Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 2, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Gounardes Announces Neighborhood Reading Challenge

Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Marine Park) announced his 2020 Neighborhood Reading Challenge to inspire the community to experience the joys of reading and learning in the new year and set a neighborhood-wide goal of 10,000 books to read. Senator Gounardes pledged to read 25 books in the new year and will share his reading selections on social media through the year.

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

“The 2020 Neighborhood Reading Challenge is a way to bring neighbors together over a shared love of reading and learning. Reading allows us insight into new ways of thinking about the world, something each and every one of us can enjoy and benefit from. I look forward to participating in the Neighborhood Reading Challenge this year, and hope many others will join in!” said Gounardes.

The 2020 Neighborhood Reading Challenge is for all ages and will include local schools, libraries, senior centers, and other civic groups. Readers are encouraged to set a goal for themselves or their institutions and, if they choose, to take part in a friendly competition between institutions for most books read. 

Readers can join the 2020 Neighborhood Reading Challenge online or by collecting an official “Reading Challenge” bookmark from Senator Gounardes’ District Office at 8018 Fifth Avenue, in Bay Ridge. The materials will also be available at satellite locations, FIAO Il Centro at 8711 18th Avenue in Brooklyn and the Gerritsen Beach Library at 2808 Gerritsen Ave, as well as all schools in Senate District 22 and local libraries.

BP Adams to Demand Action for Breastfeeding Mothers in the NYPD

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will join NYC Council Member Robert Cornegy (D-Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights),  Kiki Valentine, the Caribbean Women’s Health Association, founder of Little Latchers, LLC Kimberly Meikle, attorney

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Eric Sanders, and named plaintiffs today to discuss the findings of a lawsuit. After a class-action lawsuit by current and former New York Police Department (NYPD) officers alleged horrific conditions for breastfeeding mothers on the force, including a lack of sanitary facilities and ridicule from fellow officers.

Adams will join with the attorney and named plaintiffs in the suit, along with fellow lawmakers and advocacy groups, to demand the expedited passage of City Council legislation that would ensure lactation rooms are safe and sanitary, and call on the City Comptroller’s office to conduct a comprehensive audit on the issue.

Join the discussion at 12:30 p.m., today, Thursday, Jan. 2, at Brooklyn Borough Hall – Rotunda, 209 Joralemon Street, in Downtown Brooklyn.

Cuomo Announces End of Subminimum Wage in NYS

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the State Department of Labor is issuing an order eliminating the subminimum wage for ‘miscellaneous’ industries statewide. The order impacts over 70,000 tipped employees and will end confusion and outright wage theft that evidence shows robs them of tipped income they rightfully earned.  Workers that will be impacted by the new measure include nail salon workers, hairdressers, aestheticians, car wash workers, valet parking attendants, door-persons, tow truck drivers, dog groomers and tour guides.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

“In New York, we believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work,” Cuomo said. “But after an exhaustive investigation conducted by the Department of Labor, it’s clear the tip system in many situations is needlessly complicated, allowing unscrupulous businesses to flout our nation-leading minimum wage laws and robbing workers of the paycheck they earned. That ends now. Today, I am directing the labor department to put an end to the tip credit in the industries with the highest risk of wage theft to help restore fairness for workers, many of whom are critical to the service industries that keep our economy moving forward.”

The elimination of the tipped wage for miscellaneous industries will be phased in over a one-year period, an aggressive timetable that will provide employees relief while also giving businesses time to adjust to these changes as to not inadvertently incur job loss. On June 30, 2020, the difference between the minimum wage and current tip wages will be cut in half. On Dec. 31, 2020, the tip wage will be completely eliminated and workers in these effected industries will be making the normal minimum wage.

The ending the State’s tip credit for miscellaneous industries — bringing those workers up to the current minimum wage — comes as the Department of Labor released a report and recommendations after conducting hearings and receiving testimony from individuals across tipped industries. The report found that the current system of tipping disproportionally impacts the lowest-paid workers in our state: women, minorities, and immigrants. And miscellaneous workers receive less in tips and have widespread confusion about whether or not they are entitled to earn minimum wage or not. This has led to rampant wage theft in particular industries, and a real concern that tip credits are simply not appropriate in others, as many of their customers aren’t clear that tips are expected.