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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


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.

Despite Some Union Support, Trump’s New Labor Pick Would Be Terrible for Workers

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

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

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Since inauguration, OSHA hasn’t issued a single news release about penalties or other enforcement actions by federal authorities.


Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

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

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

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

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

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

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%

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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.

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

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

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

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

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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%

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Union density continued its long decline in 2016.

Five Groups of Americans Who’ll Get Shafted Under Trump’s Hiring Freeze

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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’

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 25 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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?

Wed, 28 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

“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

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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?

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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?

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

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?

The Bright Spots for Workers Amid Tuesday’s Disastrous Election

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

Voters approved an increase to $12 an hour by 2020 in Arizona, Colorado and Maine. Washington voted to raise the minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020—and index it to inflation after that. In Flagstaff, Arizona, voters approved an increase above the new state minimum wage, raising it to $15 an hour by 2021.

Is TPP Really Dead?

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) dead or not? The President-elect says he is against TPP. TPP may be the thing that cost Clinton the election. The voters obviously were against it. The head of the Senate says he won’t bring it up for a vote. But House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t said a thing. And, of course, Wall Street and the giant multinational corporations want TPP and they want it bad.

If You Have a Preexisting Health Condition, Don’t Even Think About Leaving Your Job

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

If President-elect Trump follows through on his campaign promises, millions of individuals-immigrants, religious minorities, people of color-face a very grim four years. One of the worst hit groups will be Americans with significant health costs. The Trump transition team published a brief summary of the incoming presidenta€™s health plan on its website, and the news is not good for the elderly, the poor, and millions of Americans with preexisting conditions.

Voters raise the minimum wage in four states and pass paid sick leave in two

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

Ita€™s become a regular feature of elections in recent years: Even as the federal minimum wage stays stuck at $7.25 an hour, with congressional Republicans refusing to raise it, voters resoundingly choose to raise state and local minimum wages.

Southern California SEIU Caucuses Call On AFL-CIO to Kick Out Police Union

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

In July 2015, the University of California’s student-workers union, United Auto Workers (UAW) 2865, passed a resolution calling on the AFL-CIO to terminate the membership of the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA).

Transit Workers Reach Agreement to End Weeklong Strike in Philadelphia

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

On Monday, transit workers in TWU Local 234 reached a tentative agreement with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and ended a weeklong transit strike in Philadelphia. Nearly 5,000 employees are returning to work, and the deal now goes to the local’s membership for a vote, which is set for Nov. 18.

The airlines can support the people that support them: Why my family is fighting for $15 and union rights at O’Hare

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

I work in the United Airlines terminal as a baggage handler at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. Not too long ago, the people doing my job made $22 an hour. Then United outsourced the jobs to Prospect.

Where do we draw the line on political speech in the workplace?

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500

This yeara€™s election has stirred up a lot of controversy, arguably more than the most recent elections. Everyone is talking about the election, whether it is in person or online. What rules apply to the workplace and where do we draw the line?

L.A. Port Strike Today Over Federal Contractor Wage Theft

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Truck drivers and warehouse workers working for federal contractors at the Port of Los Angeles are striking for 48 hours to draw attention to wage theft and other violations. These workers work for companies that contract with the federal Department of Defense. They say they have been misclassified as “independent contractors”, had their wages stolen and have been retaliated against for exercising the right to organize.

New U.N. Report Shows Just How Awful Globalization and Informal Employment Are for Workers

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Freedom of peaceful assembly and association, says a new United Nations report, “are essential to human dignity, economic empowerment, sustainable development and democracy. They are the gateway to all other rights; without them, all other human and civil rights are in jeopardy.” But these rights, says the report, are being jeopardized by the recent dramatic rise in the power of large multinational corporations and their dependence on global supply chains and the growing informal and migrant workforce

McDonald's settles with franchise workers for $3.75 million in wage theft lawsuit

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0400

McDonalda€™s is still insisting it isna€™t a joint employer of workers in franchise restaurants, but even so, ita€™s paying out millions to settle a lawsuit over labor law violations by a franchisee.

Saving for retirement isn’t simple when earning poverty wages: The old adage of spend less and save more doesn’t cut it for adjuncts

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Ita€™s National Save for Retirement Week, a time when financial services industry experts offer Americans conventional advice for preparing for their golden years. However, saving for retirement isna€™t as simple as these people would have you believe.

AFL-CIO Report Warns TPP Will Force Another Mass-Migration Into US

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Trade agreements can be used to boost prosperity on all sides of trade borders by increasing business opportunities, raising wages and increasing choices. Or they can be used to concentrate corporate power, cutting wages and choices.

Beyond the Fight for 15: The Worker-led Fast Food Union Campaign Building Power on the Shop Floor

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Disgruntled Burgerville workers began covertly organizing in 2015. The Burgerville Workers Union (BVWU) went public on April 26 with a march of more than 100 people through Portland, Oregon, and the delivery of a letter to the corporate headquarters in Vancouver. Some BVWU members call their effort “Fight for $15, 2.0,” playing off the name of the fast-food worker campaign launched in 2011 by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

North Carolina just lost out on another 730 jobs because of its anti-LGBT law

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

This week, North Carolina found out it is not getting 730 new jobs and a quarter-billion-dollar impact that it was the top contender for. The reason? Its anti-LGBT law, HB2, which bans trans people from using the bathroom and bars municipalities from protecting LGBT people from discrimination.

The Real Living Wage? $17.28 An Hour – At Least

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

Fifteen dollars shouldn’t be too much to ask – or demand. In almost every state, a worker needs more than $15 an hour to make ends meet. Add in student debt, and the minimum living wage shoots up to $18.67 an hour nationally. A family with children needs significantly more.

This week in the war on workers: Pennsylvania state college and university faculty strike

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

After going without a contract for more than a year, and with their administration withdrawing from negotiation, faculty at Pennsylvania state colleges and universities (but not including Pennsylvania State University, confusingly enough) went on strike Wednesday.

U.N. Special Report: U.S. Workers Restricted in Exercising Basic Union Rights

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

A new report finds that the United States fails to uphold the most basic rights of workers, particularly in the South, where some states “support or collude with employers to infringe upon workers’ rights to peaceful assembly and association.”

How Can We Do ‘Trade’ Right?

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

People have figured out that our country’s “trade” deals haven’t been working our so well for “our country.” A visit to Flint, Detroit or almost any town, city, state or region that was built around manufacturing make it clear what we have done. Shifting jobs and factories to places where people are paid squat and are forced to work long hours with few protections while the environment is sacrificed might have put a lot of money into the pockets of already-wealthy executives and Wall Street “investors” but it hurt almost everyone and almost everywhere else in the country.

The Two-Tier Provision in the Chicago Teachers Union’s Tentative Agreement, Explained

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400

The tentative agreement that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) struck with district management less than an hour before a midnight October 10 strike deadline has been hailed by many as a victory.