Uber Driver Is An Employee, Not An Independent Contractor, Rules California Labor Official

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An official at the California Labor Commission has taken an axe to Uber’s claim that its drivers are really independent operators and not employees of the tech company.

In an opinion filed in state court Tuesday — and posted here by TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook — Stephanie Barrett, a deputy labor commissioner, challenged the business model that now undergirds much of the transportation industry as well as the so-called sharing economy. In the case, an Uber driver named Barbara Ann Berwick argued the company owed her money for costs she incurred while driving customers around in the car she owned.

In a normal employment relationship, those costs are borne by the boss, not the worker. But Uber considers Berwick an independent contractor, an increasingly common arrangement that shifts certain business expenses onto those doing the work. By using independent contractors, Uber not only doesn’t have to buy SUVs and gasoline, it doesn’t have to worry about payroll taxes or workers’ compensation costs.




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Charter Reportedly Near $55 Billion Deal To Acquire Time Warner Cable

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Time Warner Cable Inc is nearing an agreement to be acquired by smaller peer Charter Communications Inc for about $55 billion, combining the second and third largest U.S. cable operators, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

A deal would create a major rival to Comcast Corp, the biggest operator in the U.S. cable and broadband market, and marks a triumph for Charter, which was rejected by Time Warner Cable just last year.

 News of another potential merger comes as the traditional pay television industry faces stagnating growth and new competition from over-the-web rivals offering individual services, like Netflix, or packages of channels, such as Sony. A larger company in this sector could achieve greater economies of scale, including in negotiations with programmers.




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Big Banks Plead Guilty To Market Manipulation, Will Pay $5.8 Billion

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The age of multibillion-dollar bank fines with no admission of wrongdoing is over. The Justice Department announced Wednesday morning that five banks pleaded guilty to market manipulation, while also paying billions of dollars in fines.

Barclays, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and the Royal Bank of Scotland admitted to illegally distorting foreign exchange markets. The banks formed what they called “The Cartel” and aimed to set a key currency marker, known as “the fix,” at mutually beneficial values.

The fix is set every day at 4 p.m. London time and is used in the more than $5 trillion currency market to determine the price of trades and the value of large institutional holdings. Traders at the banks used instant messaging chat rooms to discuss where to set the fix.


!!!!!BN2015-5-20Busted1Image: Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post



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Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey and Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, dies suddenly



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Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey and husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, died suddenly Friday night, according to a public Facebook post by his brother, Robert Goldberg. He was 47.

“It’s with incredible shock and sadness that I’m letting our friends and family know that my amazing brother, Dave Goldberg, beloved husband of Sheryl Sandberg, father of two wonderful children, and son of Paula Goldberg, passed away suddenly last night,” Goldberg writes.

Goldberg had been CEO of SurveyMonkey since 2009. His time at SurveyMonkey was part of an epic career, full of ups-and-downs, during which the media company he founded got acquired by Yahoo right after the internet bubble burst in the early 2000s.


!!!!!DavidGoldberg1                                                              The Goldbergs                                      Facebook



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5 Ways the Ad World Has Changed in the Last 10 Years

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When Verizon Wireless wanted to drive more foot traffic to its retail stores last winter, the brand supplemented traditional advertising an onsite program called Stop Motion Studio.

Customers could create short, animated videos, decorated with tiny snowmen, reindeer, Santas and other props, to use as their holiday greeting. While they were playing mini-movie mogul, they were also learning about their phone’s capabilities, accessories and add-ons.

This wasn’t your typical telecom commercial. Engineered by ad agency SapientNitro, it touted Verizon’s shop as a cool, fun destination. In so doing, it promoted the brand in ways that a 30-second TV spot never could. Of the consumers who participated, 95% said they learned something new about their phone, and would return to the store for more workshops. A whopping 100% posted their videos to Vine.


!!!!!5WaystheAdWorldChanged1Image: Mashable composite. Lee Woodgate/Getty Creative



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Home Shrunken Home

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For most single New Yorkers, the tyranny of living in a small space, or worse, a shared space, is all too familiar.

And with the number of single New Yorkers growing, the demand for more of these spaces is inevitable.

Enter My Micro NY, the city’s first micro-apartment complex, at 335 East 27th Street, with 55 units ranging from 260 to 360 square feet. The building will begin leasing studios this summer for around $2,000 to $3,000 a month




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Obamacare Is Barely Denting Corporate Profits

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The biggest entitlement legislation in a generation is causing barely a ripple in corporate America.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — is putting such a small dent in the profits of U.S. companies that many refer to its impact as “not material” or “not significant,” according to a Bloomberg review of conference-call transcripts and interviews with major U.S. employers.

That’s even after a provision went into effect this year requiring companies with 50 or more full-time workers to provide coverage, and after more workers are choosing to enroll in existing company coverage because of another requirement that all Americans get insured.




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