Retailers and credit card issuers settled last week on terms that will allow vendors to apply surcharges to customers who choose to pay by credit. The additional charge, if implemented, will be used to compensate for small fees the vendor assumes for processing the transaction. This charge can typically range from 1.5 to 3 percent of a purchase when using plastic. And while most merchants are not expected to take advantage of the ruling, don’t expect the ones who do to exercise the same power that several Long Island gas stations have demonstrated.
The US District Court judge for the District of Columbia signed off, finally, on the big $25 billion foreclosure settlement between five banks, the federal government, and most of the states. On Wednesday, Judge Rosemary Collyer approved the settlement, which was announced two months ago. The $25 billion settlement will be divvied up by the states and is suggested to be used to ease financial burden on improperly foreclosed homes and help pursue negligence in the future. However, as I’ve mentioned before, some states are going to use it for whatever they feel like. Georgia in particular is using the money to support local infrastructure, presumably telling the federal government “you can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my real dad”, slamming its door and hiding under the covers afterwards.
Goldman Sachs IT employees who worked up to 70-hour weeks without overtime pay have won a settlement against their employer for the sum of $993,841, according to Bloomberg. More than a hundred contracted computer technicians worked for the banking giant without overtime pay, according to a complaint filed May 2010. Today, a US District Court judge approved the terms of the settlement, ending a two-year legal dispute. $262,787 of that will go to the workers’ lawyers.
Workers in Information Technology typically experience a lack of overtime due to it being relatively new field of expertise. IT work has become increasingly specialized over the last 30 years, and yet employers often do not recognize the vital importance of the job. Though labor laws vary between states, it is generally illegal for a contracted employee to endure more than 40 hours of labor per week without overtime pay. However, overtime infractions often go unreported — the threat of total unemployment is more terrifying to workers than the loss of a few hours of overtime pay. In this case, the extent to which the IT professionals worked overtime was certainly egregious. Hopefully this settlement will encourage other maligned employees to come forward and claim their rightful pay.