The Missouri legislature is poised to pass bills to weaken unions and clear the way for corporate dominance in the state. So-called “right-to-work” laws force unions to represent employees who pay nothing toward the costs of collective bargaining. It’s bad enough that these laws allow them to get the benefits of higher wages and better fringe benefits without paying their fair share. What’s worse is that these laws force unions to defend non-dues payers when they need to be defended against unjust discipline or being fired. Arbitration can cost thousands of dollars, including the cost of hiring lawyers.
President-elect Donald Trump announced that he plans to nominate fast food CEO Andrew Puzder to head the Department of Labor (DOL). Puzder, who makes millions as a low-wage employer, fails every test for a Labor Secretary. DOL’s mission is to improve the wages and working conditions of working Americans, but Puzder wants to keep wages low and threatens to replace his fast food chain’s employees with robots if the minimum wage rises enough to crimp his profits.
Judge Amos Mazzant’s opinion to block the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule is poorly reasoned and factually inaccurate. Judge Mazzant does not know the history of the Fair Labor Standards Act and he appears not to understand Chevron deference, a rule constructed by the U.S. Supreme Court to guide judicial review of federal agency regulatory decisions.
Obama Finally Passed an Executive Order to Address Wage Theft and On-the-Job Hazards, But a Texas Lawsuit Could Block It
One of President Obama’s most important contributions to better pay and working conditions in the United States is his executive order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, which he issued two years ago and is finally taking effect this month. The order, which addresses wage theft and on-the-job hazards, including sexual harassment and race discrimination, affects 25 million employees working for businesses that provide goods and services under contract to the federal government – businesses that range from janitorial services to ship builders.
Universities Oppose Paying Their Postdocs Overtime, but Will Pay Football Coaches Millions of Dollars
Colleges and universities have made the indefensible argument that they can’t afford to pay their low-level salaried employees for their overtime under the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule. Universities have singled out postdoctoral researchers, many of whom spend 60 hours a week or more running the labs that turn out the nation’s most important scientific advances, as a group of employees that would just cost too much if they had to be paid for the extra hours they work each week.
These tables give a detailed breakdown of EPI’s estimate that 12.5 million salaried workers will directly benefit from the Department of Labor’s new rule raising the salary threshold below which salaried workers are automatically eligible for overtime pay. According to our assessment, most of these 12.5 million workers will be newly eligible for overtime protections: they are currently ineligible for overtime pay because they are classified, or wrongly classified, as having job duties that preclude receiving overtime. The rest will have their rights strengthened (they are currently at risk of being classified or misclassified as ineligible for overtime). There is inherent uncertainty in these estimates because no data are available documenting who is currently eligible for or receiving overtime.
A trial court in Wisconsin has ruled that the state’s new law banning union contracts that make every employee the union represents pay his fair share of the costs of representation is unconstitutional.
Whether drivers for ride services such as Uber and Lyft are employees or independent contractors has become an important issue for city administrators, labor policymakers, and the businesses and drivers themselves. But an increasing number of voices argue that the drivers are neither, that some work relationships arranged through digital platforms in the so-called gig economy differ so fundamentally from traditional employee or independent contractor relationships that we need a new, third category of worker.