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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


Trump has bad news for millions of workers in line for overtime pay under Obama

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

In the final days of the Obama administration, the Labor Department had appealed the judge’s decision blocking implementation of the raise, and Trump’s Labor Department agreed in court that it has the power to set the eligibility threshold. But Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta plans to use that power in a very different way than Tom Perez did under Obama.

Justice Department brief argues against protections for LGBTQ workers

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

On Wednesday evening, the Department of Justice moved to undermine rights for LGBTQ people to ensure they are treated fairly in the workplace

The GOP’s Trojan Horse on Health Care Repeal

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

We’ve shown an incredible persistence in our fight. We’ll show plenty more when it comes to holding politicians accountable for a vote that favors big-money bullying over the people they’re supposed to represent.

New CFPB Rule – a Poster Child for Regulation

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Hurrah for the CFPB! Its new rule is supported by psychology, economics, and political philosophy. Nonetheless, the new rule is under serious threat.

Eight years after the last minimum wage increase, Democrats want to give 41 million workers a raise

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since July 24, 2009—for eight years.

On the CFPB’s Birthday, Stand Against Sharks

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The CFPB has provided an extraordinary amount of help to millions of Americans in just six years. Now it needs our help.

As Media Focuses on Russia Collusion, Trump Is Quietly Stacking the Labor Board with Union Busters

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

It might not get as much press coverage as other Donald Trump administration calamities, but the U.S. president is set to appoint a known union buster to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), push the body to a Republican majority and reverse Obama-era protections that rankle Big Business.

Republicans Working Against Workers

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The high point of unionization in America, the 1950s, was the low point in income inequality. It is called the time of the great compression. And a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research reaffirms that unionization produced better wages.

Washington state gets paid family leave

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The state legislature passed and Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a law giving workers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for birth, adoption, or the worker’s own or a family member’s medical condition, and up to 16 weeks in a year

Working People Need to Know If We Can Trust Donald Trump’s NLRB Nominees to Protect Our Freedoms

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

These two men, Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel, have records of actively trying to strip working people of their freedoms.

Jimmy John’s Fired Workers for Making a ‘Disloyal’ Meme. A Court Just Ruled That’s Okay.

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Like the non-compete agreements, the July 3 court decision is an unwarranted attack on labor rights, says William B. Gould IV, a labor law professor at Stanford University and former chairman of the federal labor board.

Get Back Your Right To Take Your Bank To Court

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The target this time is a rule issued this week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is designed to restore the ability bank and credit card customers, as individuals or as a group, to take a financial dispute to court.

News from Congress: VA Employees' Civil Service Protections Slashed

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Pub.L. 115-41 renews the push to cut back VA civil service protections, after the prior attempt under the last Administration saw adverse actions reversed at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and portions of the statute struck down as unconstitutional.

New study confirms widespread reports of science’s sexual harassment problem

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Women, and particularly women of color, working within the astronomical and planetary sciences are vastly more likely than their male colleagues to experience a hostile work environment based on their race or gender.

The SEC Whistleblower Program

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Enforcement actions resulting from whistleblower tips have enabled the SEC to recover nearly $1 billion in financial remedies from wrongdoers, much of which has been returned to investors.

18 states are suing Betsy DeVos for putting for-profit college fraudsters over student borrowers

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

They would also ban mandatory arbitration agreements, which have prevented many aggrieved students from suing schools that they believe have defrauded them.

The Trump administration is quietly making it easier to abuse seniors in nursing homes

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

An Economic Policy Institute study of employment cases, for example, found that employees are less likely to prevail before an arbitrator, and that they typically receive less money if they do prevail.

As Universities are Gutted, Grad Student Employee Unions Can Provide a Vital Defense

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The exploitation of academic workers has simmered for decades. Now, buoyed by a National Labor Relations Board ruling that graduate employees at private universities have the right to unionize, a new generation is organizing unions across private universities—defying a wave of pushback from administrations.

Prescription Drug Spending is Consuming a Bigger Share of Wages

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

While it is generally recognized that drugs are expensive, many people are unaware of how large a share of their income goes to paying for drugs because much of it goes through third party payers, specifically insurance companies and the government.

When three days sick means losing a month's grocery budget

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Without the ability to earn paid sick days, workers must choose between going to work sick (or sending a child to school sick) and losing much-needed pay.

Recognizing Signs of Age Discrimination in the Workplace

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

For an employer, it’s not only a bad idea to discriminate against someone because of his or her age – it’s also against the law.

Davis-Bacon Is Not Racist, and We Need to Protect It

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Davis-Bacon has been an undeniable success—lifting millions of working people into the middle class, strengthening public-private partnerships and guaranteeing that America’s infrastructure is built by the best-trained, highest-skilled workers in the world.

If Trump Has His Way, You’ll Certainly Miss This Agency You Probably Don’t Even Know Exists

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The only federal agency devoted to women’s economic security — the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau — is on the chopping block.

Kellyanne Conway says people who lose Medicaid should just find better jobs. It’s not that simple.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

While many of those people might prefer to take advantage of employer-offered health care, a large percentage do not have that option. Only 46 percent of employers offer health care coverage, according to the latest KFF data.

Veto the Cold-Hearted Health Bill

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Here is an example from the CBO report: A 64-year-old with a $26,500 income pays $1,700 for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but would be forced to cough up more than half of his or her income – $16,000 – for insurance under the House Republican plan. Overall, premiums would increase 20 percent in the first year. And insurers could charge older people five times the rate they bill younger Americans.

Trump reversal of Obama-era labor rule is great news for corporations

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

But for Reed to hold McDonald’s responsible for her alleged mistreatment, her lawyers have to prove that McDonald’s should be held responsible as a joint employer — not just the owners of the franchised restaurant.

Seattle's $15 minimum wage raised pay with zero effect on restaurant jobs, new study shows

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

According to the University of California, Berkeley, study, the increased minimum wage had employment effects that were “not statistically distinguishable from zero,” which is a fancy way of saying “we looked and we could not find a damn thing.”

The House GOP health care bill is a job killer, says a new report

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

In addition to potentially increasing the number of uninsured by 23 million and being unequivocally unpopular, House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan could leave nearly a million people unemployed.

Fox News faces new legal trouble for sexual harassment

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This report signals a new wave in the network’s ongoing legal troubles, linked to what reports and allegations indicate is a pervasive culture of sexual discrimination.

Tell the Labor Department Not to Repeal the Persuader Rule

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

If the rule is repealed, union-busters will be able to operate in the shadows as they work to take away our freedom to join together on the job.

A Day in the Life of a Day Laborer

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

It is a world, where workers are often cheated out of their wages, injured on the job and then left without medical care, according to a 2006 survey. Where workers who complain often suffer retaliation by employers who fire them, suspend them, or threaten to call immigration officials.

Environmental groups sue EPA for failing to protect farmworkers from pesticide exposure

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Health and farmworker organizations filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for postponing a decision to protect farmworkers from exposure to restricted-use pesticides such as chlorpyrifos—a controversial pesticide linked to serious health issues

Comey’s Testimony Underscores Need for Strong Whistleblower Protections

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

For me, the most telling moment of former FBI Director Jim Comey’s June 8th testimony occurred early in the hearing, when Mr. Comey choked up as he recalled the White House’s publicly stating that the President had fired him because the “FBI was in disarray.” This emotional display seemed out of character for Mr. Comey.

This is Why Labor Should Care About Virginia’s Gubernatorial Primary

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Another major victory for the labor movement in Virginia could have major implications for the AFL-CIO’s strategy in the South further down the line. We should ensure that such a big opportunity is not missed.

Together We Can Make Pay Equity a Reality for All Working Women

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Clearly, we still have much to do to ensure pay equity, and there’s been some progress, thanks to tireless working women and their allies across the country.

Public transportation is a jobs and equality issue

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Public transportation is a jobs issue. If you don’t believe that, take a look at Philadelphia, where lack of efficient mass transit from the city to the suburbs is keeping a lot of people out of work.

Hints of Progress for Labor in the United States

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

What has been most impressive about these efforts to secure higher minimum wages is the widespread support they enjoy. This is not just an issue that appeals to the dwindling number of union members and progressive sympathizers.

Trump’s Family Leave: An Empty Envelope for American Workers

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Trump’s budget does include paid family leave, but as analysts unpack the proposal, it has become increasingly clear that his plan, unlike the FAMILY Act, doesn’t work for small businesses, their employees, or their communities.

Uber has started firing employees following harassment probe

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Heads are starting to roll at Uber following the company’s internal investigation into hundreds of claims regarding sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other workplace transgressions. The ride-sharing company has fired at least 20 people, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Veteran Organizer Gives Inside Look at the First $15 Minimum Wage Campaign

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

As the labor movement finds itself in a state of crisis, Beyond $15 is both a timely history of a bold campaign’s unlikely victory and an inspiring call for a flexible, progressive and power-building vision of labor organizing.

Workers Want a Green Economy, Not a Dirty Environment

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Some viewed pollution as a blessing, a harbinger of jobs. Air that tasted of sulfur signified paychecks. For most, though, pollution was a curse. It meant scrubbing the grime off stoops daily. It meant children wheezing and gasping for air. It meant early death.

Lyft releases its first-ever diversity report

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Lyft has produced its first-ever diversity report, months after its chief competitor Uber released its own data about the make-up of its staff.

The Trump administration has started rolling back the birth control mandate

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Employers will soon be able to opt-out of providing coverage for birth control by citing religious objections.

Foundations of Inequality are in Wages

Wed, 31 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

While rising capital share and greater concentration of wealth explain some of the story of economic inequality, the largest part of the story is the growth in wage inequality over the last several decades

Civil Rights and Labor: Two Movements, One Goal

Tue, 30 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The intersection of human rights, civil rights and workers’ rights has always been a part of our struggles for independent power both here and abroad.

Sometimes hiring discrimination is committed by a bigot—and sometimes it's by standardized test

Mon, 29 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

In fact, some standardized tests used widely by employers looking to screen job-seekers can be instruments of discrimination.

The Entire Public Sector Is About to Be Put on Trial

Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

An assault on public sector workers is ultimately an assault on the public sector itself.

Uber admits underpaying New York drivers approximately $45 million

Thu, 25 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The infamous ride-sharing app admitted Tuesday that it had been underpaying its New York drivers since November 2014 due to an accounting error that took out more than the company’s 25 percent commission, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

Trump targets USDA with some of the deepest proposed budget cuts

Wed, 24 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The proposed budget zeroes out programs like the USDA’s Farm Safety program, which seeks to reduce farm sector injuries by training workers in how to properly use farming equipment.

The Time Is Now to Stand Up for the CFPB

Tue, 23 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Feuer explained in the interview that the CFPB played a crucial role in investigating reports that Wells Fargo employees were fabricating accounts under pressure to meet sales quotas. Those fake accounts, in turn, showed up in financial reports that helped Wells Fargo boost its stock price and, as the stock price rose, executive earnings.

40,000 AT&T Workers Begin 3-Day Strike

Fri, 19 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Around 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at AT&T walked off their jobs Friday, for a three-day strike, as pressure continues to mount on the corporation to settle fair contracts.

Paid family leave policies show corporate America's disdain for low-wage workers and their babies

Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

And even companies that have touted their parental leave programs leave many of their workers out, giving paid leave to their salaried staff at corporate headquarters but not to the workers standing behind the cash registers or making the cappuccinos or fried chicken.

Yale: Negotiate with Your Graduate Teachers

Thu, 18 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Graduate teachers are teachers. Once they walk into the classroom, their job becomes indistinguishable from that of a tenured faculty member.

Trump’s rollback of environmental rules will fail to bring back coal, report says

Wed, 17 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Spoiler alert: In its first few pages, the report states that President Donald Trump will almost certainly fail to bring jobs back to coal country or dramatically boost coal production.

A Winning Week for Corporations and Wall Street—Paid for by Your Health and Retirement

Fri, 12 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Corporations and Wall Street won big last week, and working people will pay a high price for it.

Want To Speak Out About Politics at Work? Here Are 3 Things You Need to Know.

Tue, 16 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

In the past several months, there’s been a noted uptick in political speech at work. That speech has often made national news, from Sally Yates’ dismissal as interim attorney general to IBM workers organizing against their employer’s support of Donald Trump.

Bosses are stealing billions from their workers' paychecks, but it's not treated like a crime

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

But somehow wage theft—not paying workers the minimum wage for the hours they’ve worked, stealing tips, not paying overtime, and other ways of not paying workers what they’ve earned—doesn’t get treated as the crime it truly is.

Immigrant Nurses Demand Equal Pay—And Win

Thu, 11 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Management’s argument was that foreign experience was not comparable to U.S. experience. But the underpaid nurses coming forward had something else in common: they were primarily people of color, mainly from India.

The Trump Administration is About to Put Nursing Home Profits Ahead of Nursing Home Patients

Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The secretive arbitration system also effectively lets homes sweep the facts about problems under the rug, so that the public and regulators never learn about widespread or egregious abuses.

5 Things You Need to Know from the AFL-CIO's New Executive Paywatch Report

Tue, 09 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Today, the AFL-CIO released the 2017 edition of its Executive Paywatch report. The Executive Paywatch website, the most comprehensive, searchable online database tracking CEO pay, showed that in 2016, the average production and nonsupervisory worker earned some $37,600 per year. When adjusted for inflation, the average wage has remained stagnant for 50 years.

New York City bans salary histories

Mon, 08 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

If you apply for a job in New York City after October, you might notice a change in the process: your potential employer won’t ask you what you made in your past jobs.

The GOP Just Got One Step Closer to Taking Away Your Overtime Pay

Fri, 05 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The bill is being sold by Republicans as family friendly and “pro-worker,” allowing workers to take time off to attend to family needs. But Democrats and scores of labor and worker advocacy groups oppose the bill, saying it offers employees a false choice between pay and time off, effectively depriving workers of earned overtime without providing guarantees of family leave or stable work schedules.

Trump's Immigration Gag Order

Thu, 04 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Although I worry about the slow pace of our journey toward workplace equality, I have more immediate concerns these days. The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and immigration executive order are creating barriers to the justice system for entire communities.

Democrats unveil plan for a $15 minimum wage

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Congressional Democrats have unveiled their strongest minimum wage plan yet. And while Republicans will block this, it’s important to get the word out: this is what we’d be moving toward if Democrats were making the laws.

The Price for Killing Workers Must be Prison for CEOs

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Every 12 days, a member of my union, the United Steelworkers (USW), or one of their non-union co-workers, is killed on the job. Every 12 days. And it’s been that way for years.

On May Day, Working People Across Borders Are United to Build Power

Mon, 01 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Throughout North America and globally, May 1 is a day to remember and respect workers’ rights as human rights. As working people take to the streets in communities around the world, a quieter but equally important movement of workers on both sides of the United States–Mexico border has been growing.

Food Workers Take On Fowl Play at Tyson—And Win Better Conditions

Tue, 02 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

A consumer pressure campaign against labor abuses in the chicken-processing industry has produced some initial results, with a detailed pledge this week from Tyson Foods to build a better workplace for its 95,000 employees.

Facebook’s gender bias goes so deep it’s in the code

Wed, 03 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Female software engineers found their work was rejected 35 percent more than male engineers, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Under Trump, coal communities are stuck between a rock and a hard place

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Blair Zimmerman, Pennsylvania’s Greene County Commissioner, knows coal. As a mine worker for 40 years and then a politician in southwestern Pennsylvania, he knows how important coal is to both the identity and economic stability of his community. He’s even called the White House a few times since President Donald Trump took office, asking the president—who ran on a platform of supporting coal miners that he argued had been forgotten by Washington—to renew health insurance for thousands of retired coal miners.

The Looming Writers Strike Is About Much More Than What’s On TV

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

People say we’re living in the golden age of television. Fans enjoy more high-quality choices than at any time in history. But this could all grind to a halt if the Writers Guild of America (WGA) follows through with authorizing a strike, which would start May 2 barring any last-minute deals with the major studios.

This week in the war on workers: Trump's top attacks on workers ... so far

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The Economic Policy Institute’s Perkins Project “tracks actions by the administration, Congress, and the courts that affect people’s wages and their rights at work,” and as we get to the end of Donald Trump’s first 100 days, they’ve provided a list of the top 10 things he and congressional Republicans have done to working people.

Unionized Scientists March in Protest of Attacks on Science and Jobs

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Of all the attacks on our civil society, the attacks on evidence-based science pose perhaps the greatest existential threat. Decisions being made about climate science and environmental protection at this critical time will shape the future of our planet.

Thousands of Piece Rate Workers in California’s Salon Industry Are Likely Owed Unpaid Wages

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Salon owners in California who pay employees on commission are subject to liability for failing to pay all wages due. Under California law, “commissions” are a form of wages applicable only to an employee who sells a product or service, not to an employee who makes a product or provides a service to the employer’s customers

The Trump Economy Myth and Job-Killing Policies

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Making America Great Again; every time a U.S. company hires a hundred people, or even a dozen, President Trump’s support network blasts out the message that this is what he’s doing. Now they’re crowing that unemployment fell to 4.5 percent in March, even though many say this number underrepresents how many people are actually out of work.

Republicans launch their crusade for elder poverty with repeal of automatic retirement accounts

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

America is headed for a retirement crisis—too many people have no significant retirement savings and no pension and will have to rely almost entirely on Social Security benefits that Republicans are constantly trying to cut.

Texas has a new plan to discriminate against LGBT people

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Texas’ anti-transgender bill has seemingly stalled, but inspired by North Carolina, Republican state lawmakers have a new plan to expand discrimination against LGBT people.

The Plan Behind a Chicago Project to Lift Up Working People

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Manufacturing jobs have been on a steady decline for several years because of trade deals, technological advancements and economic recessions. Despite this, manufacturing remains one of the most important sectors of the U.S. economy, employing more than 12 million workers, or about 9% of the total U.S. employment.

Leaked Trump administration plan to close Chicago EPA office puts 1,000 jobs at risk

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

President Donald Trump’s proposed cutbacks to the Environmental Protection Agency may include the closure of the agency’s regional office in Chicago, a move that could undermine the agency’s ability to monitor pollution in the Great Lakes and curtail its ability to implement enforcement actions against coal-fired power plant owners in the six-state region.

Voters Want Higher Minimum Wages. Why? They Grow Jobs

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Last year Maine voters approved an increase in the minimum wage. After this jobs and wages surged. So business groups are trying to do something about it.

Dairy workers call on Ben and Jerry’s to give them better hours and fair wages

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

This week, dairy workers are using an annual ice cream giveaway day by Ben and Jerry’s to bring awareness to the long, hard hours and low wages that many in the industry face.

This week in the war on workers: Republicans attack minimum wage wins, but state news isn't all bad

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Lawmakers are saying “screw the will of the voters” in response to ballot votes to raise the minimum wage in several places across the country.

98,000 Jobs Added to the Economy in March, Unemployment Is 4.5%

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The U.S. economy added 98,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate declined to 4.5%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nestlé’s Makes the Very Best? Georgia Workers Vote To Unionize

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Your Nesquik may now be shipped by union workers, thanks to a powder-thin union election at a distribution center just south of Atlanta.

U.S. women reach deal in fair pay fight and will play in hockey championship

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The U.S. women’s national hockey team has triumphed before the world championships even begin. The women had said they would not play in those world championships—after winning the event six of the last eight times it was played—unless USA Hockey stepped up its support of women in the sport and moved toward fair pay

Trade Is Trump’s Biggest Broken Promise

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

If there was a singular issue Trump campaigned on, it was trade. Everywhere he went, Trump swore the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere” and “a rape of our country” – and whatever else he needed to say to sway working-class voters who felt betrayed by our economy and our trade deals.

Federal appeals court holds workers can’t be fired for being gay

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

With a lopsided majority joined by a bipartisan coalition of judges, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held on Tuesday that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law, at least in the context of the workplace.

Still Fighting for Equal Pay

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Today is Equal Pay Day. We are 100 days into 2017, and today some women have finally reached the point where their earnings match their male counterparts’ 2016 earnings.

Modern-day Braceros: The United States has 450,000 guestworkers in low-wage jobs and doesn’t need more

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

On César Chávez Day, lost in all the news about the Trump administration’s criminalization and scapegoating of immigrants and attempts to withhold federal funds from cities with policies that protect immigrants, are the 450,000 low-wage-earning migrant workers employed in the United States through the H-2A, H-2B, and J-1 visa temporary foreign worker programs. Many of the workers in these temporary visa programs are in a precarious situation and vulnerable to abuse and retaliation at the hands of employers and their agents.

Did You Vote For Unfair Pay and Unsafe Workplaces?

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Who could be against fair pay and safe workplaces? Give you one guess. President Trump just signed a bill, passed by the Republicans in the House and Senate, that repealed President Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order.

Trump revokes executive order, weakens protections for LGBT workers

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

An executive order President Trump signed Monday rescinded an executive order President Obama implemented that would have required companies that contract with the federal government to provide documentation about their compliance with various federal laws. Some have argued that this will make it harder to enforce the LGBT protections President Obama implemented for employees of federal contractors, as well as many other protections those workers enjoyed.

Labor and Community Allies Fight for Jobs and Public Safety in Atlantic City

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Atlantic City, New Jersey, may be the gambling capital of the East Coast, but there are certain things that shouldn’t be left up to chance, namely public safety. However, bureaucrats in charge of the state takeover of Atlantic City are now ready to impose drastic budget cuts that will result in 50% fewer firefighters and the smallest police force since 1971.

This week in the war on workers: Self driving cars will kill a lot of jobs. What then?

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

A lot of companies are working on self driving cars, hoping theya€™ll reshape a range of industries. That could provide benefits on some fronts, including the environment and road safety, but a lot of people work as drivers, so self driving cars could have a massive impact on the jobs landscape.

How States Are Trying to End the Disability Unemployment Crisis

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Data in the newly released 2016 Disability Statistics Compendium are highlighting a pernicious, and complex, disparity for the disability community: unemployment. In 2015, less than 35 percent of disabled Americans between 18 and 64 living in the community were employed, in contrast with some 76 percent of their non disabled counterparts.

What Slashing the Labor Department Budget by 21 Percent Would Mean

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The Trump administration’s “budget blueprint” would devastate worker safety, job training programs and legal services essential to low-income workers. Its cuts include a 21 percent, or $2.5 billion, reduction in the Department of Labor’s budget.

HELP Committee Should Ask Acosta for Commitments to the DOL Mission

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Ahead of Wednesday’s confirmation hearing for Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor, workers and workers’ advocates have been vocal about their concerns with his appointment. Workplace Fairness, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, among others, are seeking assurances from Mr. Acosta about how he intends to protect workers and carry out the mission of the Department of Labor.

Ahead of CFPB Rule, Congress Prepares for a Showdown over the Future of Forced Arbitration and Consumer Class Actions

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Last week, lawmakers laid the groundwork for a battle over consumer rights and forced arbitration that likely will play out through the spring.

We Must Create Good Jobs: Sherrod Brown Shows the Way Forward

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

February, the first full month of the Trump presidency, witnessed solid jobs growth of 235,000 with the headline unemployment rate little changed, at 4.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Services monthly report. Trump has already tweeted to claim credit for the results, but neither his plan nor his administration were in place.

21 Female Senators to Help Decide Fate of Bill That Would Kill Harassment, Discrimination Suits

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Sex-based discriminations sounds like the bad old days but, unfortunately, it isn’t. Just a few years ago, current and former female sales representatives at a medical cosmetics company, Medicis Pharmaceutical (now owned by Valeant Pharmaceuticals), banded together to bring a class action against their employer for regularly doing all of these things, and more, including unequal pay and retaliation for reporting discrimination and harassment.

Still Getting 'It' Wrong

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy gained 235,000 payroll slots in February and upped its estimates for December and January by another 9,000 jobs. Over the three-month period, that means an average job growth of 209,000 jobs a month.

Trump Labor Department has a message to employers: Workplace safety? Not a priority.

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Donald Trump’s Labor Department is sending employers a message that it’s open season on worker safety—by cutting off public messages about enforcement of worker safety rules. What Fair Warning noticed 10 days ago is still going on today.