Condemning President Donald Trump for creating a “climate of extreme hostility to the press,” more than a dozen Democrats in the U.S. House, with support from the largest communications labor union in the country, have proposed the Journalism Protection Act, which would make it a federal crime to attack or intimidate reporters on the job.
“President Donald Trump’s campaign and administration have created a toxic atmosphere,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), the bill’s lead sponsor. Continue reading →
This story was co-published with The New York Times.
Mark Edelstein, a social media marketing strategist who is also legally blind, says he never had serious trouble finding a job until he turned 50. (Whitney Curtis for The New York Times)
A few weeks ago, Verizon placed an ad on Facebook to recruit applicants for a unit focused on financial planning and analysis. The ad showed a smiling, millennial-aged woman seated at a computer and promised that new hires could look forward to a rewarding career in which they would be “more than just a number.”
Some relevant numbers were not immediately evident. The promotion was set to run on the Facebook feeds of users 25 to 36 years old who lived in the nation’s capital, or had recently visited there, and had demonstrated an interest in finance. For a vast majority of the hundreds of millions of people who check Facebook every day, the ad did not exist.
Verizon is among dozens of the nation’s leading employers — including Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Target and Facebook itself — that placed recruitment ads limited to particular age groups, an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times has found.
The ability of advertisers to deliver their message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of Facebook’s business model. But using the system to expose job opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns about fairness to older workers.
Several experts questioned whether the practice is in keeping with the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits bias against people 40 or older in hiring or employment. Many jurisdictions make it a crime to “aid” or “abet” age discrimination, a provision that could apply to companies like Facebook that distribute job ads.
“It’s blatantly unlawful,” said Debra Katz, a Washington employment lawyer who represents victims of discrimination.
“A total of 28 states, including three this year, have passed right-to-work legislation,” writes Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. (Photo: Together We Will SJ/Twitter)
Canada has demanded that the United States eliminate anti-union “right-to-work” laws as part of ongoing NAFTA negotiations, the Canadian Globe and Mailreported.
One group of negotiators spent all day Sunday working on the labor file,” The Globe and Mail noted. “One source familiar with the discussions said Canada wants the United States to pass a federal law stopping state governments from enacting right-to-work legislation; the source said the United States has not agreed to such a request.”
In addition, Canadian negotiators are reportedly pressuring both the United States and Mexico “to offer a year of paid family leave, as Canada does.” Continue reading →
If the policies favored by the Trump administration—including massive tax cuts for the rich and reductions in spending on Medicaid and education—go into effect, the U.S. will only fall further in the global rankings
“The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index,” developed by Oxfam in partnership with Development Finance International (DFI), uses several factors to “measure the commitment of governments to reducing the gap between the rich and the poor.”
Compared to other wealthy nations, the report concludes, the U.S. is doing “very badly” in the fight against income and wealth inequality. Continue reading →
Chicago, Illinois, has a chronic inflated state problem disguised as a schooling problem. In order to eradicate the symptom, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided to attack those who suffer from it and not the actual root of the problem — adopting a classic “more of the same” approach.
A plan approved in May is set to take effect soon, forcing high school seniors to either be enlisted in the military, have a job, be enrolled in a gap-year program, or have a college acceptance letter before the Chicago public schooling system will give them their diploma. The obvious consequences of this new policy are problematic. Still, Emanuel doesn’t seem to care. Continue reading →
If Trump’s nominees are confirmed by the Senate, Republicans will control the NLRB for the first time in nearly a decade. (Photo: AFSCME/Twitter)
In a little-discussed move that could spell disaster for unions and workers in the near future and over the long-term, President Donald Trump on Tuesday night announced the nomination of William Emanuel—a lawyer for a firm that represents large corporations—to fill a vacant seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Emanuel, as Reutersnoted, is a member of the Federalist Society, an ultra-right-wing group of lawyers and donors that has been credited with producing the list of possible Supreme Court nominees the Trump administration flaunted during his presidential campaign.
Meeting in private, enthused activists promise that the growing Republican dominance in state government will unleash a wave of laws to cut business taxes, restrict unions and expand school privatization.
The Kentucky State Capitol. Photo: Seifler (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Shortly after the November election, with the nation’s political attention focused on the Trump transition, an influential advocacy group met outside Washington to discuss how to leverage the extraordinary shift of power to Republicans in the rest of the country.
The American Legislative Exchange Council — a nonprofit better known as ALEC — briefed its members and allied groups on the bright future for its agenda now that Republicans will effectively control 68 of the nation’s 99 state legislative bodies, as well as 33 governor’s mansions. Among other things, group members said they would push bills to reduce corporate taxes, weaken unions, privatize schooling and influence the ideological debate on college campuses. Continue reading →
McDonald’s workers strike for fair wages. (Photo: Steve Rhodes/cc/flickr)
Burger behemoth McDonald’s has reportedly reached a settlement with hundreds of franchise employees in California, which campaigners and attorneys are saying could be a precedent-setting development in the fight for fair wages.
In the settlement, revealed in a Friday filing in a U.S. district court in San Francisco, McDonald’s agreed to pay a total of $3.75 million in back pay and legal fees to roughly 800 employees of five restaurants owned by a single franchisee, Smith Family LP. Continue reading →
At a Verizon strike earlier this year. (Photo: Thomas Altfather Good/flickr/cc)
The decline of organized labor in the United States has contributed significantly to wage stagnation and rising inequality, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
The analysis finds that as the share of private-sector workers in a union has fallen precipitously—from one in three in the 1950s to about one in 20 today—wage inequality has risen as a result. In particular, EPI states that the labor movement’s decline has contributed to wage losses among workers who don’t even belong to a union, which “translates into
millions of lost dollars to American workers.” Continue reading →