Workplace

Fox News host praises disgraced CEO for mass firing of 900 employees: 'I loved this so much'

Vishal Garg, CEO of the online mortgage company Better.com, is now admitting that he handled things badly during a mass firing on Wednesday, December 1. That day, during a Zoom call, Garg brought around 900 employees together online and announced that all of them were being fired — a move he now admits has “embarrassed” the company. But Fox News’ Emily Compagno is not only defending Garg — she is outright praising him for the mass firing.

During a December 8 broadcast of “Outnumbered” — which features mostly or entirely female panels and is often described as a right-wing version of “The View” — Compagno insisted that Garg had nothing to apologize for. The attorney told others on the panel, which also included host Harris Faulkner and Lisa Kennedy Montgomery (the former MTV veejay known for hosting “Kennedy” on Fox Business), “I loved this, actually. I loved this so much…. So, for me, good riddance. And I feel bad that he’s now having to capitulate to the other execs at this company and apologize for it. Sorry guys, bye!”

Compagno, who is never shy about making over-the-top comments to drive ratings, added, “For all of them, they’re snowflakes. They’re probably Millennials and Zs. They need to learn work ethic.”

But even fellow members of the right-wing “Outnumbered” panel disagreed with Compagno’s strident defense of Garg, including host Harris Faulkner, libertarian/conservative Lisa Kennedy Montgomery (the former MTV veejay known for hosting “Kennedy” on Fox Business), “Fox and Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade (the panel’s lone male) and former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Words like “classless” and “embarrassment” were used by the other “Outnumbered” panelists.

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McEnany commented, “This guy, in court documents, it was alleged that he wanted to staple someone to the wall or door or whatever it was. I mean, this guy has some pretty big issues.”

Merrick Garland promises aggressive prosecutions for ‘unruly’ or abusive airline passengers: ‘A serious safety threat’

Airline unions have been calling for an increase in prosecutions of violent, unruly passengers, and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland agrees. Garland, according to the Associated Press, is promising aggressive federal prosecutions for passengers who become abusive with airline employees.

Airlines, AP reports, have seen "a large increase in the number of investigations into passenger behavior" — and many of these incidents involve people who don't want to comply with airlines' mask requirements.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines have been asking passengers to please wear face masks on flights and to remove them only when they're eating or drinking — which is perfectly reasonable. But anti-maskers have been abusing flight attendants for enforcing that rule.

AP notes, "Airlines have reported more than 5000 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, with more than 3600 of those involving people who refused to wear face masks. Garland said, in a statement, that such passengers do more than harm employees."

The U.S. attorney general warned, "They prevent the performance of critical duties that help ensure safe air travel. Similarly, when passengers commit violent acts against other passengers in the close confines of a commercial aircraft, the conduct endangers everyone aboard."

AP notes that the Federal Aviation Administration has "referred 37 cases involving unruly airline passengers to the FBI for possible criminal prosecution since the number of disruptions on flights began to increase in January."

Steve Dickson, an FAA administrator, is quoted as saying, "The unacceptable disruptive behavior that we're seeing is a serious safety threat to flights, and we're committed to our partnership with the DOJ to combat it."

Super-spreader COVID workplaces: Amazon reveals the fatuousness of McConnell's corporate 'liability shield'

As a former Secretary of Labor, I often receive mail from workers with job complaints, who apparently believe I still have some authority. But the email I received a few days ago from a worker at Amazon's Whole Foods delivery warehouse in Industry City, Brooklyn, New York, was particularly distressing.

She said that six of her co-workers had tested positive for COVID since October 22, because "safe social distancing is not only being ignored but discouraged," adding that "when we express our discomfort to management, we are yelled at about filling orders faster, or told that we can take a leave of absence without pay."

She ended by noting "we work for a trillionaire."

Well, not quite. Jeff Bezos is worth $180 billion, making him the richest person in the world. And his corporation, Amazon, which also owns Whole Foods, is among the world's richest corporations.

Bezos has accumulated so much added wealth over the last nine months that he could give every Amazon employee $105,000 and still be as rich as he was before the pandemic.

So you'd think he'd be able to afford safer workplaces. Yet as of October, more than 20,000 U.S.-based Amazon employees had been infected by the virus. That estimate comes from Amazon, by the way. There's been no independent verification, nor has Amazon revealed how many of them have died.

Decades ago, employees in most large corporations could remedy unsafe working conditions by complaining to their union, which pressured their employer to fix the problems, or to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (founded in 1970), which levied fines.

Alternatively, they could embarrass their companies by going public with their complaints. As a last resort, they could sue.

None of these routes is readily available to Amazon warehouse workers – nor, for that matter, to warehouse workers at Walmart, or to most workers in other super-spreader COVID workplaces such as meatpacking plants and nursing homes.

Amazon's workers have no union to protect them. (Throughout its 25-year history, the corporation has aggressively fought union organizing.) Nor, for that matter, do 93.8 percent of America's private-sector workers. Fifty years ago, more than a third were unionized.

And OSHA? Since the start of the pandemic, it's been useless. Although receiving more than 10,000 complaints of unsafe conditions, it has issued just two citations.

Amazon employees who go public with their complaints are likely to lose their jobs. The corporation prohibits its workers from commenting publicly on any aspect of its business, without prior approval from executives. So far during the pandemic, it has fired at least two white-collar employees who publicly denounced conditions at its warehouses, as well as several warehouse workers who raised safety concerns to media outlets.

Amazon isn't alone. A survey conducted in May by the National Employment Law Project showed that 1 in 8 American workers "has perceived possible retaliatory actions by employers against workers in their company who have raised health and safety concerns" about COVID.

The final option is to sue the company, but lawsuits against employers over COVID have been rare because of difficulties proving that the employee contracted the virus at work. A Washington Post analysis found that since the pandemic began, just 234 personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits have been filed due to the virus.

All of which reveals the utter fatuousness of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's and his fellow Senate Republicans' demand that any new COVID relief package must include a corporate "liability shield" against COVID cases.

Even if such lawsuits were successful, corporations already have limited liability. That's what it means to be a corporation. In the unlikely event Amazon were sued and plaintiffs won, Jeff Bezos would remain comfortable.

The heinous resurgence of COVID makes clear that corporations need more – not fewer – incentives to protect their workers from the virus.

As millions of Americans lose whatever meager income they had, they should not have to choose between taking a risky job – such as in an Amazon warehouse – or putting food on their family's table.

Bezos, as well as every major employer in America, can easily afford to protect their workers. And as Mitch McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans should know, the richest nation in the world can easily afford to provide every American adequate income support during this national emergency.

That they're not doing so is disgraceful.

The Wage Gap Between Black and White Workers Is Even Worse Today Than It Was After the Civil Rights Movement

Here's some good news and bad news about the economy. The good news is, the median American household income is up, the highest it’s been since pre-recession 2007. The bad news? Not surprisingly, not all American households are created equal. Despite the growing trend of prosperity among family groups and a (somewhat disputed) wave of general economic growth since the end of the recession, the gains have not been distributed fairly to black Americans. In fact, the wage gap is growing between black and white Americans, and today, the gap is the widest it's been in 40 years. 

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The 10 Biggest Companies That Spare Their Employees the Humiliation of Drug Testing

For the past 35 or so years, millions of American workers have had to submit to a humiliating, privacy-invading procedure to get or keep a job: the urine sample drug test. As hard as it may be to imagine, it wasn't always like that—and it isn't like that in the rest of the world.

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Ivanka Trump’s 5-Step Guide to Getting the Job You Want

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why you, just a regular woman who works, haven’t managed to embrace your amazing multidimensional life and fully prioritize all of your passions — from grooming your appropriately glamorous young children to putting your eponymous apparel and accessories company on the back burner to take an unpaid job in your dad’s office — and package them into one Instagram-friendly personal narrative, your name probably isn’t Ivanka Trump.

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Will Workplace Safety Survive a Trump Presidency?

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly promised to bring back U.S. factory jobs. The message resonated with blue-collar workers and Trump’s success is credited, in large part, to voters who have seen their jobs disappear and livelihoods diminish as U.S. manufacturing companies moved toward automation or just plain moved—to places with lower labor costs, like Mexico. Trump also campaigned on a promise to eliminate regulations, a position now central to his incoming administration’s policies.

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Why Is Tennessee's Government Refusing to Release Sexual Harassment Data on Its Members?

In September, the Tennessee legislature voted to oust Jeremy Durham, a GOP state representative who has been accused of sexual misconduct with at least 22 women, yet the state won't release sexual harassment data on any other Tennessee lawmakers.

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This New Rule Will Make Information About On-the-Job Injuries at Dangerous Workplaces Public

More than 3 million U.S. workers suffer a workplace injury or illness every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—numbers that are thought to be significantly underreported. But astonishingly, little or no information about at which workplaces these occur is made available to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency responsible for enforcing U.S. workplace safety. Neither is this information made public.

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Why Working Women Are More Likely to Be Overweight

Working women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and 51 percent of professional workers, like doctors, lawyers, nurses and accountants, are female. While climbing the career ladder can be rewarding, it often comes with one big downside: weight gain!

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Former Employees Blame Samsung for Cancer

Han Hye-kyung’s wheelchair is folded and leaning against the wall at the apartment entrance two floors below. There is no need for her wheelchair in this tiny apartment. The main room has no furniture, just appliances: a refrigerator, stove, sink and a second refrigerator for storing kimchee, the spicy fermented vegetable dish. There is a bedroom on either side of the room and a bathroom.

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The 'Devious Defecator' Case Shows Why Employers Should Never Ask For DNA

If someone poops on the floor at work, can your boss test your DNA to see if you’re the culprit? That is what Federal District Judge Amy Totenberg was asked to decide in the case of the “devious defecator.”

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Why Is It Still So Hard For Women To Prove Workplace Discrimination, Even When It's Painfully Obvious?

The following is an excerpt from  Under The Bus; How Working Women Are Being Run Over  by Caroline Fredrickson (The New Press, 2015):

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Your HR Department Hates You: How Corporate Overseers Exploit Workers

For most of the 20th century, corporations got along just fine without human resources departments. Instead, they had personnel managers who found new employees and handled the welfare of those on payroll. Personnel managers were pretty low on the corporate totem pole, quietly administering a multitude of banal tasks.

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Can Focusing on Workplace Skills Increase College Completion Rates?

When Cheryl Hyman, a former utilities executive, was tapped to become chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, the system of seven community colleges had a graduation crisis: Only seven percent of students were finishing their educations in a timely manner.

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In Sweetheart Deal, Macy’s Conviction to Be Expunged Over Worker's Death

The press release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office reads — “Macy’s Pleads in Death of an Employee.”

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5 Signs the U.S. Is Failing to Protect Women’s Rights in the Workplace

The prime minister of Morocco recently compared women to “lanterns” or “chandeliers,” saying that “when women went to work outside, the light went out of their homes.” His remarks, which ran counter to Morocco’s constitutionally guaranteed rights for women, promptly provoked both street demonstrations and an “I’m not a chandelier” Twitter hashtag.

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'Pray or You're Fired' -- Workers Allege Forced Prayer at Company

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) - Bosses at a Long Island health care company forced their workers to participate in a religion known as "Onionhead," in which workers are required "to thank God for their employment" and to tell their bosses "I love you," the federal government claims in Federal Court.

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Female CEOs More Likely to Get Fired

The perception that high-achieving businesswomen are more vulnerable than their male counterparts to being abruptly fired – pushed off the "glass cliff" in the contemporary corporate vernacular – has been borne out by a new study from a global management consultancy.

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I Hate My Job, I Hate My Job, I Hate My Job - The Truth About Work

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a wage slave typing: "I hate my job. I hate my job. I hate my job," on a keyboard, for ever. That's what a Manhattan court typist is accused of doing, having been fired from his post two years ago, after jeopardising upwards of 30 trials,according to the New York Post. Many of the court transcripts were "complete gibberish" as the stenographer was alledgedly suffering the effects of alcohol abuse, but the one that has caught public attention contains the phrase "I hate my job" over and over again. Officials are reportedly struggling to mitigate the damage, and the typist now says he's in recovery, but it's worth considering how long it took the court officials to realise he hadn't been taking proper notes at all.

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Is America Going to Be the Flintstones or the Jetsons?

America could be flying high with The Jetsons. But instead, we're stuck hoofing it with The Flintstones.

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