments as a small stimulus.

Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department said 712,000 Americans filed for first-time benefits in the period, an increase of 75,000 from the week prior.

© 2020 BizWest Media LLC

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 Gigger.news.