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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



 



The Trump Economy Myth and Job-Killing Policies
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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%
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.



Despite Some Union Support, Trump’s New Labor Pick Would Be Terrible for Workers
President Donald Trump’s new pick to head the Labor Department is getting an early boost from a “divide-and-conquer” strategy against labor unions and their allies, even before his qualifications and background as a civil servant are scrutinized in a Senate confirmation hearing.



Republicans Repealing A Rule To Stop Wage Theft? It’s Who They Are
Who could be against rules that try to protect workers from having their pay stolen, having their health and safety put at risk, and being subjected to civil rights and labor law violations? See if you can guess who.



#CampusResistance rises today at colleges and universities nationwide
Students and faculty at America’s colleges and universities stand at the confluence of many of the most troubled waters springing from the Trump administration and its corporate-driven, deeply divisive agenda.



Congress’ Cuts in Health Care Will Hit Women Harder
Republican leaders in Congress are working on plans to cut health benefits for tens of millions of people. The harms from these cuts are likely to have the biggest impact on women, both for their own health benefits and as they try to manage health care for their families.



On International Women’s Day, not all women can go on strike
On International Women’s Day, the organization that spearheaded the Women’s March over Inauguration Weekend is leading “A Day Without a Woman”—a call to action for women around the world to take the day off from paid and unpaid labor, to shop only at women-only or minority-owned businesses, and to wear red in solidarity. But some women—particularly immigrants, low-wage workers, and working mothers—cannot participate in a national strike because they’re worried about losing their jobs or because they rely on their daily income.



Labor Department goes silent on workplace safety enforcement under Trump
Since inauguration, OSHA hasn’t issued a single news release about penalties or other enforcement actions by federal authorities.



THINK YOUR RIGHTS ARE SAFE? THINK AGAIN...
This type of lawsuit—called a class action—has been used by Americans of all stripes for the past 50 years to fight back when an unethical business or unjust government policy is making them sick, cheating them of their money, or otherwise screwing them over. But now, because of corporate special interests and their influence over some members of Congress, class actions are in grave danger of becoming a thing of the past.



House GOP’s Bill to Eliminate Nearly All Class Actions Would Encourage More Ponzi Schemes & Other Corporate Cheating
There was a lot of national attention when Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme collapsed and it became clear that he had stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from investors around the country. Many thousands of stories were written about how he went to prison, the SEC investigated both the scheme and how the scheme had been able to go on so long, and a number of private lawsuits tried to recover money for investors from various people who enabled his scheme.



Federal Hiring Freeze To Hit Rural and Minority Communities the Hardest
President Donald Trump issued a memorandum last month freezing the hiring of civilian employees throughout the federal government with the exception of military personnel and “to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.” The order specifies that contracting “to circumvent the intent of this memorandum shall not be permitted.” In addition, it directs the Office of Management and Budget to come up with a plan to reduce the size of the federal government through attrition. Under this order, except in “limited circumstances,” any federal agency jobs vacant as of noon on January 22, 2017 cannot be filled.



This week in the war on workers: Republicans take aim at retirement savings program
The United States is heading for a major retirement crisis, with the shift from pensions to 401(k)s leaving at least half of households in danger of running short of money in retirement. There are a lot of possible solutions to that, and one of them doesn’t even involve employers paying their workers more.



New EPA head takes action—delaying a mining clean-up rule
In one of his first acts of business, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directed his new staff to delay a initiative that would require mining companies to prove they can clean up after themselves.



Interviews for Resistance: The March 8 Strike Is About Building Feminism for the 99%
Since election night 2016, the streets of the United States have rung with resistance. People all over the country have woken up with the conviction that they must do something to fight inequality in all its forms. But many are wondering what it is they can do. In this series, we’ll be talking with experienced organizers, troublemakers and thinkers who have been doing the hard work of fighting for a long time. They’ll be sharing their insights on what works, what doesn’t, what has changed and what is still the same.



Trading Rules for Workers
President Donald Trump met with a bunch of CEOs at the White House last week, prompting the same old, tired and untrue round of assertions that America lost millions of manufacturing jobs because of automation, regulation, illegal immigration and lack of education.



Uber ignored its diversity problem. Now it’s paying for it in spades.
Uber is under fire after a former engineer made headlines for publishing a detailed account of her experiences with sexual harassment—and Uber executives not addressing it. The timing seems particularly awful for Uber, which just lost 200,000 customers for the way it handled President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. But Uber has been one of the few holdouts not tackling the problems of diversity and inclusion that ail much of Silicon Valley. Now, the company has to pay for it.



Donald Trump is too busy showboating to do the hard work of creating jobs and rebuilding America
Donald Trump isn’t getting stuff done because Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing—or even what he would need to do to get stuff done.



The People Fired Puzder
Andy Puzder, President Trump’s pick to run the Labor Department, didn’t really bow out. He was fired. But even though Trump made the phrase “you’re fired” his motto, he didn’t force Puzder out. We did. Working people sent him the pink slip.



What’s Happening to Your Health Care: 3 Things to Know Right Now
There is definitely lots of talk about how President Donald Trump and Congress are planning to make major changes to Americans’ health benefits. That’s because Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have said that repealing the Affordable Care Act is one of their top priorities. Although it is not clear when they will act or exactly what they will do, here are three things to know right now.



BREAKING: Iowa Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Anti-Union Bill
Lawmakers in Iowa have voted to dismantle the state’s 40-year-old collective bargaining law, dramatically weakening the power of public sector labor unions and leaving some 185,000 public workers unable to bargain over benefits, healthcare, vacations, retirement, and nearly all workplace issues outside of wages.



Workplace Fairness Applauds the Withdrawal of Andrew Puzder’s Nomination for Labor Secretary
Along with hundreds of workers rights organizations and millions of workers (whether they realized it or not!) Workplace Fairness is applauding the withdrawal this afternoon of Andrew Puzder’s nomination as Secretary of Labor. Puzder announced the following this afternoon (February 15):



Trump’s Labor pick hasn’t even had a hearing yet and his confirmation is in serious jeopardy
The fight against President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, fast food CEO Andy Puzder, is shaping up to be as intense as opposition to Betsy DeVos’ nomination for education secretary. Puzder’s long delayed confirmation hearing is set for Thursday, and a few Republican senators are already signaling they may vote against him.



Working People and Their Unions Rally to Support Members Affected by Travel Ban
Faculty, staff and students studying and teaching in the United States have been scrambling since Donald Trump barred entry into the country for foreign nationals from seven majority Muslim countries. Although the executive order has been temporarily blocked by court order, the matter remains a moving target as the White House challenges the rulings -- and the legitimacy -- of the courts.



Make American Jobs
President Donald Trump had Harley-Davidson executives and employees over to lunch at the White House last week and reiterated his promise to end wrong-headed trade policies that enable foreign countries to eat American workers’ lunch.



Groundbreaking Bill in Illinois Would Give Temp Workers Equal Pay and Rights as Direct Hires
Sweeping legislation introduced in the Illinois state legislature last month would dramatically improve pay, benefits and working conditions for almost a million of the state’s temp workers toiling in factories, warehouses and offices.



Republican takes aim at your right to know how high CEO pay is compared to typical workers
As of January 1, companies will have to make public how much their CEOs make compared to what their average workers make. They dona€™t like that rule so much -- enacted thanks to Dodd-Frank -- and they might be able to get it killed.



Workplace Fairness Says Goodbye to Former Board Member Penny Nathan Kahan
Workplace Fairness was very saddened to learn of the passing of former board member and early supporter Penny Nathan Kahan on February 1, 2017, after a long and hard-fought battle with ovarian cancer. (Penny Kahan Obituary) Penny’s legacy will be honored at a Celebration of Life on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, at 2:00 PM, at the Chicago Jewish Funerals – Skokie Chapel, 8851 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077.



Republican Victory in Missouri Means “Right-to-Work” For Less
Missouri’s House of Representatives passed a so-called “right-to-work” law this month, marking the end of a decades-long campaign for the adoption of the anti-union legislation in the state.



Americans are now twice as likely to work in solar as in coal
In his first hour as president, Donald Trump promised to resurrect middle-class manufacturing jobs in the United States. It will be all but impossible for him to reverse the tides of globalization and automation, but the future may nonetheless be bright for the American worker, thanks to a trend that predates and will outlast the 45th president.



The Economy Adds 227,000 Jobs in January, and Unemployment Little Changed at 4.8%
The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in January in the last employment report of the the Barack Obama administration. Unemployment was little changed at 4.8%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.



Social Media is a Danger Zone for the Healthcare Industry
Social media can cause big problems for healthcare workers and their employers. Because of HIPAA rules and other concerns, posting something as seemingly harmless as a selfie with a patient could ruin careers, or worse.



New Congress on Track to Block Long-Sought Workplace and Public Health Protections
In addition to having the ability to pass antiregulatory legislation, Congress has at its disposal the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress to overturn a regulation passed during the last 60 legislative working days of an outgoing administration.



This week in the war on workers: Union membership keeps dropping in 2016
Union density continued its long decline in 2016.



Five Groups of Americans Who’ll Get Shafted Under Trump’s Hiring Freeze
Donald Trump, in what’s been hyped as an “unprecedented” move, has instituted a freeze on the hiring of federal employees. Hyperbole aside (it’s hardly unprecedented, since Ronald Reagan did the same thing on his first day in office), one thing is already clear: this will hurt a lot of people.



What the BLS Union Numbers Don't Tell You About People Organizing and Collective Action
As we examine the new Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Annual Union Membership Report, it is striking that corporations and their hired politicians have been at the throats of working people for years, attacking our rights to negotiate on the job. And that has left us weaker.



Trump’s war on EPA regulations will kill jobs and a lot of people
In his first days in office, President Donald Trump has launched a major effort to hurt job growth, stifle innovation, and make Americans sicker and less productive. How? By waging war on regulations, particularly those designed to protect the environment.



Trump’s Treasury secretary pick claims the unemployment rate is ‘not real’
Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, claimed during his confirmation hearing on Thursday that the unemployment rate is “not real” and that “the average American worker has gone nowhere.”



Worker advocates are getting under labor nominee Andy Puzder's thin, thin skin
Donald Trump proposes to put fast food CEO Andy Puzder in charge of the Department of Labor, where he could bring his program of wage theft, automation, and sexism to workers nationwide. Unions and worker advocacy groups are not so enthusiastic about this proposal, and one of the ways they’ve tried to register their concern is by tweeting at Puzder.



Momentive Workers Strike As Trump’s “Jobs Forum” Pick Cuts Wages
More than 700 Momentive Performance Materials chemical plant workers in Waterford, NY have been on strike since November 2.



How the American Postal Workers Union Scored One of its Biggest Wins Ever
Members of one of the largest labor unions for post office workers are celebrating the success of a three-year campaign to roll back a commercial alliance between the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and office supplies retailer Staples that threatened a major advance in the privatization of the national mail system. Coming just before the accession of Donald Trump to the White House, the victory marks one of the most successful corporate campaigns by any labor union during the Obama era.



This MLK Day, I marched for justice at Newark Airport
In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I participated in an incredibly moving procession of airport workers like myself. We were joined by clergy and elected officials on our march through Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport.



DOJ: To Address “Defective” Accountability System, Chicago Must Renegotiate Police Union Contracts
Now we know what the Department of Justice (DOJ) found in Chicago after a 13-month investigation of the Chicago Police Department: a “defective” police accountability system whose failures are tied to public distrust in police and Chicago’s murder spike. Among the roadblocks to reform noted in the report were police collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), including the three agreements for police supervisors, currently in negotiations, and the contract for rank-and-file cops, which expires on June 30.



Workers Say Trump’s Labor Secretary Nominee Is a Habitual Violator of Labor Law
Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, is uniquely unqualified for that job. As secretary, he’d be charged with enforcing health and safety, overtime and other labor laws. But as CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., he’s made his considerable fortune from violating these very same laws, according to a report by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United released this week.



This week in the war on workers: Federal job levels are low but Trump wants to drive them lower
Donald Trump says he’s all about jobs, but at the same time he wants a federal hiring freeze. Supposedly there are just too many federal workers and the government should save money by getting rid of them.



Trump’s pick for Education Secretary worked with an organization advocating child labor
Donald Trump’s selection for Secretary of Education, billionaire voucher advocate Betsy DeVos, has made her imprint on policy through large donations to extremist conservative groups, including the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.



AFL-CIO Tells Congress No Repeal Without Replacement of ACA
As Congress debates the future of the Affordable Care Act, the AFL-CIO sent a letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urging Republican leaders to abandon plans to roll back coverage protections.



Postal Service Drops Staples Privatization Effort
The Postal Service’s experimental “pilot program” in privatizing the retail end of the USPS using Staples outlets has failed and ended. The “Grand Alliance to Save Our Postal Service” has forced the USPS to back off from partnering with Staples in their effort to privatize and undermine the wages and jobs of USPS employees.



Labor Opponents Already Have The Next ‘Friedrichs’ SCOTUS Case Ready to Go Under Trump
The Supreme Court gave unions an unexpected victory last year when it issued a decision in a case that had threatened to take away the right of public sector unions to collect dues from workers they represent. That win may be short-lived.



Day 1 in the Newly Seated Kentucky Legislature Is About Attacking Working People
Kentucky Republican leaders, led by Gov. Matt Bevin, gained control of the state House, giving them control of the executive and legislative branches. Their first order of business? Go after working families.



Union workers, not Donald Trump, pushed Fiat Chrysler into creating 2,000 jobs
Great news: Fiat Chrysler has announced a $1 billion, 2,000-job investment in plants in Michigan and Ohio.



New House rules allow Congress to slash the pay of individual federal workers
The Holman rule, named after the congressman who first proposed it in 1876, was nixed by Congress in 1983. The rule, now reinstated for 2017, gives any lawmaker the power to offer amendments to appropriations bills that could, legislatively, fire any federal employee or cut their pay down to $1 dollar, if the lawmaker so chooses.



More U.S. Workers Have Highly Volatile, Unstable Incomes
Contributing to this inequality is the fact that while more Americans are working than at any time since August 2007, more people are working part time, erratic and unpredictable schedules—without full-time, steady employment. Since 2007, the number of Americans involuntarily working part time has increased by nearly 45 percent.



Trump Nominates Non-Free-Trader Robert Lighthizer to Trade Office
President-“elect” Donald Trump today announced his nomination of Robert Lighthizer for the cabinet-level office of US Trade Representative (USTR). Lighthizer, who served as deputy USTR under President Ronald Reagan, is known for criticizing Republican “free trade” ideology. Before serving in the Reagan administration he was chief of staff for the Senate Finance Committee.



Trump falsely claims he created thousands of new jobs, and news outlets lap it up
The suggestion that Trump is responsible for new, previously unannounced jobs is not true. The jobs are coming to the United States, but they are coming as part of a series of investments that were first announced in mid-October.



6 Ways We Could Improve NAFTA for Working People
Today we released a blueprint for how to rewrite NAFTA to benefit working families. This past election there was much-needed discussion on the impact of corporate trade deals on our manufacturing sector and on working-class communities. The outline below puts forward real solutions that should garner bipartisan support if lawmakers are truly serious about realigning our trade policies to help workers.



Income Inequality Is off the Charts. Can Local Policies Make a Difference?
The income gap between the classes is growing at a startling pace in the United States. In 1980, the top 1 percent earned on average 27 times more than workers in the bottom 50 percent. Today, they earn 81 times more.



Delivery Drivers Sue Amazon Over Misclassification, Failure to Pay Overtime and the Minimum Wage
A suit was filed against Amazon on October 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. It charges Amazon and Amazon Logistics Inc. with violating the minimum wage law in Seattle, state labor law in Washington and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).



This week in the war on workers: SoftBank investment is not necessarily something to look forward to
Donald Trump’s claim that, because of him, SoftBank would be investing $50 billion in the U.S. and creating 50,000 jobs was greeted somewhat less credulously than his Carrier claims. But it’s still worth an extra look at the details



Federal judge concludes transgender worker can sue for sex discrimination
A federal court in Kentucky is allowing a transgender workplace discrimination suit to proceed, recognizing that mistreatment in regards to gender identity constitutes illegal discrimination on the basis of sex.



Coal Communities Ask Trump To Honor His Promises
Coal miners, their communities and Faith groups are calling on President-presumed-Elect Donald Trump to honor his campaign promise to help coal workers. In an “Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump from coal miners,” hundreds of coal miners from Appalachia to Western coal lands asked for help for coal communities across the country.



Texas Bill Would Require Workers Under 18 to Get Their Parents’ Consent to Join a Union
Last month, the highest-ranking member of the Texas Senate, Jane Nelson, pre-filed 11 bills to be considered in the legislative session that begins on January 10. Among these bills is SB 75, which seeks to protect children from labor unions.



Los Angeles bans criminal history checkboxes on job applications
Companies in the nation’s second-largest city must stop requiring job applicants to disclose criminal convictions on hiring forms next year after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a “Ban the Box” law there on Friday.



If Uber Wants to Take Away Its Customers’ Rights, It Should Tell Them
It’s bad enough that a ton of corporations require their customers and employees to submit all their legal claims to private arbitration, a secretive system that is rigged against the individual. But to compound the unfairness, a growing number of corporations are hiding their forced arbitration clauses to make them more and more obscure.



More Than 6 Million Americans Who Want Full-Time Jobs Are Stuck Working Part-Time
The recovery from the Great Recession has been long, slow and steady. But it has also contributed unexpectedly to an increase in involuntary part-time work, which needs new regulation to protect workers from abuse, according to a new study released this week by the Economic Policy Institute.



Donald Trump just attacked a local union leader for telling the truth
Chuck Jones is the president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents the workers at the much-discussed Indiana Carrier plant. That put him in the spotlight when he had to be the person to correct not just Donald Trump but much of the media by pointing out that Trump’s deal with Carrier had saved not the thousand-plus jobs claimed but just around 800.



Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary is a big ‘screw you’ to the Fight for $15
In an otherwise grim period for the U.S. labor movement, the fast food industry has been a hot spot for organizing activity. For the past four years, the union-backed Fight for 15 movement and allied groups have staged a series of nationwide, day-long strikes and protests in support of higher wages and unionization for fast food workers.



Enormous, Humongous $42.6 Billion October Trade Deficit Is Unbalanced
The U.S. Census Bureau reported Friday that the October trade deficit rose to $42.6 billion from a enormous and humongous 36.2 billion in September. That’s a 17.8 percent increase. October exports were down $3.4 billion and imports were up $3.0 billion. The goods deficit with China also increased, hitting $28.9 billion in October.



The Hope From Audacity: Fight for $15 Pulls Off “Most Disruptive” Day of Action Yet
Chicago—The movement known as Fight for $15 started in New York City as a surprise one-day strike. The workers’ demands then were simple and bold. They wanted a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to organize a union.



The letter from Carrier to its employees that Donald Trump doesn’t want you to read
On Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump traveled to the Carrier factory in Indianapolis, Indiana to tout the deal he helped orchestrate to keep about 800 manufacturing jobs in the United States in exchange for state and federal incentives, including $7 million from Indiana.



DC Considers Cutting-Edge Paid Family Leave Law
“I sometimes imagine how my life would be different if my mom had the option of paid family leave,” Travis said. The District of Columbia resident was born prematurely. Because his mother could not get the time off from work to make necessary hospital visits to care for her fragile son, “She had to give me up to be raised in Florida by other family members.”



Fight For $15 Fights With Nationwide Strike Today
When do we want a $15 minimum wage? We want it now. 43% of the workforce — 60 million workers — are paid less than $15/hour. People will continue to fight for decent wages, the election of Donald “Wages Are Too High” Trump notwithstanding.



Wage Theft Against Immigrants Threatens All Working People
The United States holds sacrosanct the principle that regardless of who you are, or where you come from, your hard work will be rewarded. For day laborers in America, at least half of whom report experiencing wage theft, this ideal rings hollow. In a country so expansive and so diverse as America, there must be mechanisms in place to ensure the principle of getting paid for the work you do is a reality for everyone.



This week in the war on workers: What happens if Obama's overtime expansion is reversed?
President Obamaa€™s expansion of overtime pay goes into effect on December 1. But what happens if it gets rolled back in 2017?



Think It’s Tough for Labor Now? Just Wait Until Trump Takes Office in January
In 63 days, organized labor is going to find itself in a new political reality, which it seems totally unprepared for. Donald Trump will be president; the Republicans will control the House and Senate and one of Trump’s first tasks will be to nominate a new Supreme Court justice. Though Trump was tight-lipped about specific policy proposals, his campaign and the current constitution of the Republican party do not bode well for labor.



Employment Lawsuit Earnings - How Are They Split Up in a Divorce?
Divorce. Sadly, it happens every day. Fortunately, there are laws in place to help make things as fair as possible for a couple that is splitting up. That means that even the division of property is governed by laws. But what about lawsuit earnings? In particular, employment lawsuit earnings? How are they treated in a divorce?



Thousands rally for growing movement
Thousands of SEIU janitors are traveling to the City of Brotherly Love today to hold a massive rally in support of nearly 75,000 east coast janitors who are negotiating fair wages and benefits this fall.