Is Uber’s recognition of the Independent Driver’s Guild (IDG) in New York a step in the right direction or an evil red herring? It depends, of course, on which lawyer you ask.One the one hand, lawyers for the IDG say the agreement with Uber will guarantee drivers monthly meetings to raise concerns, create an appeals process for driver termination decisions and provide legal services and benefits to drivers at discounted rates.Some view this agreement as a positive development – the forging of an unlikely and unsteady alliance. The agreement will provide some protection for drivers while also helping Uber stem the flow of litigation. Uber also gains an ally in its attempt to repeal a New York law taxing “black car” rides 9%, but which exempts traditional yellow taxi cabs.On the other side of the debate, we have Senator Elizabeth Warren, who says the “gig economy” is merely a symptom of the erosion of worker rights over time. Taking on-demand taxi gigs is a sort of last-ditch effort to create economic security and autonomy by workers who’ve been marginalized and squeezed by corporate America while all the wealth flowed to the top. She may have a point.To be fair to Uber, unionizing gig economy workers is really difficult. It starts with the mentality of such workers, having watched as their influence over wages at the corporate level dissipated steadily over the years and as traditional trade unions were pushed out. Union membership rates have been declining consistently for about 50 years. And during that time, wages for the vast majority of Americans remained stagnant while the C suite got paid. About that, Senator Warren is correct.Now, however, workers have the technology to fight back. They can use apps like Uber and Lyft to provide transportation, Miniluxe or Shortcut to provide onsite hairstyling and even source temporary staffing apps like Shiftgig and TaskRabbit to find short-term jobs. They can choose their own wages, essentially, by choosing how often they want to work. The catch, of course, is that workers who want both the flexibility and the money are hung out to dry when they have a medical or financial crisis because their “employer” doesn’t provide health insurance. Not to mention, the lack of a practical, portable retirement savings account (in the absence of employer-sponsored 401(k)s for contractors) means those workers may be left hanging in retirement as well.The other catch is that being a contractor (employee?) for one of these companies means your choices about work are going to be very personal. The amount of individual control workers have over these apps and their work schedules makes it very difficult to get them to agree on broad labor terms, let alone specifics like benefit plans or wages. That makes it extremely impractical and difficult to get them to band together and that is why the formation of the IDG and its recognition by Uber is a big development, albeit on a small scale.As usual, the solution is a compromise and perhaps a reimagining of some labor regulations to reflect modern working conditions. Uber drivers are not, after all, gathering at some shady parking lot in downtown San Francisco at 5 a.m. every day to wait for work. They’re scanning smartphones for gigs in their downtime between hipster beard trimming class and Yoga.Senator Warren says there should be three major objectives for policy makers, legislators and worker unions in trailblazing the gig economy’s path when it comes to labor regulations: Improve the safety net by providing catastrophic insurance coverage, Make healthcare benefits portable; and Make retirement benefits portable.Those goals remain lofty and far off for now as the IDG won’t do much of that for Uber drivers in New York. But Uber’s recognition of the IDG is a small, tentative step in the right direction.Discrimination NationColleen Dominguez’s sex and age discrimination suit against Fox Sports 1 (FS1) will proceed to trial after the employer’s motion to dismiss the case on First Amendment grounds was denied. FS1 argued that it withheld assignments from Dominguez based on its right to craft its own programming message, but according to the court, that argument completely misses the point of the lawsuit. If crafting a corporate message results in the marginalization of individuals based on their sex or age, it’s still illegal.In this case, Dominguez claims she was asked to get an “Erin Andrews makeover” (complete with a facelift and hair extensions). This was in addition to numerous other comments and critiques about her physical appearance, issues which were not common with male or younger female colleagues. Now that the case can proceed, that will open up the “discovery” phase, during which time lawyers for Dominguez may get to see exactly what FS1 had to say about her when it chose not to let her cover big assignments like the 2015 Super Bowl, for example. Uh oh.Good news for employers that have faced frivolous or otherwise “unreasonable” EEOC lawsuits. In CRST Van Expedited v. EEOC, the Supreme Court held that the employer may recover up to $4 million in attorney’s fees from the EEOC after defending itself against a charge of systemic sexual harassment. During the investigation and resulting lawsuit, the EEOC (allegedly) failed to make witnesses available for depositions and otherwise allowed the statute of limitations on claims to expire in some cases.In these types of situations, attorney’s fees may be recoverable, but something tells me that pretty much every single employer that has ever been sued would view the lawsuit as “unreasonable.” Tread carefully when seeking attorney’s fees as it’s immensely difficult to prevail on those types of cases and you will accrue additional attorney’s fees in the process of trying to collect them. Gotta love lawyers!Compliance CarouselNew York State is suing Domino’s (corporate) together with several Domino’s franchisees, claiming that they collaborated to underpay workers by about $565,000 in 10 different stores. To bring corporate Domino’s into the case, the state will have to make the “joint employer” argument which means proving allegations that corporate Domino’s micromanaged employee relations issues at the franchisee level.The “ignorance of the law” defense rarely, if ever, works in court. In Craig v. Bridges Bros. Trucking, the 6th Circuit ruled that ignorance of FLSA regulations did not excuse an employer’s failure to pay proper overtime. The district court had ruled in the employer’s favor because the employee in question had failed to notify her employer about the missed overtime payments. The 6th Circuit found, however, that the employer likely knew about its overtime pay obligation to the employee because of some internal communications about capping her work hours.How is this song related to HR?In the last edition of HR Intel, we asked you how “Candidate” by Joy Division is related to HR. This song is very much about politics, but you don’t need much experience in the modern work setting to know that politics are hyper-relevant. Not only do people bring their political persuasions into the workplace, but office politics add a whole other layer of complexity.Candidate is about the struggles that go on between individuals or groups with different value systems and ultimately, a recognition that we’re all different and unique, yet we have similar objectives in that we need to work together. Sounds like something relatable to HR.We leave you with “Burn the Witch” by Radiohead from their new album: A Moon Shaped Pool.Tell us how you think this song is related to HR in the comments section below.Originally posted on the XpertHR blog.
The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology dan rowinski Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Yet, recall this report from research firm Nielsen a couple of weeks ago. Of all Android apps that users download, only the top 50 or so make up the vast majority (61%) of use. So, while inventory for all mobile applications has risen exponentially, only the real top-tier of apps are worth it to advertisers. Though we do not have specific numbers for iOS app usage, it is probably comparable to Android use. Flurry paints a pretty picture. On one hand, they are not wrong. Mobile display ads are definitely an attractive option for advertisers and developers looking to make money on their content. Yet, as a market, there is not yet full inundation that will support the entire ecosystem. It still comes down to making a product that consumers will actually use. Total inventory is interesting, but advertisers go where the eyeballs actually are. Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Mobie analytics company Flurry released research today that shows that the available inventory for mobile advertising could absorb all Internet advertising. That means that available display ad spots for iOS and Android could take over just about all revenue for Internet advertising.Now, while mobile growth has been staggering over the last two years, there are several aspects to keep in mind here that Flurry does not touch on. Foremost, Flurry is taking into account the total amount of inventory available for the more than 600,000 apps available between Android and iOS. That does not necessarily mean that most apps make attractive targets for advertisers.Flurry sees four reasons why mobile advertising inventory is growing so fast:Smartphone growth – More than a million activations across platforms per day.Publisher growth – More developers, more apps.Session use growth – Users spending more time using their apps.Publisher integration of ads – More screen space, more complex apps make for more advertising potential.Yesterday research firm comScore came out with smartphone user numbers for July that showed nearly 82.2 million Americans, or about a third of all U.S. consumers, are now smartphone users. That number is rapidly approaching the magical inflection point of 50% smartphone market penetration that signals the difference between a mainstream fad and an integral part of the consumer experience.Flurry paints a pretty picture. On one hand, they are not wrong. Yet, as a market, there is not yet full inundation that will support the entire ecosystem.Hence, apps and their inventories have grown exponentially as well. Yet, as we have seen from other reports, even though users may download a lot of apps, they do not always use a lot of apps.Flurry also notes that smartphone users have a higher average income and tend to hold more bachelor degrees (or higher) than the average American household. With mobile advertising expected to be a $1.1 billion market this year, certainly mobile ads are attractive to advertising firms. “For mobile apps, less than four years into their growth cycle, a critical mass of highly attractive consumers has been achieved,” Flurry says in its report. “With growing awareness by brands and advertising agencies, we now expect digital advertising on mobile to take off in earnest.” Tags:#marketing#mobile#Mobile Ads#news Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement
Lodging marketplaces that provide a platform for short-term rentals must register with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for a license to collect sales and use taxes. This applies to taxes imposed by the state on short-term rentals and also to local room taxes.In addition to applying for the license, a lodging marketplace doing business in Wisconsin has to:register for a seller’s permit;contact each Wisconsin municipality where it makes short-term rentals to see if additional registration is required;collect state sales and use taxes from the occupant and forward them to the department;collect local room taxes from the occupant and forward them to the municipality; andnotify the short-term rental owner that the taxes have been collected and forwarded.The department’s notice is available at https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/TaxPro/news-home.aspx.News for Tax Professionals, Wisconsin Department of Revenue, November 3, 2017Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.
The enablement of choice and flexibility, the optimization of the underlying Intel architecture based infrastructure, and the delivery of easy to deploy solutions to market will help secure broad adoption.So where are we with optimization of SDI stacks for underlying infrastructure? The good news is, we’ve made great progress with the industry on intelligent orchestration. In my talk today, I shared a few examples of industry progress.I walked the audience through one example with Apache Mesos detailing how hyper-scale orchestration is achieved through a dual level scheduler, and how frameworks can be built to handle complex use cases like even storage orchestration. I also demonstrated a new technology for Mesos Oversubscription that we’re calling Serenity that helps drive maximum infrastructure utilization. This has been a partnership with MesoSphere and Intel engineers in the community to help lower the TCO of data centers; something I care a lot about…. Real business results with technology.I also shared how infrastructure telemetry and infrastructure analytics can deliver improved stack management. I shared an example of a power & thermal aware orchestration scheduler that has helped Baidu net a data center PUE of 1.21 with 24% of potential cooling energy savings. Security is also a significant focus, and I walked through an approach of using Intel VT technology to improve container security isolation. In fact, CoreOS announced today that its rkt 0.8 release has been optimized for Intel VT using the approach outlined in my talk, and we expect more work with the container industry towards delivery of like security capabilities present only in traditional hypervisor based environments.But what about data center application optimization for SDI? For that focus, I ended my talk with the announcement of the first Cloud for All Challenge, a competition for infrastructure SW application developers to rewrite for cloud native environments. I’m excited to see developer response to our challenge simply because the opportunity is ripe for introduction of cloud native applications to the enterprise using container orchestration, and Intel wants to help accelerate the software industry towards delivery of cloud native solutions. If you’re an app developer, I encourage you to engage in this Challenge! The winning team will receive $5,000 of cold, hard cash and bragging rights at being at the forefront of your field. Simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information, and please see the preliminary entry form. Earlier this summer, Intel announced our Cloud for All initiative signaling a deepening engagement with the cloud software industry on SDI delivery for mainstream data centers. Today at IDF2015, I had my first opportunity post the announcement, to discuss why Cloud for All is such a critical focus for Intel, for the cloud industry, and for the enterprises and service providers that will benefit from enterprise feature rich cloud solutions. Delivering the agility and efficiency found today in the world’s largest data centers to broad enterprise and provider environments has the opportunity to transform the availability and economics of computing and reframe the role of technology in the way we do business and live our lives.Why this focus? Building a hyperscale data center from the ground up to power applications written specifically for cloud is a very different challenge than migrating workloads designed for traditional infrastructure to a cloud environment. In order to move traditional enterprise workloads to the cloud, either an app must be rewritten for native cloud optimization or the SDI stack must be optimized to support enterprise workload requirements. This means supporting things like live workload migration, rolling software upgrades, and failover. Intel’s vision for pervasive cloud embraces both approaches, and while we expect applications to be optimized as cloud native over time, near term cloud adoption in the enterprise is hinged upon SDI stack optimization for support of both traditional applications and cloud native applications.How does this influence our approach of industry engagement in Cloud for All? It means that we need to enable a wide range of potential usage models while being pragmatic that a wide range of infrastructure solutions exists across the world today. While many are still running traditional infrastructure without self-service, there is a growing trend towards enabling self-service on existing and new SDI infrastructure through solutions like OpenStack, providing the well-known “give me a server” or “give me storage” capabilities… Cloud Type A – server focused. Meanwhile SW developers over the last year have grown very fond of containers and are thinking not in terms of servers, but instead in terms of app containers and connections… a Cloud Type B – process focused. If we look out into the future, we could assume that many new data centers will be built with this as the foundation, and will provide a portion of the capacity out to traditional apps. Convergence of usage models while bringing the infrastructure solutions forward.
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