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RSS feed iconArticles on workplace-related issues from newspapers and Internet news sources around the country.

August 17, 2022

Unions' Post-Reconcialation PRO Act Push

Source: Nick Wiedzwiadek and Eleanor Mueller, Politico

The PRO Act is truly the bill that needs no introduction: Democrats’ holy grail of pro-union labor law reform that would make it far easier for workers to organize.

Starbucks Asks for a Nationwide Pause in Mail-In Union Votes, Alleging Misconduct

Source: Bill Chappell, NPR

Starbucks is accusing National Labor Relations Board employees of secretly coordinating with union organizers in the Kansas City area.

Chief Economist at Chamber of Commerce Breaks Down the Most Recent Jobs Report

Source: Deanna Cuadra, Benefit News

There's no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the labor force landscape in the last two years — but will businesses ever return to a pre-COVID labor market?

August 16, 2022

Starbucks Asks Labor Board to Suspend Mail Ballot Elections Following Misconduct Allegations

Source: Daniella Genovese, Fox Business

Starbucks is calling on the chairman of the NLRB to immediately suspend all mail-in union elections after claiming that labor board personnel engaged in misconduct with union representatives to tip the elections in their favor.

Dollar General Fined Nearly $1.3 Million for Worker Safety Violations at Georgia Stores

Source: Jack Stebbins, CNBC

The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it found violations in March that included obstructed exit routes, unsafely stacked merchandise and electrical panels that were difficult to access.

Circuit Panel Invites Full Court to Reconsider Title VII ‘Ultimate Employment Decisions’ Rule

Source: Charles Jeremiah, JacksonLewis

Holding a gender-based scheduling policy was not unlawful discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has invited the full circuit court to revisit its standard for proving workplace discrimination.

August 15, 2022

Some of America's Biggest Companies are Hinting the Labor Shortage is Ending for Them

Source: Juliana Kaplan, Business Insider

For over a year, companies have had one big complaint: Nobody wants to work anymore.
Now, though, the tide seems to be turning.

U.S. Productivity Tumbles Again in Second Quarter, Labor Costs Up Sharply

Source: Greg Robb, MarketWatch

Over the past 12 months, U.S. non-farm labor productivity fell at a record 2.5% rate, according to an economist surveyed by MarketWatch.

U.S. Economy Continues to Surprise the Experts, With a Major Reading on Inflation Due This Week to Add to the Noise

Source: Tim Smart, U.S. News

Economists and politicians alike are having trouble understanding an economy that has survived more than two years of pandemic shocks.

August 12, 2022

Immigrant Detainees Strike Over $1 a Day Pay, Working Conditions

Source: Alejandra Quintero, Labor Notes

At two federal detention centers in California, more than 50 immigrant workers are on strike over unsafe working conditions and low wages.

Shopify Merchant Growth Falters as Weak Consumer Spending Hits Businesses

Source: Nivedita Balu, Reuters

Businesses stung by rising costs and lower consumer spending are shying away from Shopify's platform, creating a roadblock in its plan to fix past missteps in overestimating e-commerce demand.

Company Fined for Replacing “Made in China” Tags with “Made in USA” Tags

Source: Natalie Neysa Alund, USA Today

An apparel company known for inflammatory apparel championing the Second Amendment and Donald Trump has been fined after the Federal Trade Commission found the company falsely claimed its imported apparel is made in the U.S.

August 11, 2022

Why Amazon is Acquiring Roomba

Source: Daniel Howley and Alexandra Garfinkle, Yahoo Finance

Amazon’s collection of connected devices will soon include everything from intelligent vacuums to air purifiers.

Netflix is Not in Deep Trouble. It's Becoming a Media Company

Source: Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

Netflix's recent struggles may not be the start of a downward spiral or the beginning of the end for the streaming giant. Rather, it's a sign that it is becoming a more traditional media company.

Higher Prices, Skimpier Portions and Apps — How Fast-Food Chains are Changing Value Deals

Source: Ian Krietzberg, CNBC

Fast-food chains are playing up the value of their burgers, pizzas and tacos as inflation squeezes budgets — but expect higher prices, skimpier portions and more deals enticing people to sign up for rewards programs as companies rethink their value strategies.

August 10, 2022

‘Bizarre and Uncomfortable’: NYC Mayor Wants Photos of City Job Applicants

Source: Sally Goldenberg, Politico

The New York mayor has instructed city agencies to present him with photographs of potential hires as City Hall reviews candidates for jobs ranging from assistant commissioner to departmental press secretary.

Some Consumers are Cutting back on Restaurant Spending, But CEOs Say Not All Chains are Affected

Source: Amelia Lucus, CNBC

Some restaurants are reporting weaker sales or declining traffic in the second quarter, signaling that diners are cutting back on eating out to save money.
But CEOs are split on how consumer behavior is changing and whether it’s impacting their companies.

Snap is Planning to Lay Off Employees

Source: Alex Heath, The Verge

Snap, the large social media company is allegedly in the early stages of planning layoffs.

August 9, 2022

Workers in These Two Industries are the Only Ones Coming Out Ahead Right Now

Source: Tami Luhby, CNN

At first glance, it looks like many Americans got big pay raises since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
But in reality, only workers in two industries -- leisure and hospitality and retail trade -- are actually coming out ahead, once inflation is taken into account.

Why Jobs Data May Become Market’s Biggest Fear

Source: Chris Anstey, Bloomberg

Today we look at the potential turn in the US labor market and how that may determine the depth of the looming economic slowdown, the risks of another financial crisis in Asia and how many economies still have to make up ground lost in the pandemic.

Companies Have Been Fleeing to Low-Tax States — That May be Bad News for Workers

Source: Charlotte Morabito, CNBC

Corporations are not afraid to pick up and move.
Many states are offering companies enticing incentives like lower taxes if they move their operations, but a superior business climate doesn't always equate to a superior working climate.

August 8, 2022

Women Drive Job Gains as US Labor Market Surges Back in July

Source: Catarina Saraiva and Maria Torres, Bloomberg

The total number of employed women rose by 327,000 last month, accounting for more than half of the 528,000 increase in overall payrolls.

Massive Jobs Surprise: US Economy Added 528,000 Jobs in July

Source: Alicia Walice, CNN Business

The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5% after holding at 3.6% for the past four months. The July jobless rate matched the half-century low last seen in February 2020.

U.S. Labor Market Defies Recession Fears as Job Growth Surges in July

Source: Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

U.S. job growth unexpectedly accelerated in July, lifting the level of employment above its pre-pandemic level and pouring cold water on fears the economy was in recession.

August 5, 2022

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Unlawful, Michigan High Court Holds, Overruling Precedent

Source: Marlo Roebuck, Elyse Culbertson, Benjamin Wu, JacksonLewis

Michigan employers should review their policies and ensure they reflect protections against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

Where the Fed's Inflation-Crushing Campaign May Hurt the Most

Source: Adam Behsudi, Politico

The Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight inflation threaten to send the U.S. economy into a recession. They could also spark a series of economic crises in developing countries around the world.

Rising Retail, Restaurant, Food-Food Wages Make Hiring Tougher for Manufacturing, Construction, Health Care

Source: Paul Davidson, USA Today

Retail and fast food have seen wage increases while health care remains stagnant. As a result, chain restaurants are offering wages that compete with careers requiring degrees and expertise.

August 4, 2022

The Confusing Job Market: Tech and Finance Brace for the Worst, Travel Can’t Hire Fast Enough

Source: Ari Levy, Hugh Son, Lauren Thomas, Leslie Josephs, CNBC

The companies that hired most aggressively during the pandemic are now overstaffed and forced to cut back or impose hiring freezes. Meanwhile, airlines and hospitality companies are desperately trying to staff up after Covid-19 lockdowns led them to downsize.

US Doles Out Relief Dollars to Build Employment Pipelines

Source: Susan Montoya Bryan, AP News, U.S. News

With the highest unemployment rate in the nation, New Mexico is banking on an infusion of federal relief money through the American Rescue Plan to boost the job market in a poverty-stricken corner of the state.

U.S. Job Openings Fall to Nine-Month Low; Labor Market Holds Tight

Source: Lucia Mutikana, Reuters

U.S. job openings fell by the most in just over two years in June as demand for workers eased in the retail and wholesale trade industries, but overall the labor market remains tight, allowing the Federal Reserve to continue raising interest rates.

August 3, 2022

Why the American Dream is More Attainable in Some Cities Than Others

Source: Greg Rosalsky, NPR

It pays to have friends in high places. That's no secret. But a pair of groundbreaking studies published today in the peer-reviewed journal Nature substantiates this in a profound way, showing that cultivating these kinds of relationships is crucial for upward mobility in America.

California Proposition to Raise Minimum Wage Delayed

Source: Clarisse Peterson and Arcelia Magana, National Law Review

California voters almost had the opportunity to vote on an $18 minimum wage in November 2022. The State has a unique administrative process by which California citizens can propose laws and constitutional amendments without the support of the state government.

Reshoring as a Trending Choice for Manufacturers

Source: James M. Stone, JacksonLewis

The COVID-19 pandemic and other global events have forced companies to assess their fundamental operations. Chief among the considerations of U.S. companies in 2022 is how potentially relocating manufacturing can mitigate the risks of unstable international trade and supply chain management.

August 2, 2022

Starbucks Union Asks Coffee Giant to Extend Pay Hikes, Benefits to Unionized Stores

Source: Kate Rogers, CNBC

With pay increases set to kick in at Starbucks cafes around the U.S. on Monday, labor organizers are asking the coffee giant to extend the benefits to unionized stores as well without going through the bargaining process.

After Reconciliation Rebuff, Paid Leave and Child Care Advocates Refocus

Source: Eleanor Mueller

One of the top advocates for paid family and medical leave, Dawn Huckelbridge, is launching a hybrid PAC to back federal candidates who commit to enacting the policy after Democrats reached agreement on a significantly slimmed-down Build Back Better.

Millions of Americans Have Long COVID. Many of Them Are No Longer Working

Source: Andrea Hsu, NPR

She filed a discrimination complaint with the government, but it was dismissed. She could have sued but wasn't making enough money to hire a lawyer.

August 1, 2022

Tight U.S. Labor Market Keeps Upward Pressure on Wages; Inflation Heats Up

Source: Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

U.S. labor costs increased strongly in the second quarter as a tight jobs market boosted wage growth, which could keep inflation elevated and give the Federal Reserve cover to continue its aggressive interest rate hikes.

Two US Cost Gauges Surpass Estimates, Stoking Inflation Concern

Source: Molly Smith, Bloomberg

Two key US inflation gauges posted larger-than-forecast increases on Friday, heightening concerns that prices will remain persistently high and prompt continued aggressive interest-rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

Bank of America Memo: "We Hope" Conditions for American Workers Get Worse

Source: Ken Klippenstein and Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

A Bank of America executive stated that “we hope” working Americans will lose leverage in the labor market in a recent private memo obtained by The Intercept. Making predictions for clients about the U.S. economy over the next several years, the memo also noted that changes in the percentage of Americans seeking jobs “should help push up the unemployment rate.”

July 29, 2022

Amazon Safety Inspections Likely Part of Wider Criminal Inquiry

Source: Bruce Rolfsen, Bloomberg Law

The Justice Department investigation into Amazon.com Inc. worker safety likely will dig into questions of whether the online retailer engaged in widespread misreporting of injury and illness rates, criminal and labor law scholars say.

Raising Cane's CEO Buys Mega Millions Lottery Tickets for All 50K Employees

Source: Ann Schmidt, Fox Business

As the Mega Millions jackpot rises to an estimated $810 million, one restaurant chain is getting in on the action – for all its employees.

Tyson Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Covid Liability Ruling

Source: Bruce Rolfsen, Bloomberg Law

Tyson Foods Inc. has asked the US Supreme Court to consider overturning an appeals court decision that found a Trump administration executive order didn’t protect the meatpacker from Covid-19 liability lawsuits filed by the families of dead workers.

July 28, 2022

Over 80% Of U.S. Workers Seek Employers Who Care About Their Mental Health

Source: Chantelle Pattemore, Healthline

New findings from the American Psychological Association (APA) suggest the mindset of the American workforce may be shifting. Stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on employee well-being, with many actively seeking new work.

Lululemon Workers in D.C. File for a Union Election

Source: abc News, Associated Press

Lululemon workers in Washington, D.C. have filed for a union election, joining workers at other major companies aiming to organize amid a wave of labor wins over the past year.

As Senators Debate Farm Labor, the Clock Keeps Ticking

Source: Garrett Downs, Politico

A bipartisan pair of senators are racing to reach agreement on a bill to overhaul the broken farm labor system. But time is running out for the bill to have any chance of passage.

July 27, 2022

More American Workers are Taking on Second Jobs as Inflation Rages

Source: Megan Cerullo, CBS News

The highest inflation in 40 years is weighing heavily on millions of households.

Thousands of Workers Have Lost Access to Trade Assistance Weeks After Congress Allowed it to Expire

Source: Phil McCausland, NBC News

The Department of Labor estimated around 4,500 workers missed out on the programs’ benefits since it lapsed on July 1. About 100,000 people sign up for it annually.

Boeing Defense Workers to Strike in St. Louis Area Over Pay Issues

Source: David Shepardson and Jose Joseph

A union representing nearly 2,500 employees at three Boeing Co (BA.N) defense locations in the St. Louis area said on Sunday the workers rejected the company's defense contract offer and will strike at the locations starting Aug. 1.

July 26, 2022

Union Representation Petitions Continue to Increase in FY 2022 Under Biden Administration

Source: Norma Manjarrez, Ogletree Deakins

President Joe Biden promised during his presidential campaign to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen,” so it should be no surprise that there has been an uptick in union activity before the National Labor Relations Board.

World’s Key Workers Threaten to Hit Economy Where It Will Hurt

Source: Augusta Saraiva and Bryce Baschuck, Bloomberg Law

The pandemic has put unprecedented strain on global supply chains -– and also on the workers who’ve kept those systems running under tough conditions. It looks like many of them have had enough.

From Flight Attendant to Funeral Planner: New Beginnings in the Covid Era

Source: Tiffany May, The New York Times

The pandemic upended careers in Hong Kong and around the world, forcing or inspiring people to make radical changes in their lives.

July 25, 2022

Hyundai Subsidiary in Alabama Focus of Child Labor Investigation

Source: Hamza Shaban, The Washington Post

State regulators opened an investigation Friday following news reports that a Hyundai subsidiary in Alabama used child labor at its metal stamping plant.

Shippers are Avoiding the Port of Oakland as Trucker Protests Over Gig Worker Law Stop Flow of Trade

Source: Lori Ann LaRocco, CNBC

Terminal shut downs continue as trucker protests heat up at the Port of Oakland and the port designates “Free Speech Zones.”

A West Coast Port Worker Union is Fighting Robots. The Stakes for the Supply Chain are High

Source: Bob Woods, CNBC

The argument about the economic efficiency of automating port work is a key one in the current labor union contract dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

July 22, 2022

Americans' Wages are Lagging Inflation — Except for CEOs, Whose Pay Jumped 18%

Source: Aimee Picchi, CBS News

The CEOs of S&P 500 companies earned an average of $18.3 million last year — an increase of 18.2% and more than double the U.S. inflation rate, according to a new report from the AFL-CIO labor union.

Amazon Warehouses Under Investigation from Federal Prosecutors, Department of Labor

Source: Aaron Katersky, ABC News

Federal prosecutors in New York and the Department of Labor are inspecting Amazon warehouses around the country as part of a civil investigation into unsafe and unseemly workplace conditions.

Allies Seek to Follow U.S. Lead on Xinjiang Forced Labor Ban

Source: Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom, Reuters

U.S. allies appear committed to following Washington's lead banning forced labor goods from China's Xinjiang region, a senior U.S. official told Reuters on Monday, warning companies they could not maintain "deliberate ignorance" about their supply chains.

July 21, 2022

How Small Businesses are Fighting Inflation and Fear of a Recession

Source: Michelle Fox, CNBC

Small business owners are walking a tight line between dealing with their own rising costs and keeping their customers, with 53% raising prices by less than 10%.

Why American Wages Haven’t Grown Despite Increases in Productivity

Source: Nathaniel Lee, CNBC

Wages in the U.S. have stagnated since the early 1970s. Between 1979 and 2020, workers’ wages grew by 17.5% while productivity grew over three times as fast at 61.8%.

Education Department’s Civil Rights Office Reinstates Complainant Protections, Systemic Investigations

Source: Susan Friedel, Monica Khetarpal, Carol Ashley, and Crystal Tyler

The revised Case Processing Manual (CPM) issued by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) outlines the procedures OCR uses “to promptly and effectively investigate and resolve complaints, compliance reviews, and directed investigations to ensure compliance with the civil rights laws OCR enforces.”

July 20, 2022

Equal Pay Gains Dampened as Wage Gaps Widen for Women of Color

Source: Jalen Brown, Bloomberg Law

Some incremental progress has been made in the effort to bring equal pay to women in the workplace, but data indicate women of color still face certain inequities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, widening their respective wage gaps from last year.

Restaurants are Short-Staffed, and That’s Taking a Big Toll on Customers and Workers Alike

Source: Amelia Lucus, CNBC

It’s a scenario that has been repeated across the food service industry since the Covid pandemic began in 2020, and it’s taking a toll on restaurants and their staff, as well.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Breaks From the Bezos Way

Source: David McCabe and Karen Weise, The New York Times

Jeff Bezos' successor has set himself apart with a hands-on approach in Washington.

July 19, 2022

Did the Supreme Court Open the Door to Reviving One of Its Worst Decisions?

Source: James B. Stewart, The New York Times

Lochner v. New York, a 1905 decision on labor law, is imprinted on today’s law students as an example of bad jurisprudence. But those old days could be returning.

Workers’ Abortion Privacy at Risk as Texas Targets Employer Aid

Source: Chris Marr, Andrea Vittorio, and Justin Wise, Bloomberg Law

The threat of abortion-related legal liability in Texas has raised hard-to-answer questions about companies’ plans to help employees travel for out-of-state procedures.

Biden Steps Into Railway Labor Dispute

Source: Eleanor Mueller , Politico

A decimated railroad workforce has been impeding efforts to transport goods and, in doing so, further hobbling an already-delicate supply chain.

July 18, 2022

As U.S. Covid Hospitalizations Climb, a Chronic Nursing Shortage is Worsening

Source: Christine Chung, The New York Times

American hospitals are once again filling up with coronavirus patients — but not with nurses to care for them. The nation’s chronic shortage of registered nurses is as bad in some parts of the country as it has ever been, experts say, and it is showing signs of getting worse.

Remote Work May Be An Unlikely Ally in Federal Reserve’s Inflation Fight

Source: Greg Lacurci, CNBC

As many employees have enjoyed commute-free workdays, less stress and better work-life balance, their employers have also benefited from remote work by paying lower wages than they otherwise might, according to a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

High Inflation Leads Federal Minimum Wage to Reach Lowest Value Since 1956, Report Finds

Source: Lorie Konish, CNBC

Record high inflation has pushed the value of the federal minimum wage down to the lowest level in 66 years, according to a new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

July 15, 2022

Labor Department Seeks Leader for Digital Transformation

Source: Natalie Alms, FCW

The Department of Labor is looking for a director of digital transformation to lead a new directorate focused on improving technology products and driving customer experience gains.

Big-Sounding Job Titles Are Feeding Egos in Tight Labor Market

Source: Alexandre Tanzi, Bloomberg

The tight US labor market isn’t just boosting wages, it’s also bidding up job descriptions.

Meta Reportedly Tells Managers to Identify People for Layoffs

Source: Mariella Moon, Yahoo News

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned employees during a Q&A session earlier this month that the company is experiencing "one of the worst downturns [it has seen] in recent history."

July 14, 2022

Covid Testing Case Warns Employers on Genetic Bias Law Liability

Source: J. Edward Moreno, Bloomberg Law

A settlement between a Florida medical practice and the EEOC illustrates how employers trying to avoid Covid-19 outbreaks in their workplaces still must be laser-focused on how much they can inquire about or collect family medical history.

Calls To Boycott Amazon Prime Week To Save Staff From Being 'Stuck at Work'

Source: Soo Kim, Newsweek

A call for consumers to boycott Amazon Prime Day because workers will allegedly be "stuck at work" for 13-hour shifts has gone viral on Reddit, where it received over 30,000 upvotes.

President Biden Faces Deadline in U.S. Railroad Labor Standoff

Source: Lisa Baertlein

U.S. President Joe Biden faces a deadline next week to intervene in nationwide U.S. railroad labor talks covering 115,000 workers, or open the door to a potential strike or lockout that could threaten an already fragile economy and choke supplies of food and fuel.

July 13, 2022

Dire US Labor Shortage Provides Opportunity for Ex-Prisoners

Source: Michael Goldberg, ABC News

In rosier economic times, many former prisoners faced steep obstacles to finding work. The labor shortage sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic now presents them with opportunities.

Gap CEO Syngal Fired After Failing to Rescue Struggling Retailer

Source: Allison Nicole Smith and Jonathon Roeder, Bloomberg

Gap Inc. fell on Tuesday as rising costs and discounts thwarted Sonia Syngal’s turnaround after 2 1/2 years as chief executive officer of the clothing retailer.

Rivian Plans Hundreds of Job Cuts Following Surge in Staffing

Source: Edward Ludlow, Bloomberg

Rivian Automotive Inc. is planning hundreds of layoffs to trim its workforce in areas where the electric-vehicle maker has grown too quickly, according to people familiar with the matter.

July 12, 2022

Service Members Sue Marine Corps For Religious Discrimination

Source: Jade, Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, Working Solutions NYC

Leadership has prevented several new trainees from continuing in the entry program unless they shave their beards and remove their turbans - actions, the plaintiffs insist, that seriously infringe on their closely held religious beliefs.

NLRB Squares Off with Starbucks Again

Source: Eleanor Mueller and Nick Niedzwiadek, Politico

The NLRB accused Starbucks of more than 200 labor law violations spanning over two dozen types of unfair labor practices, dating back to the early days of the organizing campaign at several stores in the region.

Peloton Sweetens Employee Pay Incentives as it Fights to Boost Morale and Stage a Turnaround

Source: Lauren Thomas, CNBC

Peloton shares on Tuesday hit an all-time low of $8.73, down more than 70% year to date, amid a broader market selloff. The stock had traded as high as $129.70 almost exactly one year ago.

July 11, 2022

Abortion Bans Are Limiting What Some Doctors and Med Students Are Taught

Source: Ella Ceron, Bloomberg

Some abortion advocates are warning that recent moves could aggravate the nationwide shortage of trained abortion providers, making the procedure scarcer — even in blue states that are acting to guarantee access — than first thought.

GameStop Fires CFO, Announces Layoffs as Part of Aggressive Turnaround Plan

Source: Melissa Repko and Lauren Thomas, CNBC

The legacy brick-and-mortar retailer has been trying to reinvent itself and catch up to a videogame business that has largely moved online.

MSHA’s Enhanced Enforcement Program on Driver Safety Raises Questions for Mine Operators

Source: William Doran and Margaret Lopez, Ogletree Deakins

While most people in the mining community are familiar with the fact that contractors are “operators” under the Mine Act and are obligated to train their personnel in the above requirements, the application of some of these requirements to customer truck drivers creates questions.

July 8, 2022

“The Property Market is Disgraceful”: Why European Bosses are Renting Homes to Staff

Source: Suzanne Bearne, The Guardian

Some bosses are taking action amid claims that sites such as Airbnb are pricing workers out of housing.

American Factories Are Making Stuff Again as CEOs Take Production Out of China

Source: Ryan Beene, Bloomberg

There has been a sense in financial circles that the fever among American executives to shorten supply lines and bring production back home would prove short-lived. As soon as the pandemic started to fade, so too would the fad, the thinking went.

And yet, two years in, not only is the trend still alive, it appears to be rapidly accelerating.

Federal Lawsuits Filed by Former Austal Employees Lose Jobs for Refusing COVID-19 Vaccinations

Source: Darwin Singleton, NBC 15 News

Employees for a shipbuilding company lost their jobs for refusing Covid-19 vaccinations based on their religious beliefs.
Now, 58 former Austal U.S.A. employees have an attorney. On July 4, that attorney filed federal civil lawsuits on behalf of all of them against Austal U.S.A.

July 7, 2022

Tesla Board Tells Shareholders to ‘Vote Against’ Reports into Employee Harassment

Source: Adam Smith, Yahoo News

Tesla’s board of directors is encouraging shareholders to vote against annual reporting on discrimination and harassment, additional reporting on child labour, against collective bargaining, and against an annual report on Board diversity.

Punching In: Gig Companies Score Small Wins on Worker Status

Source: Chris Marr, Bloomberg Law

Ride-hailing and delivery app companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and DoorDash Inc. just got a little more legal protection in the South for classifying their drivers as independent contractors—with new laws taking effect in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

Internet Donates $300k to Fast Food Employee Who Never Missed a Day in 27 Years

Source: Landon Mion, Fox Business

A Burger King employee who never missed work in 27 years has received more than $300,000 in donations after a viral video showed his job only gave him a bag of small gifts as a reward.

July 6, 2022

Employee Fired After Refusing to Work Over Roe v. Wade Ruling: 'I'm in mourning'

Source: Fox5NY

A Universal Music Group employee said he was fired from his job in New York for refusing to work after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, and claimed the termination showed the company did not support its workers "speaking out" about abortion rights.

How Companies Offering to Cover Travel for Out-of-State Abortions Might Work

Source: Scott Neuman, NPR

On the heels of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, several big-name companies such as Microsoft, Nike and Tesla have announced that they plan to assist employees who live in places where abortion is restricted to travel out-of-state to undergo the procedure.

But how that might actually work and what pitfalls employers and employees might encounter remains to be seen.

Bosses Offer Midyear Raises to Retain Employees as Inflation Takes Toll

Source: Chip Cutter, Wall Street Journal

T. Rowe Price, Exxon, others say higher pay is needed to keep up with rivals or to reflect that staffers are paying more for gasoline and groceries.

July 5, 2022

Unions approach abortion after SCOTUS ruling

Source: Eleanor Mueller and Nick Niedzwiadek, Politico

Once wary of weighing in on issues not strictly related to the workplace, organized labor is now beginning to speak up on a broader range of issues — including, in this case, abortion.

The Creative Methods Workers Are Using to Stop Bosses' Abuse

Source: Brittany Scott, In These Times

In the past six months, workers at more than 150 Starbucks locations have successfully unionized, fighting back against unfair labor practices by their employer. And in April, Amazon warehouse workers won a victory against one of the most powerful corporations in the world when they became the first company facility to vote to unionize in the United States.

American Airlines Offers Pilots Nearly 17 Percent Raises in New Contract Proposal

Source: Leslie Josephs, CNBC

The latest proposal to the pilots’ union, the Allied Pilots Association, comes less than a week after rival United Airlines and its pilots’ union reached a tentative agreement that includes more than 14% in total raises within 18 months.

July 4, 2022

Most Job Seekers Will Not Consider Employers Who Do Not Share Their Values

Source: Stephanie Dhue, CNBC

For employees today, job satisfaction is about much more than just pay and benefits. New hires are increasingly looking for companies that affirm their values.

A McDonald's Operator will Pay $1.6 Million for Harassment and Retaliation Claims

Source: New York District Office - Press Release, Equal Opportunity Commission

A Vermont-based company that operates several McDonald's restaurants will pay $1.6 million in a settlement for a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

How to Beat the Heat, Or At Least an OSHA Citation

Source: Melanie Paul, JacksonLewis

Heat is nothing new for the construction industry, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new National Emphasis Program (NEP) on heat hazards for indoor and outdoor work environments certainly is.

July 1, 2022

3 ways the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion could hurt women in the workplace

Source: Morgan Smith, CNBC

Abortion legalization has had a direct impact on women’s labor force participation rate: Before the Roe decision in 1973, about 40% of women were working or actively seeking a job. This share increased dramatically through the 1980s and remained steady in the years following. Nationally, women’s labor force participation rate is now close to 60%.

The court’s decision threatens to reverse gains American women have made in the workforce, Carole Joffe, a sociology professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies reproductive health, tells CNBC Make It.

U.S. House panel pushes judicial workplace reforms with funding measure

Source: Nate Raymond, Reuters

A U.S. House of Representatives panel is pushing the federal judiciary to report any misconduct by judges to Congress and spend $1 million to survey employees about their workplaces as part of a $8.6 billion funding package it was considering on Friday.

The House Appropriations Committee in a report accompanying the 2023 fiscal year funding bill said it believes judicial employees "deserve and should expect basic workplace rights that protect them from harassment, discrimination and other forms of misconduct."

EEOC Sues Walmart for Disability Discrimination and Retaliation

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Wal-Mart Stores East, LP violated federal law when it failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee and then fired her after she made an internal ethics complaint of disability discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed today.

June 30, 2022

U.S. Supreme Court rules veteran who alleged employment discrimination can sue state of Texas

Source: Julian Aguilar , The Texas Standard

The United States Supreme Court ruled against the Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday in a case brought by a veteran and former state trooper who was denied a job after returning from military service.

The plaintiff in the case, Le Roy Torres, sued after he alleged the DPS did not provide Torres a job after he returned from service injured. Torres, a South Texas native, was a captain in the Army Reserve who served in Iraq, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported.

Are Your Organization’s DEI Efforts Superficial or Structural?

Source: Tsedale M. Melaku and Chrisoph Winkler , Harvard Business Review

Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are not a “thing” like a program, office, or title. They cannot rest on a single person, initiative, or place. For too many organizations, DEI ends up a mere scaffold that does little to bring about actual, substantive change. And scaffolds are additive, instead of becoming integral parts of the existing organizational structure.

Are Your Organization’s DEI Efforts Superficial or Structural?

Source: Tsedale M. Melaku and Chrisoph Winkler , Harvard Business Review

Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are not a “thing” like a program, office, or title. They cannot rest on a single person, initiative, or place. For too many organizations, DEI ends up a mere scaffold that does little to bring about actual, substantive change. And scaffolds are additive, instead of becoming integral parts of the existing organizational structure.

Hotel Owners to Pay $370,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

GIPHX10, LLC, and Jaffer, Inc., Edmonton, Canada-based companies that operated as Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham until November 2021, have agreed to pay $370,000 to two female former house­keeping employees and to provide other relief to resolve a sexual harassment lawsuit initiated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, the owners permitted the male maintenance/housekeeping manager to sexually harass two female housekeepers at the hotel, located near the Seattle-Tacoma airport in Kent, Washington.

June 29, 2022

Anti-LGBTQ+ Workplace Bias Is Alive and Well. Here's the Recourse

Source: Charlotte A. Burrows, The Advocate

Despite decades of advocacy and struggle, LGBTQI+ individuals continue to face persistent discrimination and acts of violence in America. In many instances, these attempts to undermine legal rights and protections and to inflict physical and emotional suffering are directed towards some of the most vulnerable people in the LGBTQI+ community, including persons of color, transgender persons, and LGBTQI+ youth and their families.

Only 20% of U.S. workers in office three days or more: IBM CEO

Source: Eric Rosenbaum, CNBC

As major American corporations began to welcome workers back in the spring, they were surprised by what they saw: fewer employees than they expected who wanted to return to offices. That was the case at Ford, which told CNBC back in April that the initial numbers were “lower than we expected,” and more recent comments from the CEO of IBM show that many workers at the biggest firms prefer to remain working from anywhere but the office, at least most of the time.

Google workers can move to states where abortion is legal

Source: Megan Cerullo, CBS News

Technology giant Google says workers who live in parts of the country where abortion is no longer legal after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade may relocate to states where their rights are protected, no questions asked, according to reports.

June 28, 2022

EEOC Sues Aurora Pro Services for Religious Discrimination

Source: Press Release, EEOC

North Carolina-based company Aurora Renovations and Developments, LLC, doing business as Aurora Pro Services, a residential home service and repair company, violated federal law when it required employees to participate in religious prayer sessions as a condition of employment and retaliated against employees who opposed the unlawful practice, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

Employers, Here Are 3 Harmful Things You’re Doing That Empowers Workplace Bullies

Source: Heidi Lynne Kurter, Forbes

Bullying is detrimental to the overall health and success of an organization. It prevents the company from achieving its full potential due to decreased engagement, productivity and performance, increased turnover and an eroded reputation.

Monitoring Employees Makes Them More Likely to Break Rules

Source: Chase Thiel, Julena M. Bonner, John Bush, David Welsh, and Niharika Garud, Harvard Business Review

As remote work becomes the norm, more and more companies have begun tracking employees through desktop monitoring, video surveillance, and other digital tools. These systems are designed to reduce rule-breaking — and yet new research suggests that in some cases, they can seriously backfire. Specifically, the authors found across two studies that monitored employees were substantially more likely to break rules, including engaging in behaviors such as cheating on a test, stealing equipment, and purposely working at a slow pace.

June 27, 2022

U.S. Supreme Court won't hear freelancers' challenge to California employment law

Source: Daniel Wiessner, Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a challenge by groups representing freelance workers to California's controversial law making it more difficult for businesses to treat workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

EEOC Adds X Gender Marker to Voluntary Questions During Charge Intake Process

Source: Press Release, EEOC

“By adding a nonbinary gender marker option to the EEOC’s charge intake process, the EEOC is delivering on a public commitment that we made on Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31) and promoting greater inclusion for members of the LGBTQI+ community,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “During Pride Month, it is especially important to make clear that in advancing the EEOC’s mission to prevent and remedy employment discrimination, we must serve all workers, including those who do not identify as exclusively male or female. Our public-facing charge forms now make clear that we respect that diversity.”

The Day the Supreme Court Crashed the Title IX Party

Source: Kurt Streeter, Forbes

By taking an ax to Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that nearly 50 years ago guaranteed women the right to abortion, the Supreme Court demolished a signal of freedom in the battle for gender equality — freedom that helped female athletes achieve glory that many now take for granted.

June 24, 2022

Dehumanization Is a Feature of Gig Work, Not a Bug

Source: Eric M. Anicich , Harvard Business Review

What does an increase in gig, freelance, and contract work mean for the identities of people doing those jobs? The author, who drove for Postmates, interviewed other drivers, attended in-person and virtual company meetings, and reviewed and contributed to driver forums on Facebook, Reddit, and other websites, examines the narratives gig workers tell themselves about who they are and what they do. He also challenges us to consider how to make these types of jobs better, fairer, and more meaningful to all types of contingent workers.

New Biden Rules Would Bar Discrimination Against Transgender Students

Source: Erica L. Green, The New York Times

The Biden administration on Thursday proposed new rules governing how schools must respond to sex discrimination, rolling back major parts of a Trump administration policy that narrowed the scope of campus sexual misconduct investigations and cementing the rights of transgender students into law.

Starbucks used "array of illegal tactics" against unionizing workers, labor regulators say

Source: Kate Gibson, CBS News

The National Labor Relations Board is asking a federal court to order Starbucks to stop using what the federal agency calls an "array of illegal tactics" aimed at workers involved in unionization efforts at the coffee chain's stores.

Starbucks opposes the unionization effort, arguing the company runs better when dealing directly with its employees. But it has consistently rejected claims it uses unlawful tactics aimed at discouraging workers from trying to organize.

June 23, 2022

Labor agency seeks broad order against Starbucks in federal court

Source: Noam Scheiber, The Chicago Tribune

In a petition filed Tuesday with U.S. District Court in Buffalo, New York, officials with the National Labor Relations Board accused the company of firing and disciplining union supporters; intimidating and threatening workers to discourage them from voting for the union; and effectively offering benefits to workers if they opposed the union.

Rolls-Royce Offers $2,500 Payment to Workers as Inflation Bites

Source: Sara Ruberg and Benjamin Katz, Wall Street Journal

Rolls-Royce Holdings is offering U.K. staff a one-time payment of £2,000, equivalent to about $2,450, hoping the bonus will help ease pressure from union officials and employees over rising inflation while keeping a lid on the jet-engine maker’s costs ahead of an uncertain economic future.

NFL wants Brian Flores racial discrimination lawsuit to go to arbitration

Source: Larry Neumeister , Los Angeles Times

The NFL and six of its teams have formally moved in a New York court to force a lawsuit alleging that they engaged in racial discrimination into arbitration where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would be the arbitrator.

June 22, 2022

Steps LGBTQ Workers Can Take If Experiencing Discrimination in the Workplace

Source: Cendy Moliere, The Georgia Voice

Despite the advances that the LGBTQ community has made, they still often are discriminated against in the workplace, especially LGBTQ people of color. But you can stand up for yourself and fight back against an employer that is discriminating against you. The law is on your side. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes discrimination illegal against workers based on their race, sex, religion, or place of birth. The Supreme Court rules that those protections also extend to gender, identity, and orientation which means that LGBTQ workers are also covered by the Civil Rights Act.

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Washington workers' comp law for nuclear site

Source: Daniel Wiessner, Reuters

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the unanimous court that the state could not single out the Hanford, Washington facility in the law because the federal government had not explicitly waived its typical immunity from discriminatory state laws with respect to workers' compensation.

An Intersectional Approach to Inclusion at Work

Source: Ludmila N. Praslova, Harvard Business Review

Historically, most organizations have approached inclusion sequentially: gender this year or two, race next, then sexual orientation, and maybe someday disability and age. Or maybe class. Or neurodiversity. Generally, sequential inclusion is expanded from the power center to bring in the next-most “acceptable” characteristic. But what happens if someone is an older, Black, visibly disabled woman? Or an Indigenous, economically disadvantaged, autistic man? What about a deaf refugee fleeing religious persecution, or any other person who happens to have some attributes that aren’t “currently includable”? Sequential inclusion leaves people behind.

June 21, 2022

Don’t Let Your Calendar Dictate Your DEI Initiatives

Source: Nani Vishwanath , Harvard Business Review

It’s a common instinct for companies to look to the calendar for cues for when to show up for diversity, equity and inclusion. Unfortunately, that instinct leaves a lot to be desired. Celebrations or cultural holidays can be an important opportunity for programming or for furthering a critical conversation, but unfortunately we cannot rely on a handful of dates to make true social change.

New Program for At-Risk Youth Hopes to Close the Workplace Racial Equity Gap

Source: Sarah Dolezal , Society for Human Resource Management

The program, called Unlock Potential, was designed by social justice nonprofit Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ) and Ben & Jerry's. Program designers advocate closing the workplace racial equity gap by lowering the incarceration rate of at-risk youth. Unlock Potential targets 16- to 24-year-olds who possess a juvenile criminal record, spent time in foster care, are victims of sex or human trafficking, or have a parent who was incarcerated during their childhood.

Deaf man receives $225K after being denied job due to disability, EEOC says

Source: Chris Williams , Fox 13 News

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, CampusPoint selected the applicant to be considered for an analyst position with Viewpoint.

EEOC stated that both companies thought that the applicant was "highly qualified and his experience was ‘ideal.’" However, the agency contends that when the applicant requested an ASL interpreter for an upcoming group interview, the companies assumed that he would need a full-time interpreter to shadow him if he got the job.

June 20, 2022

Apple Workers Celebrate After Voting to Unionize at Maryland Store

Source: Khaleda Rahman, Newsweek

Workers at an Apple store in Maryland are celebrating after voting on Saturday to become the tech giant's first unionized store in the U.S.

Employees at the store in Towson voted 65-33 to to seek entry into the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

Why this is a critical moment for American workers to push for wage gains

Source: Eric Rosenbaum , CNBC

The latest inflation read from the government, the core personal consumption expenditures price index, showed on Friday morning that prices may be starting to ease from record levels, but financial stress among workers amid the steepest inflation in four decades remains as high as ever.

Nursing home settles historic transgender discrimination complaint

Source: Benjamin Ryan, NBC News

In a landmark settlement, a Maine assisted living facility has agreed to establish policies and procedures to ensure it is a welcoming place for LGBTQ seniors, after a 79-year-old transgender woman levied an accusation of discrimination.

June 17, 2022

What Leaders Get Wrong About Resilience

Source: Danielle D. King and Megan R. McSpedon, Harvard Business Review

Resilience is important for all employees, but they shouldn’t be left to navigate adversity on their own. Instead, organizations must create an environment for shared responsibility around resilience.

SpaceX Said to Fire Employees Involved in Letter Rebuking Elon Musk

Source: Ryan Mac, The New York Times

SpaceX, the private rocket company, on Thursday fired employees who helped write and distribute an open letter criticizing the behavior of its chief executive, Elon Musk, said three employees with knowledge of the situation.

Tesla investor sues Musk, board over accusation of workplace discrimination

Source: Reuters

A Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) shareholder sued the electric car maker, Chief Executive Elon Musk and its board, accusing them of neglecting to tackle complaints about workplace discrimination and harassment, and engendering a "toxic workplace culture."

June 16, 2022

HVAC Contractor to Pay $361,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Spokane Valley-based HVAC contractor Air Control Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., which does business as Air Control Heating & Electric, Inc., has agreed to pay $361,000 to seven current and former female employees and to be subject to federal oversight for a five-year period to resolve a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

Employees push back against wellness programs requiring they get medical checks or pay fees

Source: Ken Alltucker, USA Today

In the absence of clear federal rules on how employers can incentivize health insurance programs, a lawsuit from Yale University employees puts a spotlight on measures that penalize some workers.

A guide to LGBTQ terms for the workplace

Source: Caroline Colvin, HR Dive

At the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2022 annual conference, Tara B. Taylor, ADR Vantage’s managing director and diversity, equity and inclusion lead, gave her session attendees a crash course in gay and trans workplace issues. As outlined by SHRM, “LGBTQ+ people find themselves excluded, unwelcome, and uncomfortable in the workplace.” Taylor shared proactive and reactive strategies to combat these experiences, including standards of compliance, and ways to foster inclusion, belonging and psychological safety. She also outlined important differences between sexual orientation and gender identity.

June 15, 2022

US Department of Labor reminds employers workers need protection from the dangers of heat illness indoors and outdoors

Source: Jody Heemstra, Dakota Radio Group

The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool is a free, downloadable app that calculates a worksite’s heat index and displays the associated risk levels. Users can receive precautionary recommendations specific to heat-index risk levels to help protect employees from heat-related illness. The tool is available in English and Spanish.

Workers with criminal records are getting a chance

Source: Emily Peck, Axios

More employers are proactively saying that they'll give candidates with criminal backgrounds or arrest records a "fair chance," the common phrase for such a practice.

How Would Your Executives Treat The Janitor? The Importance Of Bringing Humanity Into The Workplace

Source: Gianna Driver, Forbes

Communicating in an inclusive, kind way allows others to feel more psychologically safe, which translates to higher levels of trust, better performance, more innovation and ultimately higher business value.

June 14, 2022

Google pays $118 mn to settle gender discrimination suit

Source: AFP

Google said on Sunday that it was "very pleased" to be settling, without admission of wrongdoing, a class-action lawsuit that argued it underpaid female employees and assigned them lower-ranking positions.

Black and Latino workers see biggest wage gains from union membership

Source: Meghan McCarty Carino , Marketplace

A recent study from the congressional joint Economic Committee found union members earn on average 10% more than their non-union peers. The difference is even greater for Black and Latino unionized workers, whose wages were 17% and 23% higher on average.

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