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issue 214 apr. 23, 2015

THIS WEEK: Did you survive "Mobilegeddon" unscathed? On April 21, Google started looking at websites to determine whether they work on mobile devices. But if your website doesn't pass Google's test, then prepare for it to be downgraded in mobile search results, which could affect one-third or more of your traffic.

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In the News more

Minnesota House passes lower minimum wage for tip workers

What if Walmart raised its minimum wage to $70,000 a year?

Food workers, janitors walk out on U.S. Senate

One-third have almost no retirement savings

Robert Reich: America's "flexible" economy is making workers' lives hell

Prominent whistle-blower lawyer takes aim at Silicon Valley

Even With Unions, Adjuncts Are Rarely Protected From Last-Minute Job Losses

Low Wages, Trade Deals Luring Auto Plants and Jobs to Mexico

How Corporate Lobbyists Conquered American Democracy

At Home and Abroad, the Labor Movement Comes Roaring Back

San Rafael firm must pay back wages to 18 workers denied overtime

As Cities Raise Their Minimum Wage, Where's the Economic Collapse the Right Predicted?

Taxpayers Spend Billions On Government Help For Low-Wage Workers

Fast-food strikes widen into social-justice movement

Topic of the Week more

Avoiding Teen Job Scams

Lily Tomlin once said, "No matter how cynical you are, it's never enough." Clearly she was looking for work as a teen job seeker, because that's exactly the attitude that you need to adopt. Lily Tomlin once said, "No matter how cynical you are, it's never read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

pril 24 is the two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,130 garment workers. The AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's Tula Connell reports that in the months after the 2013 tragedy, global outrage spurred much-needed changes, including the closing of dozens of unsafe factories, the adoption of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and, most significantly, the formation and recognition of workers' unions by the Bangladeshi government. read more

The top 10 banks alone bring in some $100 billion in annual profits, and a significant amount of that revenue is generated from sometimes unethical and questionable tactics that working families have a hard time fighting back against. read more

Heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar gave its CEO a 14 percent raise last year, in a $17.1 million package of cash, stock, and other compensation that is hard to justify in light of the famed brand's actual performance. read more

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Insurance Administration, which regulates the state's insurance companies, for willfully paying female employees less than men who were doing the same work. read more

A key component of any union drive is workers' recognition that their problems on the job are shared rather than unique ones, and that they therefore must be solved by collective action. read more

Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, after he read an article on happiness. It showed that, for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives.His idea bubbled into reality on Monday afternoon, when Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000. read more

Today, Equal Pay Day, marks the day when women workers close the 2014 pay gap, and that wage gap is huge. Women, on average, earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to men's wages and that adds up to more than $10,800 a year and more than $400,000 over a career. read more

Leo Gerard

The High Cost of Fighting for $15

April 14, 2015 | Leo Gerard

This is no plea for pity for corporate kingpins like Walmart and McDonald's inundated by workers' demands for living wages. Raises would, of course, cost these billion-dollar corporations something. More costly, though, is the price paid by minimum-wage workers who have not received a raise in six years. Even more dear is what these workers have paid for their campaign to get raises. Managers have harassed, threatened and fired them. read more

A group of former UNITE HERE staffers and volunteers from around the country released an open letter to the union today, rebuking Chicago's UNITE HERE Local 1 for its endorsement of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and questioning the union's commitment to progressive unionism. read more

Walmart is facing a potential class action lawsuit over alleged wage theft in Alameda County Superior Court from an employee who claims the company illegally denied managers overtime pay. read more

In the Courts more

Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc.

Second Circuit; 12-4521 Decision Date: April 20, 2015

In an retaliation claim brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the district court's judgment in favor of employer is reversed where the US Supreme Court decision in Kasten v. Saint-Globen Performance Plastics Corp, 131 S.Ct. 1325, which held that an oral complaint can serve as a predicate to an FLSA retaliation claim, casts doubt on Lambert v. Genesee Hosp., 10 F. 3d 46 (2d Cir. 1993), the case that formed that basis for the district court's decision. read more

Nigro v. Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Ninth Circuit; 12-57262 Decision Date: April 10, 2015

In a diversity action alleging disability discrimination under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), summary judgment in favor of Sears is reversed where the employee presented triable claims under FEHA that Sears: 1) discriminated against the employee because of his disability; 2) declined to accommodate the employee's disability; and 3) did not engage in an interactive process to determine possible accommodation for the employee's disability. read more

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