Thursday, July 29, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Settles Fair Workweek Cases With Fast Food Franchisees
A Pizza Hut in the Bronx and a McDonald’s in Brooklyn must pay a total $221,356 in restitution to 135 workers for violating the Fair Workweek Law
NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles today announced settlement agreements with two fast food franchisees, a Pizza Hut in the Bronx and a McDonald’s in Brooklyn, to resolve violations of the NYC Fair Workweek Law on behalf of their workers. The settlements require the companies to pay a total of $221,356 in restitution to 135 workers, $17,043 in civil penalties, and to comply with the Law going forward.
Monday, July 26, 2021
New York City Launches NYC[X] Moonshot: Financial Inclusion Challenge, Inviting Innovative Solutions to Serve Unbanked & Underbanked New Yorkers
From July 26 – August 30, the New York City Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer is accepting proposals on how to leverage tech & innovation for financial inclusion and community wealth building for unbanked and underbanked New Yorkers, particularly in the Bronx.
NEW YORK – Today the City of New York launched the NYC[x] Moonshot: Financial Inclusion Challenge to solicit innovative solutions that address the multifaceted barriers unbanked and underbanked New Yorkers in the Bronx and across New York City face and facilitate building community wealth and sustainable economic opportunities. The City encourages stakeholders from a diversity of backgrounds to respond, including fintech companies, community groups, and youth. Partnerships between different stakeholders (e.g., a fintech company and a community-based organization) are strongly encouraged.
Monday, July 26, 2021
Nation’s Top 10 Consumer Complaints
State and Local Agencies Remained on the Front Lines of Consumer Protection During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Washington, D.C. – Pandemic-related problems were among the top ten complaints made to state and local consumer agencies in 2020, according to an annual survey by Consumer Federation of America (CFA). They also topped the lists of worst, fastest-growing, and new complaints. “COVID-19 generated complaints about everything from appliance repairs to childcare, trash pick-up to towing,” said Susan Grant, CFA’s Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy. “Business closings, job lay-offs, supply chain disruptions, social-distancing requirements and travel restrictions put huge strains on consumers and businesses, as the survey shows.” State and local consumer agencies also dealt with a deluge of complaints last year about price-gouging and pandemic-related scams.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
City Extends Free Tax Prep Services to Help New York Families Claim the Advance Child Tax Credit
City will conduct targeted outreach to encourage 250,000+ families who need to act to claim the tax credit
NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles today announced that the City is expanding post-tax season NYC Free Tax Prep services to help New Yorkers who need to file their taxes or use the IRS’ non-filer tool to claim the Advance Child Tax Credit. As an investment in the long-term recovery from the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan made changes to the Child Tax Credit so families get half of the fully refundable credit—worth up to $3,600 per child—as monthly payments in 2021 and the other half as a part of their refund in 2022. Most families will automatically receive the advance payments, but 250,000+ New York City families with more than 400,000 children need to sign up with the IRS to receive the Credit. DCWP and multiple partner agencies and organizations are also working together to raise awareness of the Credit and available resources, and will be conducting targeted outreach in neighborhoods with a high number of non-filers.
Friday, July 9, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Research Finds 301,700 NYC Households Are Unbanked
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles today announced a research brief illustrating the updated number of unbanked households in NYC, detailing demographic information about the unbanked population, and highlighting systemic barriers to banking access. The brief shows that an estimated 301,700 NYC households (9.4 percent) have no bank account, which is slightly lower than previous years but still considerably higher than the national average of 5.4 percent.
Friday, July 2, 2021
Fast Food Worker Just Cause Job Protections Effective July 4
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles today announced that the groundbreaking just cause law for fast food workers goes into effect on July 4 and that resources for employers and employees are now available. Under the new law, fast food employers cannot fire or lay off workers, or reduce their hours by more than 15 percent without just cause or a legitimate economic reason. The just cause law adds critical new job protections for fast food workers in addition to the existing fair scheduling protections under the City’s Fair Workweek Law.
Mayor de Blasio and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Announce $400K Settlement With T-Mobile in Consumer Protection Case
DCWP charged T-Mobile and several of its authorized Metro by T-Mobile dealers for using deceptive sales practices to scam New Yorkers
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles today announced a settlement agreement with T-Mobile USA, Inc. (T-Mobile) to resolve the Agency’s alleged violations of the City’s Consumer Protection Law. As part of the settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay $306,000 in civil penalties and $100,000 toward a claim fund for consumers. This agreement resolves DCWP’s allegations that T-Mobile, its subsidiary MetroPCS NY, and more than 50 of its authorized dealers and corporate stores across New York City, sold used phones as new, overcharged consumers, destroyed customer credit scores, and used deceptive return policies, among other violations.
Monday June 7, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Launches Public Awareness Campaign to Remind New Yorkers of Their Right to Paid Safe and Sick Leave
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Acting Commissioner Sandra Abeles today announced the launch of a new public awareness campaign to educate New Yorkers about their rights under the NYC Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law and to raise awareness about its new amendments that went into effect earlier this year.
Thursday April 29, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Releases Report Examining Predatory Practices in Virtual Lease-to-Own Industry in New York City
The report explores how virtual lease-to-own providers use deceptive and predatory practices to target and take advantage of consumers
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced the release of a report titled “The New Rent-to-Own: More Confusing, Still Expensive, and Offered at an NYC Store Near you.” The report examines the virtual lease-to-own (LTO) industry in New York City, specifically focusing on those promoted by brick-and mortar businesses, which are predominately located in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, and the deceptive tactics used to lure consumers into financing agreements. The report provides recommendations for policy reforms to stop consumer abuse by eliminating the incentives for retailers and No Credit Needed (NCN) companies to profit from consumer deception.
Wednesday April 28, 2021
Lorelei Salas Announces Departure from de Blasio Administration
Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced that she will be stepping down from her role leading the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP). Salas was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in May 2016 and, under her leadership, the agency evolved and expanded its mission and portfolio of work to include protecting and promoting labor standards, prioritized proactive and strategic enforcement against predatory and deceptive businesses that target vulnerable New Yorkers, and committed itself to outreach and education of regulated businesses to build a culture of compliance.
Monday April 26, 2021
Supreme Court Orders Maddy's Furniture to Pay $2.2 Million in Fines and Consumer Restitution in Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Case
DCWP Charged the Furniture Companies with Deceptive Sales Tactics Targeting Low-Income and Immigrant New Yorkers
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced that the New York County Supreme Court has issued a decision in the agency’s case against Maddy’s Home Furniture and More, LLC and related companies, which operate multiple furniture store locations under various names (Maddy’s Home Furniture, Dubai Furniture, Furniture Saving, Burnside Furniture, La Reina Furniture, and El Rey Furniture) throughout the city. The judge ordered Maddy’s and affiliates to pay $250,000 to a consumer restitution fund that will be administered by DCWP and $1,963,500 in civil penalties for using deceptive practices to profit from vulnerable low-income and immigrant consumers.
Thursday April 22, 2021
New York City Sues ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and The American Petroleum Institute for Systematically and Intentionally Deceiving New Yorkers
City argues deceptive trade practices and greenwashing violate City’s Consumer Protection Law
Today, on Earth Day, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corporation Counsel James E. Johnson announced the filing of a lawsuit against Exxon, Shell, BP, and the American Petroleum Institute for violating New York City’s Consumer Protection Law through false advertising and deceptive trade practices.
Wednesday April 21, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Statement on NY Appellate Court Upholding City's Fair Workweek Law
“This decision is a victory for fast food and retail workers across the city,” said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “In response to the industry’s appeal, the court system has yet again upheld the City’s Fair Workweek Law. This Law, which is intended to give fast-food and retail workers in New York City more control over their lives and the chance to work full time jobs, is more vital than ever to workers who need stability and to our city on its road to a just recovery.”
Monday April 19, 2021
NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Releases Fourth Annual Report, Empowering Immigrant Communities and Building an Inclusive and Equitable Recovery for All
The NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) today released its fourth Annual Report, “State of Our Immigrant City.” As the City agency devoted to promoting the well-being of three million immigrant New Yorkers and their families by advocating for policies that increase justice, equity, and empowerment, MOIA’s report provides a snapshot to help communities better understand the barriers and challenges that immigrants face. Given their vulnerability in this time of crisis, the demographic characteristics presented in this report—with a special focus on indicators of the health and well-being of immigrant communities throughout the pandemic—support MOIA’s work to lead, support, and manage programs that help to successfully include immigrant New Yorkers in the civic, economic, and cultural life of the City.
Tuesday April 6, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Releases Fourth Annual Report on the State of Workers' Rights in New York City
Report Highlights the City’s Vigorous Efforts to Protect Workers and Expand City Workplace Laws During COVID-19 Pandemic
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced the release of the fourth annual report of “The State of Workers’ Rights in New York City.” The report outlines the critical actions DCWP took to protect and strengthen the rights of workers in New York City in the face of a global health pandemic, through enforcement, education, and advocacy.
Thursday, March 17, 2021
City Exploring New Shared Equity Models of Community Wealth Building and Ownership
Request for Information seeks models of housing and economic development that help New Yorkers build wealth and participate in sustainable ownership
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) today issued a Shared Equity Request for Information (RFI). The City is looking for models that enable low- to moderate-income households and households of color to build wealth through collective ownership of neighborhood assets – such as homes, businesses, land, and others – while keeping these assets affordable for their communities in the long-term.
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Issues Safety Tips for National Consumer Protection Week
As part of National Consumer Protection Week, Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today issued five tips, which are available in multiple languages, to protect consumers’ identity and money during COVID-19.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Encourages New Yorkers Who Earned $68,000 or Less to File for Free - And Virtually - With NYC Free Tax Prep
DCWP Launches its Annual Tax Initiative on Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today kicked off the 2021 tax season with the launch of the Agency’s 19th annual tax season initiative and encouraged New Yorkers who earned $68,000 or less in 2020 to file for free using NYC Free Tax Prep. NYC Free Tax Prep offers trusted, professional service virtually and in-person to help New Yorkers stay safe and avoid tax preparer fees. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin processing returns on February 12 but New Yorkers can file for free with NYC Free Tax Prep now.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Releases Brief on Inequalities for Student Loan Borrowers With Low Incomes
Low-income borrowers less likely to complete their degree or certificates, earn less, often borrow more and repay their loans at lower rates
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced the release of "Upwardly Immobile: Low-Income Borrowers and the High Cost of College Education". While a college degree can aid in income mobility, the brief demonstrates that a sizable gap in affordability—and, therefore, accessibility—exists in New York City between student borrowers from low-income families and those from higher-income families, a pattern that aligns with national-level findings.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Bronx Grocery Workers Return to Work After Filing Complaints with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced a settlement agreement with a Key Food in the Bronx (5661 Riverdale Avenue) to resolve a lawsuit that DCWP filed in September last year for illegally firing essential grocery workers during the pandemic. The settlement resolves violations of the City’s Grocery Worker Retention Act, which requires new grocery store owners to keep previous employees for a 90-day transitional period. Thirteen workers have already or are in the process of returning to work as a result of the settlement, which also requires the store to pay $90,000 in lost wages to the 19 workers who were fired.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Virtual Public Hearing and Signs Intros 1396-A and 1415-A
Mayor de Blasio:Good afternoon, everyone. Okay, today we have a hearing on two bills, and these are really timely and important pieces of legislation given everything that is happening to people all over the city, given the challenges that so many working people have faced, the incredible stresses that people have gone through in the year 2020 that we're going to be fighting back through, all through 2021 as well. We've got to look out for working people. So, these two bills are absolutely crucial for protecting a group of working people who often have gotten the short end of the stick, our fast food workers and they're folks that we depend on in so many ways. We have to make sure they get fairness, and they are protected from unfair dismissal without just cause. So, two pieces of legislation today, Intro. 1396-A and Intro. 1415-A, and they're really about fairness and equity for folks who do much for the rest of us.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Mayor de Blasio Signs "Just Cause" Worker Protection Bills for Fast Food Employees
NEW YORK – Mayor de Blasio today signed two bills expanding protections for fast food workers in New York City. Together, these bills protect fast food workers from being fired without "just cause" or for a bona fide economic reason.” These bills build upon the existing Fair Workweek enforcement via private right of action and by the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), while also creating a new arbitration program for workers. The bills also update the Fair Workweek laws to incorporate the new wrongful discharge provisions into the existing scheduling and access-to-hours hiring protections for fast food workers.