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Preview: Workplace Fairness: today's workplace

Workplace Fairness: Today's Workplace

Your source for the latest developments in workplace rights and employment law. "Today's Workplace" is the the blog (weblog) written by Paula Brantner, Program Director of Workplace Fairness. In each entry, Paula focuses on legal and political information


She gave the President the finger. Employer gave her the boot.

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

In the age of social media, clashes between free speech and employment are increasingly common. What you post on Facebook or Instagram on your free time may be visible to your bosses. Anyone with a cellphone can capture your strong words or rude gestures and make you suddenly (in)famous on the internet.

New Jersey to be tenth state with paid sick leave, but the U.S. stays at the bottom worldwide

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

More than a million workers will be getting paid sick leave soon after New Jersey’s legislature has passed a bill, which Gov. Phil Murphy has said he supports

12 Things We've Learned About the GOP Tax Bill

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Only 4.3% of workers are getting a one-time bonus or wage increase this year, according to Americans for Tax Fairness.

Arizona teachers could be next to go on strike

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Although Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced a proposal to raise teacher pay by 20 percent by 2020, which state lawmakers will debate this week, teachers say his proposal doesn’t address education cuts over the past decade or large classroom sizes across the state.

Acosta Refuses To Commit to Preserving OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

The rule, issued in 2016, requires employers to send injury and illness information into OSHA and prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for reporting injuries.

Tesla Workers Say Elon Musk is a Union Buster. The NLRB Just Gave Their Case a Boost.

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Tesla factory workers have been trying for months to win restitution for the company’s alleged union-busting and harassment. Now, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint against the company appears to be making strides.

Massachusetts Moves Forward on Protecting Public Employees. But millions remain without protection.

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Ohio, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Kansas and Geogria are six of of twenty four states in the country where public employees are not covered by OSHA. That means that almost 50 years after the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed, eight million public employees in this country still do not have the right to a safe workplace.

11 Things You Need to Know on Equal Pay Day

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Equal Pay Day calls attention to the persistent moral and economic injustice working women face. For a woman to earn as much as a man, she has to work a full year, plus more than a hundred extra days, all the way to April 10.

Kentucky lawmakers put decisions on black lung treatments in hands of industry-paid doctors

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

The legislation, part of a larger workersa€™ compensation bill signed into law by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) on March 30, is expected to make it more difficult for coal miners stricken with black lung disease to receive benefits for treating their disease and living with black lung. The workersa€™ compensation bill was supported by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Coal Association. Labor groups strongly opposed it.

Most Americans think teachers are underpaid. Here's the graph that shows how right they are.

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Are teachers underpaid? Teacher pay has been in the news recently as a wave of teacher walkouts and strikes has hit red states like West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and a recent CBS News poll found that most people say yes.

The Oklahoma Teachers’ Strike Is a Mutiny Against Austerity

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Oklahoma teachers proudly marked themselves absent from school since Monday, and they had an excellent excuse:They made themselves present in politics instead, with a historic march on the Capitol in hopes of finally capturing the legislaturea€™s undivided attention

Caution: Your Right to a Timely Vote May Be at Risk

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Three years ago, the National Labor Relations Board took modest steps to streamline, modernize and improve the process by which workers petition for an election to vote on forming a union at work. The rules reduced unnecessary delay caused by management lawyers litigating issues in order to slow down elections and deprive workers of their right to vote.

Trump Is Making It Harder for Low-Wage Workers to Organize, But This Fast Food Union Could Win

Wed, 04 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Workers at a Burgerville in Portland, Oregon declared on March 26 that they will file for a federal union election. If union campaigners win, the restaurant will become the first federally recognized fast food union shop in the United States. The local effort, which has a significant chance of victory, offers a powerful antidote to the Trump administration’s aggressive anti-worker agenda.

Teacher strikes close schools across Oklahoma and Kentucky

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0400

The red-state teachers rebellion that started in West Virginia continues to grow, with teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma walking out on Monday after the Kentucky teachers shut down schools in nearly two dozen counties on Friday. In Oklahoma, dozens of school districts have announced closures for Monday, and many Kentucky schools are closed as well.

EPA reportedly ‘distorted’ meeting notes and workers could be more vulnerable to pesticide exposure

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

The concerns arose from the two-day November 1 and 2, 2017 meeting when EPA officials met with members of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) — comprised of farmworker and health organizations to discuss the Agricultural Worker Protection Final Rule.

Corporate America’s Stealth Campaign to Stop Worker and Environmental Protections

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

This is not just an academic debate. Not only would this policy chill scientific study and make it more difficult to protect workers and the environment, it would cost lives — thousands of lives:

The utterly nonsensical way NFL cheerleaders must live their lives comes out in discrimination suit

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Davis asserts that because the rules governing both social media use, as well as who is allowed to be with whom in public, are restrictions that are only placed on cheerleaders. As the team cheerleaders are all women, Davis argues that this is a form of discrimination.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president under investigation for sexual harassment

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

In a painful twist of irony, Bailey’s tenure has been marked by the #MeToo movement, which forever changed the way the academy approaches misconduct by its members, almost using membership as a tool to punish those accused of sexual assault and/or harassment.

California laws protect undocumented workers from abuse by the boss

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

But California, which has the highest proportion of undocumented immigrant workers of any state, is leading the way in protecting them and penalizing abusive employers, the Economic Policy Institute’s Daniel Costa reports.

The Lessons of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Are Still Relevant 107 Years Later

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Many of us have read about the tragic Triangle fire in school textbooks. But the fire alone wasn’t what made the shirtwaist makers such a focal point for worker safety. In fact, workplace deaths weren’t uncommon at the time. It is estimated that more than 100 workers died every day on the job around 1911.

9 campaigns and 1 major political firm have unionized ahead of the 2018 midterm elections

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Revolution Messaging workers join a number of unionized campaign staffs, all of whom work for progressive Democratic candidates whose campaigns run the gamut from local county council races to congressional and gubernatorial races.

Today's Working Women Honor Their Courageous Foremothers

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

As we celebrate Women's History Month, working women are proudly living up to that example—organizing, taking to the streets and running for office in unprecedented numbers. It is a reminder that the movements for worker and women’s rights always have been interwoven.

Wendy’s refuses to join program protecting farm workers from sexual abuse

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, KFC, and Chipotle have all signed on to the FFP, which means they only purchase their vegetables from farms with these protections. But Wendy’s refuses to participate.

Women in male-dominated workplaces more likely to be mistreated

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Nearly half of American women work in places where they outnumber the men. But for millions of other women, employment in a male-dominated workplace can be stressful, dangerous and harmful to their careers.

So you think tipping ensures good service? No, but it does enable sexual harassment

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

All those people who say that tips are a way to reward good service and punish bad service? Sorry, but that’s not how it works in practice every day in restaurants across the country.

The West Virginia Teachers’ Strike Has Activists Asking: Should We Revive the Wildcat?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

The entire experience leaves many labor activists asking variations of three questions: What is a wildcat strike? Was West Virginia a true wildcat? And should we have more wildcat strikes?

OSHA to Employers Who Violate the Recordkeeping Rule: No Problem!

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0400

Fewer than half of all employers required to send their injury and illness information into OSHA last year sent in the information.

Ready to fight sexual harassment? Call Tina Tchen.

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500

She is the attorney corporations employ when they are ready to do more than the perfunctory sexual harassment trainings, when they realize that sexism has crossed a line — namely, the bottom line, because a company that cannot attract and retain women is one that cannot complete in a global marketplace — and want to change.

Women Deserve a Raise

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500

When working women come together (and with our male allies), we are able to bargain for the wages we deserve, robust benefits, and respect and dignity on the job.

The Lesson From West Virginia Teachers? If You Want to Win, Go on Strike.

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500

West Virginia teachers haven’t just pumped life back into that movement—they’ve reaffirmed the fundamental principle that the key to building power and winning is for workers to withhold their labor.

New study reveals just how little Uber drivers make

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough to make up for a troubling new study out of MIT, which shows Uber and Lyft drivers often make very little money after expenses, and before taxes.

Acosta to Defend DOL/OSHA Budget Tomorrow

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing tomorrow morning at 10:00 am on the FY 2019 Department of Labor Budget. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta will testify.

West Virginia Teachers Are Now Out on a Wildcat Strike. The Labor Movement Should Follow Their Lead.

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500

In a bright spot among an otherwise bleak landscape for labor, over 15,000 teachers and school support employees in all 55 West Virginia counties have been out on strike for seven days, as they and supporters from around the state continue to flood the capitol in Charleston, W.V., demanding higher pay and affordable healthcare.

Trump appointee's conflict of interest forces labor board to toss anti-worker ruling

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Emanuel voted on Hy-Brand despite his former law firm having been involved in the earlier case, and that vote and that conflict of interest proved a problem.

3 Democratic Campaigns Now Have Staff Unions. Why Not More?

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The staffers for a few 2018 Congressional candidates could be pioneering a new litmus test for determining candidates’ progressive credentials: Do they recognize their employees’ union?

West Virginia Teachers Are Showing How Unions Can Win Power Even If They Lose Janus

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

West Virginia’s school employees have demonstrated what workers’ power looks like without collective bargaining or the right to strike. Their lesson is clear to the unions: Either fight for the dignity of work and workers or move over and let others show you how it’s done.

Union workers rally ahead of major Supreme Court case

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Unionized workers and their allies held rallies across the country Saturday to support unions in advance of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could significantly weaken the power of organized labor. Workers are attending rallies as part of a “working people’s day of action.”

Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Public Employee Unions: Worker Safety Is At Risk

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

That leaves 23 states and 8 million public employees who have no right to a safe workplace in this country, even thought they do work that is as dangerous as private sector workers, and suffer injuries and illnesses at a higher rate.

In Janus Case, Working People Continue Fight Championed by Martin Luther King Jr.

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. joined the sanitation strikers in Memphis, Tennessee, who carried signs that boldly proclaimed "I Am a Man," at a time when many employers rejected that very notion. King and the working people of Memphis fought for the freedom to join together in unions and to be treated with dignity and respect on the job.

West Virginia Teachers Are About to Stage a Statewide Strike. Here’s Why.

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Teachers and service personnel across West Virginia are planning to strike on Feb. 22 and 23 in an effort to boost pay and lower their increasing healthcare costs. It will be the first statewide walkout in nearly 30 years.

Alaska will no longer allow workers with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wage

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

As of Friday, Alaskan businesses will no longer be allowed to pay disabled workers less than the minimum wage, which is currently $9.84 an hour.

Disney is using 'tax cut bonus' to try to force union workers to accept low pay

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Disney got some positive press for saying it would give its workers a $1,000 tax cut bonus—but it’s using the bonus to try to force some of its lower-paid workers to accept a bad deal at the bargaining table.

Trump’s Worker Safety & Health Budget Again Undermines Worker Safety & Health

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

This is his second budget proposal, and like the first, although it left OSHA’s budget fairly flat, it once again proposes to slash or eliminate important safety and health programs and agencies. 

Trump Administration Should Rescind Proposal That Allows Bosses to Pocket Working People's Tips

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

As we previously reported, President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced a new proposed regulation to allow restaurant owners to pocket the tips of millions of tipped workers. This would result in an estimated $5.8 billion in lost wages for workers each year—wages that they rightfully earned.

Congress introduces record number of bills to prevent people from taking industry to court

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The number of bills introduced in the current 115th Congress that would strip individuals of their legal rights to seek justice in a court of law have doubled from the previous Congress and quadrupled since the 112th Congress that ended in 2013.

56 attorneys general push Congress to help sexual harassment victims gain access to the courts

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Attorneys general from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories wrote a letter Monday imploring Congress to make the courts more accessible to victims of sexual harassment.

Must employers provide ADA leave after FMLA runs out?

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The Family and Medical Leave Act mandates that employers provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a serious medical condition. But what happens when an employee requests additional weeks or months off for a disabling condition?

Unions are Fighting for Families by Supporting Women and Rejecting the Status Quo

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Beyond supporting working women, the labor movement has always advocated for policies that promote a full-employment economy at wages high enough to allow working people to support their families.

Here’s How a Supreme Court Decision To Gut Public Sector Unions Could Backfire on the Right

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

But if the Court embraces the weaponization of free speech as a cudgel to beat up on unions, the possibility of other, unintended consequences is beginning to excite some union advocates and stir fear among conservative constitutional scholars.

Trump administration tip-stealing plan is getting hammered

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The Trump Labor Department’s proposal to let bosses steal workers’ tips—$5.8 billion of them—is under heavy fire.

Trump puts public, workers at risk as he tries again to eliminate nation’s chemical safety agency

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

As part of his administration’s rollback of key safety and environmental protections, President Donald Trump wants to eliminate the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, a federal agency with a strong record of improving public safety.

Labor Department scrubbed analysis that said its proposal would rob billions from workers

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The Department of Labor decided to scrub an analysis from its proposal affecting tipped workers after it found workers would be robbed of billions of dollars, according to former and current department sources who spoke to Bloomberg Law.

Inside the Trump Administration’s Plan to Shrink the NLRB

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Labor rights advocates are alarmed by a proposal to centralize more control of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters and shrink its network of regional offices.

Massive grocery chain is denying HIV prevention drugs to its employees — and it won’t explain why

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

With no explanation available, many advocates are speculating that the company is imposing its moral authority, not unlike Hobby Lobby refusing to cover contraception for its employees.

22 Democratic senators want to know how sexual harassment financially impacts women

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Twenty-two Democratic senators are calling on the Labor Department to collect additional, better data regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

Nine Years Later: Why We're Still Fighting Pay Discrimination

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

This outrageous pay disparity doesn’t just hurt women. Some 40% of working women in the United States are the sole breadwinner for their families. When they face discrimination on the job, their loved ones suffer as well.

Union membership rose in 2017

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

This is somewhat unexpected: overall union membership rose by 262,000 workers in 2017, while union density stayed at 10.7 percent. The Economic Policy Institute’s Lawrence Mishel warns against reading too much into the numbers, but pulls out interesting data points.

Trump NLRB Appointee Behind Major Anti-Union Ruling Accused of Corruption

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

An anti-union policy decision from President Donald Trump’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appointees appears to be tainted by a violation of ethics standards, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is joining unions in demanding answers.

Here Are the 10 Worst Attacks on Workers From Trump’s First Year

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

January 20th marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Since taking office, President Trump has overseen a string of policies that will harm working people and benefit corporations and the rich. Here we present a list of the 10 worst things Congress and Trump have done to undermine pay growth and erode working conditions for the nation’s workers.

460,000 more workers could get overtime in Pennsylvania

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The Obama administration’s effort to extend overtime eligibility to millions of workers may have stalled first in the courts and then because, well, Donald Trump. But for workers in at least one state, there’s hope of progress.

Tips Are More Important Than You Think

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The Donald Trump Labor Department is proposing a rule change that would mean that restaurant servers and bartenders could lose a large portion of their earnings. The rule would overturn one put in place by the Barack Obama administration initiated, which prevents workers in tipped industries from having their tips taken by their employers. Under the new rule, business owners could pay their wait staff and bartenders as little as $7.25 per hour and keep all tips above that amount without having to tell customers what happened.

Workers’ rights dealt major blow as GOP-led labor board sides with McDonald’s

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

In September, the National Labor Relations Board tilted to a 3-2 GOP majority for the first time in ten years. Thus began a series of Obama-era policy reversals that previously strengthened worker protections.

Here’s How Trump’s Labor Department Quietly Gave Bosses Even More Power Over Their Workers

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

On January 5, the Department of Labor (DOL) quietly took a step to bolster the legal power of bosses over their workers by reissuing 17 previously withdrawn opinion letters. Developed at the end of George W. Busha€™s final term, the letters had been withdrawn by the Obama administration, which discontinued the practice of issuing opinion letters altogether.

Walmart raises minimum pay again, while Sam's Club closes many stores

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Walmart wants you to read the good news: it’s raising its minimum wage from $9-10 to $11 an hour, and expanding paid parental leave benefits. Donald Trump wants you to read that the company is giving credit for that move to the recent Republican corporate tax cuts. Neither of them wants you to think much about the years-long worker organizing campaign to demand improved wages and benefits, and they definitely don’t want you to think about the news that also just came out that Sam’s Club, the Walmart warehouse chain, is closing dozens of stores, if not more.

King and Meany Brought Civil Rights and Labor Together for a Legacy That Continues Today

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Beginning in 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and then-President George Meany of the AFL-CIO began a relationship that would help bring the labor and civil rights movements together with a combined focus on social and economic justice.

Republicans Are Taking Voter Suppression to the Workplace

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

In December, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) invited public commentary on a possible revocation of a rule that makes employers provide union organizers with contact information for workers in advance of a representation election.

Do Fewer OSHA Inspectors Matter?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

One sign that anti-OSHA conservatives are getting nervous about articles (and television appearances) highlighting the declining number of OSHA inspectors are articles questioning whether government plays a useful role in protecting workers.

Wisconsin bill would ban cities from passing worker-friendly laws

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Wisconsin is considering a bill that would prevent local governments from enacting worker-friendly ordinances relating to overtime, discrimination, benefits, and wages. On Wednesday, the Senate held a public hearing on the GOP-backed bill.

Workers' lives take a back seat under Donald Trump

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

In the months after President Donald Trump took office, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lost 40 inspectors through attrition and made no new hires to fill the vacancies as of Oct. 2, according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

4 actresses call out E! for gender discrimination — while live on E!

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Messing was discussing the purpose of the “Time’s Up” campaign, an initiative started by “prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives” to fight systemic gender inequality. Pay equality, Messing said, was an important part of that effort. Then she turned her attention to E!.

HR Has Never Been on the Side of Workers. #MeToo Is More Proof.

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

While some have presented HR departments as a solution, the above experiences make clear that HR is at best a distraction from the real solution to workplace abuse: collective organizing led by, and accountable to, workers themselves.

Pro-Working People Laws Catching on Around the Country

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

As the new year begins, New York, Nevada and Washington state are implementing paid family leave laws, and Rhode Island will join them in July. Rhode Island will bring the total number of states with a paid family leave law to eight.

Union to Southwest: $1,000 worker bonuses don’t make up for years of stagnant pay

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Southwest Airlines this week announced that it would be awarding its employees with a $1,000 bonus following the passage of the GOP tax bill, which the company’s board of directors said would “result in meaningful corporate income tax reform.” Union leaders say it hardly makes up for years of unfair treatment.

Trump took credit for airline safety in 2017. What about the surge in coal miner deaths?

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

In the coal mining sector, data from the Trump administration’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the federal government’s mine safety agency, show coal mining deaths nearly doubled in 2017. But unlike the aviation statistics, Trump isn’t taking any personal responsibility for the coal mining deaths. What’s more, he tapped a former coal executive with a record of safety violations to head MSHA.

Hollywood stars donate millions to empower more women to speak out against sexual assault

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

The initiative, called Time’s Up, brings together “prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives” to fight fight systemic gender inequality in both Hollywood and “blue-collar workplaces” nationwide.

OSHA Is Bleeding: Shrinking Government and Killing Workers

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500

Some of OSHA’s regional staff state that because of the hiring freeze, OSHA’s enforcement and whistleblower programs are “falling apart at the seems.” The agency is “just bleeding.”

What #MeToo Can Teach the Labor Movement

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Whether in in our movement or not, serious sexual harassment isn’t really about sex. It’s about a disregard for women, and it shows itself numerous ways.

2017 was a year of eroding workers’ rights

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

With these new additions, the Department of Labor has been busy dismantling protections for workers. Here are some of the biggest ways the Trump administration rolled back workers’ rights in 2017.

The Trump Labor Board Just Made It Harder for Fast-Food Workers to Hold Corporate Bosses Accountable

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

On December 14, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned a 2015 policy that had made it easier for workers—particularly fast-food workers—to unionize and challenge their employers over unfair labor practices.

Lifelong Wage Warrior Larry Mishel Takes On Trump’s Tax Scam

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

What we need instead, Mishel said, is structural changes that will lead to real wage growth and improved working-class living standards.

Murdoch downplays sexual harassment at Fox News, women threaten to ‘go public with the truth’

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Robert Murdoch attempted to downplay Fox News’ alleged culture of sexual misconduct as limited to “isolated incidents” with former CEO Roger Ailes — a characterization that was met with fierce criticism from the women on the media mogul’s payroll who say they were victimized by employees of Fox News.

Trump Dept. of Labor Rule Would Legalize Employers Stealing Workers’ Tips

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Last week, the Trump administration launched yet another front in its war on workers when the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new rule that would allow restaurants and other employers of tipped workers to begin legally pocketing their workers’ tips.

Is Time for Bag Searches Compensable in California?

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

In the new year the California Supreme Court will address the question of whether employee bag searches should be compensated under California law.

AFL-CIO Joins CWA Call for $4,000 Wage Increase for Working People

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Working people know better than to believe the boss’ promises unless they are in writing. That’s why my union has asked some of our biggest employers to sign an agreement that says if the tax plan passes, working people will get their $4,000.

OSHA Rejects GAO Poultry Recommendations: Sees No Problem With Workers’ Restroom Access

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

In a surprising and disappointing apparent rollback of OSHA’s enforcement policy related to poultry inspections, Acting Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt has rejected recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) designed to address findings that poultry workers are intimidated about reporting health and safety problems to OSHA, particularly about their inability to get bathroom breaks.

The Supreme Court hits pause on gay and lesbian rights

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

For the second time in a week, the Supreme Court signaled on Monday that it may no longer be a friendly place for victims of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Labor Department Proposes Legalizing Wage Theft

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The Labor Department is moving quickly to establish a new rule that would make tips the property of restaurant owners instead of workers.

Slate column asks readers to see the ‘upside’ of sexual harassment in the office

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

On Tuesday, Slate published another example of a powerful person abusing that power and thus endangering women in the workplace.

How Bosses Use “Open Shop” Campaigns to Crush Unions

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

But union supporters must grapple with an uncomfortable fact about our system of labor relations, which bases the very existence of a union, as well as the additional expenses of pensions, health insurance and other “fringe” benefits, on the individual firm level. In any industry that is not 100% unionized, the decision by workers to form a union really can make a company less competitive. And high-union-density industries are just juicier targets for vampires like Airbnb and Uber to compete by undercutting those standards.

The Blue-Collar Hellscape of the Startup Industry

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The news of rancorous working conditions for Tesla employees is merely the latest in a series. Vaughn’s case signals the broader social and physical perils of couching traditional factory models within the frenzied, breakneck tech-startup framework of high demand, long hours and antipathy toward regulation.

Dodd-Frank Court Case Could Redefine Whistleblowing

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The U.S. Supreme Court is mulling a case with major implications for would-be whistleblowers. At issue is fuzzy language in the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Act. At stake is the fate of people like Paul Somers, who was fired after he reported wrongdoing, and anyone who might blow the whistle in the future.

Help the Women of Walmart Today

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500

My story isn’t unique: you can walk into any Walmart store and hear stories just like mine. Being a Walmart worker means being expected to put up with poverty pay, inflexible schedules, and disrespect from bosses.For the majority of store associates like me, the regular folks who stack the shelves and work the registers, working at Walmart often means being punished when we need to be there for our families.

You ARE Entitled: Workers Making Money Stretch

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

On a national level, workers are organizing for their rights. On a personal level, there are a wide variety of schemes, rights and techniques you can employ to make sure you are getting everything you are entitled to.

Working People Need a Strong CFPB with a Leader Who Supports Its Existence

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

We learned the hard way from the financial crisis in 2008 that working people need the CFPB. We need the bureau to fight to protect us from predatory lenders and, in order to be effective in doing that, it needs to be led by a strong, full-time director who believes in its mission. Consumer financial protection is a full-time job, not a side gig for someone who things it’s a "joke."

Workers’ rights are being abused as they rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Day laborers, many of them undocumented, are reportedly being exploited as they rebuild after Hurricane Harvey, and their health and economic well-being are are stake.

Don't Pass Huge Tax Cuts for the Wealthy on the Backs of Working People

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate have proposed a job-killing tax plan that favors the super-rich and wealthy corporations over working people. We cannot afford to let this bill become law.

One Last Time: OSHA Extends Recordkeeping Reporting Deadline

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Other parts of the “electronic” recordkeeping regulation are being challenged in court and are under reconsideration by OSHA. The agency also announced today that OSHA is currently reviewing the other provisions of its final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, and intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018.”

These corporations have declared war on Thanksgiving

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

So instead of sitting down to a family dinner, corporations like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and others coerce or sometimes force hundreds of thousands of minimum wage employees and countless more shoppers to forego the federal holiday and instead work extra long shifts hawking cheap televisions, refrigerators, or Nickelback CDs.

This is the elaborate system Congress created to protect sexual predators on Capitol Hill

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Congress has created an elaborate system that protects sexual predators on Capitol Hill, including members of Congress and their staff. In the private sector and elsewhere in the government, victims of sexual harassment have the option of immediately filing a lawsuit and getting their grievances heard in court. But Congress has created a much different set of rules for victims who work on Capitol Hill.

Republicans want to give corporations yet another tax cut and call it paid family leave

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The bill would give companies a tax credit for a small proportion of the worker’s pay, companies only get the credit at the end of the year—so if they can’t afford to offer leave up front, they can’t take advantage of it—and it expires in 2019.