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DOL Commissioner Roberta Reardon (red jacket, left) with Governor Kathy Hochul at a Women's Equality Day event in Albany on August 26, 2022.
Hochul Administration Pushes Back Against Unemployment Benefit Overpayment Reform

No state pursues workers for overpaid unemployment benefits as aggressively as New York. A proposed reform is colliding with New York’s own repayment problem.

Maxwell Parrott   ·   June 6, 2024
An illustration of a McDonalds sign above the New York State Capitol
McDonald’s Franchise Owners Fight Wage Theft Crackdown

New Yorkers for Local Businesses has spent half a million dollars trying to kill a bill to help workers recover stolen wages. Almost all its backers appear to own McDonald’s franchises.

Julia Rock   ·   May 9, 2024
The New York State Department of Labor office in Brooklyn, New York.
New York’s Labor Department Wants Your Unemployment Benefits Back

In New York, unemployment recipients can be found guilty of fraud even if they thought their information was true. The state demands repayment at the highest rate in the country.

Maxwell Parrott   ·   May 9, 2024
Workers set up barriers on a street in New York City.
Last-Minute Budget Change Could Weaken Workers’ Claims to Weekly Pay

Low-wage manual laborers can sue to make their bosses pay them weekly. Hochul’s late-breaking budget addition may undermine that right.

Chris Bragg   ·   April 18, 2024
Activists and New York state Senator Julia Salazar rally to pass good cause eviction in Albany. They stand in the high-ceilinged halls of the Capitol with a white banner reading PASS GOOD CAUSE and various red signs.
Wage Disputes and Tenant Protections Stall Albany Housing Deal

As real estate developers resist wage guarantees and try to roll back tenants’ rights, a potential budget deal is at an impasse.

Sam Mellins   ·   April 4, 2024
A blue car suspended on a post against a blue sky with a sign below reading "PATRIOT AUTO SALES: LETS DEAL TODAY"
Looming Change to Repair Costs Drives Auto Industry Fight

As the state legislature considers a bill to change warranty payments, unions join their bosses to make car companies pay more.

Chris Bragg and Julia Rock   ·   March 29, 2024
New York State Assembly speaker Carl Heastie stands in front of a tile wall with TV microphones.
Lobbyist Dating Carl Heastie Cleared to Return to Assembly — and Ethics Attorney Quits

As the relationship was coming to light, Heastie returned $5,000 in campaign cash to a labor group from which he’d recused himself.

Chris Bragg   ·   March 26, 2024
People gather outside a stone arch with sign that says "Hospital & Emergency Room" displaying letters A, C, D, F, G, H, and an emergency cross.
Retired Teachers Seek Union Shakeup to Dodge Medicare Advantage

In the New York City teachers union, anger over a plan to privatize retiree health care could send a longshot campaign over the edge.

Sam Mellins   ·   February 26, 2024
Morning scenic of a power line field in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY.
Long Island Legislators Unveil Push for Public Power, With Union Nod to Labor Provisions

A new bill to municipalize Long Island’s utility includes key worker protections that the union had sought.

Julia Rock   ·   February 16, 2024
A sign reads "IDAs DRAIN $1.8 BILLION A YEAR FROM NEW YORK SCHOOLS."
Unions Join the Fight to Slash Economic Development Tax Breaks

When local authorities hand out subsidies, school budgets lose revenue. The state teachers union is now pushing back.

Arabella Saunders   ·   February 2, 2024
A classroom full of students with the teacher's silhouette filled in with pennies.
When Schools Assign Substitutes the Wrong Status, the Error Suppresses Their Pay

Long-term subs stay with the same classes and can serve like full-time teachers. New York City schools misclassify them — so their pay doesn’t reflect that.

Teddy Ostrow   ·   January 31, 2024
In school classroom full of children, a teacher silhouette of a teacher is filled in with microscopic coronaviruses.
In New York City Schools, Substitute Teachers Are Systematically Denied Covid Sick Pay

The state established Covid leave to compensate employees who fell ill during the pandemic. One group of essential workers has been unable to claim it.

Teddy Ostrow   ·   January 29, 2024
New York governor Kathy Hochul kneels in a red suit with a child looking out in distress
Hochul Administration’s Inflated Cost Estimate Could Imperil Child Care Bill

The clock is ticking for the governor to sign or veto a bill to expand child care assistance. Her administration might decide it costs too much — but supporters say their numbers are off.

Arabella Saunders   ·   December 21, 2023
The Rochester Police Accountability Board’s Long Fight to Unionize

Can an oversight group be in the same union as the police it monitors?

Maggie Duffy   ·   December 13, 2023
A line of unemployment seekers waits in a San Francisco benefits office during the Great Depression in a black-and-white image. Color clipart of a chatbot is overlayed on the left side
Unemployed New Yorkers Can’t Reach Human Agents at the Labor Department

A Rochester man lost his job while his daughter went through cancer treatment. He’s struggled to communicate with the DOL for months.

Maxwell Parrott   ·   December 5, 2023
A Hands-Off Labor Department Retreats From Wage Theft Enforcement

Under Roberta Reardon, the agency has recovered less and less of workers’ stolen wages. Meanwhile, staff resign, and replacements lag.

Maxwell Parrott   ·   August 16, 2023
New York’s Chosen AI Keeps Users From Collecting Unemployment

ID.me’s facial recognition tool was supposed to help administer unemployment securely. Users say the tech has barred them from their accounts — and their paychecks.

Rebecca Heilweil   ·   June 16, 2023
Photo of benefit workers' protest outside their office building in Syracuse
Workers Blame Low Pay and Understaffing for New York’s Benefits Backlog

Some counties pay social services workers so little, the people who administer benefits end up applying themselves.

Alex Lubben   ·   June 5, 2023
Hochul Calls for Rail Safety Regulations — After Vetoing Keystone Rail Safety Bill

In December, the governor vetoed legislation requiring freight trains to be staffed with at least two crew members. Rail workers say it’s a bare minimum for safety.

Julia Rock   ·   February 28, 2023
Hochul and Senate Clash on Public Power, With Utility Workers on Sidelines

The New York Power Authority manages resources built half a century ago. But a plan to make it the vanguard of clean energy could be hamstrung by labor-environmentalist divisions.

Lee Harris   ·   February 16, 2023
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