As a corollary to my earlier post about Trends in Leave Policies, I wanted to highlight two large companies who have committed to raising wages for their employees. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a letter to employees on Monday announcing that all employees and store managers in U.S. company-run stores will enjoy a base pay raise of 5 percent or more come October. These raises will affect employees in approximately 7,600 Starbucks locations in the United States.
Back in March, members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging members of the team are paid less than members of the men’s team, violating the federal Equal Pay Act. The players argue they are paid almost four times less than their male counterparts (for example, if the women’s team wins the world cup, each player gets a $75,000 bonus; if the men’s team wins, each player gets a staggering bonus of $9.375 million).
Most people we meet with in our practice have, unfortunately, been discharged from their job. Those who are “lucky” have been offered some sort of severance from their former employer. The rest have been let go with nothing more than a final paycheck and some unused PTO. This frequently leads to the question, is severance pay required under Iowa law? Regrettably, the answer is no.
I recently blogged on the topic of classifying individuals as employees versus independent contractors. Two recent rulings from California courts have put this issue back in the news. Both cases involve companies who misclassified drivers as independent contractors and thus cheated the drivers out of wages they lawfully earned as employees.
On July 8, 2015, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that drivers for FedEx “who drive a vehicle on a full-time basis” were considered “employees,” rather than “independent contractors,” as a matter of law. What does that mean and why does it matter to Iowans?