Employees

Prop 22 Asks: Should App-Based Drivers Be Classified as Contractors Instead of Employees? (Transcript)

Sam Harnett [00:05:17] So that means if you’re driving for Uber and let’s say you don’t get a ride for an hour, well, you don’t get paid for that hour of driving around even though you were working. So that’s like a really important kind of distinction. And I guess, the thing with Proposition 22 is, it’s all – it all gets very complicated in the details, but basically, if you look at the package, it’s going to guarantee a slight improvement to the benefits and protections for the contractors, but it’s far short of what you’d get in employee status.

Olivia Allen-Price [00:05:42] Could other industries be impacted if this passes.

Sam Harnett [00:05:45] It creates this sort of third category that you can bet that corporations are going to go for because they can see a way to make money. And if you remember, Uber and Lyft, you know, started the gig app trend, but Instacart, PostMates, DoorDash, all these companies followed Uber and Lyft by creating apps to create more jobs that were contractor and not employee. So, you can bet that a lot of other industries, if they can figure out a way, you know, if trucking can get on an app, you know, maybe there’s a way to have warehouse workers work through an app. This opens the door for more companies to try to find ways to fit this model because contractors are way cheaper than employees.

Olivia Allen-Price [00:06:24] Now, what are these companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash, etc., what are their arguments for why people should vote for 22?

Sam Harnett [00:06:32] I’d say their primary argument is: This will allow us to keep operating as we were operating. It’s basically a pitch to consumers saying, hey, you know, you liked

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Lowe’s gives $100 million more in bonuses to hourly employees

Shoppers wearing protective masks wait in line to enter a Lowe’s Cos. store in San Bruno, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lowe’s said Wednesday it will give $100 million more in bonuses to hourly employees, as strong demand for home improvement continues.

It marks the sixth time the home improvement retailer has given additional pay to workers at its stores, distribution centers and support centers during the coronavirus pandemic. It gave bonuses to part-time, full-time and seasonal employees in March, May, July and August. It also increased pay by $2 an hour for the month of April. 

With the latest round, the home improvement retailer will have paid more than $675 million in additional pay to employees this year. It will pay the latest bonuses on Oct. 16. Full-time hourly employees will receive $300 and part-time and seasonal hourly employees will receive $150.

Also Wednesday, Lowe’s announced a cash tender offer for up to $3.5 billion of its outstanding debt securities. The company said the goal of the offer is to reduce its interest expenses and manage the maturities of its debt. 

Other retailers, including Walmart, Target and Kroger, have also given bonuses or increased worker pay during the pandemic. Walmart has given three rounds of bonuses and said it would remain closed on Thanksgiving to give employees time with their families. Target speeded along plans to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour as it phased out a temporary, pandemic-related $2 an hour wage increase.

Customers have shopped at Lowe’s for DIY supplies, kitchen appliances and landscaping tools as they spend more time at home during the pandemic. The global health crisis has also inspired some Americans to move out of cities and buy homes in suburban or

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Federal survey allows employees to voice their concerns, enable improvements | Article

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – With three weeks left, the push is on for federal civilians to take an online survey to gauge the workforce’s views on various topics to help leadership develop better policy changes.It’s called the Office of Personnel Management Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.As of Sept. 25, two weeks into the open window to take the survey, the U.S. Army Sustainment Command had 7% of its employees participate. The minimum Army goal is 50%. For 2019, ASC had a participation rate of 48.8%.The 38-question survey, which is offered through Oct. 27 and takes about 20 – 30 minutes to complete, gives employees a high-visibility venue to voice their opinions about their workplace environment.“I genuinely ask for your participation so we gain a complete representation of how you feel ASC is doing,” stated Matt Sannito, deputy to the commanding general, ASC, in a recent organization-wide email.Although the annual survey is voluntary, employees may use official time to complete it. After completing, responses are combined to create reports that indicate what employees’ thoughts are on topics such as transparency, wages, and quality of leadership.Additionally, it measures employees’ perceptions of senior leadership, immediate supervisors, and intrinsic work experience, an Army PowerPoint slide presentation stated.All responses are kept confidential.The results provide valuable insight for ASC leaders into the strengths and challenges within the workplace to ensure their organization has an effective civilian workforce. The annual FEVS results are a major contributing factor used for the identification, development, and implementation of new command initiatives.One proof-positive example of surveys like this manifesting into results is the Strategic Human Capital Plan, pointed out ASC’s Melissa Peterson, Civilian Personnel, G-1 (Human Resources).In a letter to support the SHCP 2020 – 2025 program, Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, ASC commanding general, wrote: “We will achieve performance expectations and

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Foreign Hacker Sentenced in $1M Scam Targeting Federal Employees and Contractors

A foreign national charged with setting up fake government websites, hacking federal employees’ emails and defrauding agency contractors of almost $1 million has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

According to federal investigators, Olumide Ogunremi, 43, a citizen of Nigeria who also goes by the name Tony Williams, was part of a criminal ring that used phishing emails and counterfeit websites to trick federal employees into giving up their digital credentials, which were then used to buy goods to sell on the black market.

In the latter half of 2013, Ogunremi and his co-conspirators sent phishing emails to employees at several federal agencies directing them to fake websites, “including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” according to a Justice Department release.

“Unwitting employees of the agencies visited the fake web pages and provided their email account usernames and passwords,” Justice officials said.

The group then used those valid credentials to place orders—mostly for printer toner cartridges—with vendors contracted through the General Services Administration. The commercial goods were then shipped to scammers’ addresses in New Jersey before being repackaged and sent to Nigeria to be sold through underground markets.

The scheme netted almost $1 million in stolen office products before being shut down, according to prosecutors.

Inspectors general from several agencies contributed to the investigation, including EPA, GSA and the Commerce Department, as well as investigators with the Defense Department’s Cyber Field Office and the FBI.

Ogunremi was originally set to plead guilty to the wire fraud charges in March 2018 but fled to Canada prior to a court appearance. He was extradited from Canada and returned to the U.S. in September 2019 to stand trial.

Last week, Ogunremi was ordered to pay $68,618 in restitution and sentenced to 36 months in prison, followed by two years of

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Are Your Loan Officers Employees or Independent Contractors

Many mortgage lenders/brokers treat their loan officers (who are their salespersons) as independent contractors. Those loan officers are paid on a commission based on the successful funding of a loan. The mortgage lenders/brokers pay the loan officers either as each transaction closes or on a periodic basis. The amount paid to the loan officer contains no deduction for federal, state or local taxes. Frequently, the loan officer does not receive any benefits, such as company-paid health insurance or paid sick or vacation time. At the end of each year, the mortgage lenders/brokers issue IRS Form 1099s to their loan officers.

As a mortgage lender/broker, you cannot classify whether your loan officers are independent contractors or employees. That task has been given to the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, your state unemployment insurance agency, your state department of labor and your state workers compensation insurance agency. Although each agency has its own guidelines, typically the determination turns on the degree of control that the mortgage lender/broker exercises and the degree of independence that the loan officer enjoys. When the mortgage lender/broker has the right to dictate what will be done and how it will be done, then the loan officer is an employee. The government agencies look at facts concerning the behavioral control of the loan officer, the financial control of the loan officer and the relationship between the mortgage lender/broker and the loan officer. The Internal Revenue Service has a 20 factor test to determine whether an employer/employee relationship exists. Such factors include whether the loan officer has to comply with instructions, gets training from the mortgage lender/broker, works exclusively for the mortgage lender/broker, whether the loan officer can independently hire assistants, whether the loan officer has set hours of work, whether there is a continuing relationship, …

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