Workers’ Rights Violations Plague Home Care Industry

Investigations into home care agencies across New York City have uncovered widespread violations surrounding wages, sick leave and a lack of transparency around wage parity.

The enforcement initiative, led by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs involves 42 home care agencies and 50,000 affected home care workers of the city’s estimated 200,000 home care workers.

There are at least 817 home health care providers operating in Queens, according to a state department of health database.

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A daughter hugs her mother with Alzheimer's.// Photo courtesy of the Alzheimer's Association

Make a BOLD Move: Improve Care For People with Alzheimer’s

Frustration is one of the most commonly expressed emotions when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Too often, the diagnosis comes after symptoms have become serious enough to interfere with daily life. The information provided immediately after a diagnosis can be overwhelming and it is difficult for those who have been diagnosed and their families to know where to turn for support.

The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (H.R.4256/S.2076),will help to remedy this situation by improving individual treatment plans while creating a more dementia capable health care system. This federal legislation will strengthen our country’s response to Alzheimer’s and related dementias by mobilizing public health resources and enhancing public awareness.

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Assembly Member Ari Espinal (left), Council Member Francisco Moya (center) and car wash worker Ernesto Salazar called on the Department of Labor to end the tip credit. // Photo courtesy of Francisco Moya

Moya, Workers’ Rights Advocates Demand End to Tip Credit

Workers’ rights advocates and labor unions joined Council Member Francisco Moya at City Hall Tuesday to demand an end to the “tip credit” system, which enables employers in various industries to pay less than minimum wage.

“The livelihoods of restaurant servers, car wash workers, nail salon employees or any tipped worker should not be dependent on tolerating sexual harassment and discrimination but our two-tiered minimum wage system incentivizes silently suffering these indignities,” Moya said. “It’s time for New York to join the seven other states that have eliminated the tipped credit and provide tipped workers with the stability that comes from being guaranteed a living wage.”

A tip credit is the amount of tips earned by an employee that the law allows his or her employer to count as a credit against the minimum wage requirements for that industry, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

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Council Member Robert Cornegy coaches a constituent as she test-drives an electric scooter. // Photo by Andy Katz

Bird Scooters Flock to Queens and Brooklyn

Compared to residents in cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Tel Aviv,  New Yorkers have been a little late to embrace the electric scooter as an alternative to pokey buses or perpetually delayed subways.

New Yorkers have encountered one big obstacle — the vehicles are not yet street legal.

That could change soon, however. And one company is betting that Queens and Brooklyn residents — especially those affected by the looming L train shutdown — will flock to the new mode of transportation once it becomes widely available.

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The DOB Active Major Construction map provides an automated daily update of all currently active New Building and Alteration Type 1 Enlargement permits. // Image courtesy of DOB

DOB Debuts Interactive Construction Map

Thanks to a new tool from the Department of Buildings, you can find out exactly what’s going on above the scaffolding that just went up on your block.  

At more than 6,300 other work sites, too.

The DOB launched an interactive Active Major Construction map that allows curious residents to view all active major construction sites, with buildings on the map categorized by square footage, estimated cost and the proposed number of units with larger points denoting higher values.

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Main Street in Flushing. Photo by Chun Yip So

Free Flushing Tours Demonstrate Neighborhood’s Diverse Charm

More than 500,000 visitors from every corner of the world converge on the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center each year for the U.S. Open. This tournament, one local organization plans to show them that Flushing is more than just a tennis hub with a baseball stadium nearby.

Starting today, the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce will host Discover Flushing, a free walking tour series that takes place for throughout the tournament, which ends Sept. 9.

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A Department of Sanitation garbage truck. Photo by Jason Lawrence.

Trash Law Treasured In Southeast Queens

The smell of trash and the rumble of garbage trucks are all too common experiences for residents of Southeast Queens.

For years, Community District 12 — which includes Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Baisley Park, Rochdale Village and South Jamaica — has been a literal dumping ground for the rest of New York City, but starting next year, the trash burden will lighten.

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Activists hold signs that say “Children Are Going to Die” during a speed camera demonstration outside a school in Woodside. // Photo courtesy of TransAlt

Van Bramer Is Latest Lawmaker to Clock School Speeders

The site of local lawmakers gripping radar guns to clock drivers outside Queens schools has become a familiar one for motorists cruising through Queens school zones this summer.

Ever since the State Senate allowed the school speed camera program to expire last month, Assembly Members, Senators and Council Members have united with advocacy organizations to keep the issue front and center in the minds of senate Republicans, constituents and drivers

With schools set to open for classes in less than three weeks, District 26 Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer headed to the Razi School on Queens Boulevard yesterday.

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Council Member I. Daneek Miller (pink shirt) and Council Speaker Corey Johnson (blue tie) participate in a prayer at the Islamic Circle of North America in Jamaica. // Photo courtesy of I. Daneek Miller

As Hate Crimes Surge, Miller Announces $250K to Support Muslim Community

Last Friday, Council Member I. Daneek Miller joined Council Speaker Corey Johnson to announce a $250,000 commitment to local Muslim organizations, in conjunction with the New York Immigration Coalition.

The money is part of the city’s commitment to establishing a Muslim Empowerment Initiative.  

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