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Department of Consumer Affairs

Department of Consumer Affairs

  • New Consumer Affairs Commissioner Inherits Robust Agency and Big Challenges

    Salas

    Salas accepting a pen from the mayor at a bill signing ceremony (photo via @NYCDCA)


    When Lorelei Salas was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs by Mayor Bill de Blasio in May, she inherited a dramatically better-funded and more heavily staffed agency than her predecessor, Julie Menin, did when she took office in 2014.

    New York City’s DCA is the nation’s largest municipal consumer protection agency, tasked with licensing businesses, monitoring predatory business practices, redressing consumer grievances and enforcing various municipal benefits,

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  • Proposals Target Closure of Gender Pay Gap

    powherny rally 3 

    photo: @PowherNY


    During a recent panel conversation at The New School, only two people in a crowd of about 50 raised their hands when the audience was asked if they were confident there is no gender pay gap in their workplace. The panel, called “Getting Even,” was organized by the Center for New York City Affairs to discuss the causes of the pay gap between men and women and the steps New York City can take to close it.

    “When men go into traditionally female occupations, they get paid more. So gender is the only differentiator

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  • Protecting Freelancers: Policy Innovation at Work

    Freelancers Rally

    Freelancers Union rally 


    In 2012 when I started bringing cases under the New York Labor Law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act the hot area was "independent contractor misclassification." Employers in the "on-demand" economy were (mis)classifying their employees as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime or, in some cases, the minimum wage. Employers did not have to buy unemployment insurance, workers compensation, or pay the employer portion of payroll tax (FICA). Over the next few years, almost every player in the on-demand economy would

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, July 6

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Don't expect to see much action from the biggest political players this week. Mayor Bill de Blasio may have launched a salvo against Governor Andrew Cuomo before leaving for vacation last week but the Mayor remains somewhere in the "Southwestern and Western United States" according to his official schedule. De Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, and their children Chiara and Dante are scheduled to return to the city on

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  • Why Don’t We Ever Hear About Commercial Rent Policy?

    levine small biz

    Council Member Levine & co outside an evicted business (photo: @MarkLevineNYC) 


    Mid-June, it was a block in Washington Heights that was poised to be the next to close up shop. The landlord, Coltown Properties, looked to evict the mostly Latino-owned stores on the street, which included a barbershop, restaurant, and income tax service. The store proprietors faced the same issue as many other small business owners in New York — there was nothing they could do.

    “Collectively, the businesses on

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 20

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins, Governor Andrew Cuomo is heading to Cuba on a trade mission, leaving Monday and returning Tuesday evening - "the first Governor-led state trade mission to Cuba since President Obama began the process to normalize diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba," the governor is quick to point out. "In addition to the Governor and members of his administration, the delegation includes

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 30

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    March madness in Albany has been quite a ride, and word Sunday night is that a fiscal year 2016 budget agreement is in place. At about 9:30 p.m., the governor's office announced that Cuomo is now five for five in on-time budgets as governor - not a small

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