At the same time they have fought to deny sick days and other vital benefits to workers in the freight industry, rail carrier executives have been rewarding shareholders with billions of dollars in stock buybacks and dividend bumps.
All because they chose profits over humane working policies.
In the end, railroad companies are highly complex operations with extremely sophisticated logistics. It’s not plausible that it’s an unsolvable challenge for them to find a way for workers to take unpaid unscheduled leave for urgent reasons without penalizing them, which is perhaps why they ultimately made concessions. Maybe it was hard for companies to look Biden and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in the face and say they just couldn’t figure it out.
Meanwhile, as we breathe a sigh of relief that there will not be a strike or lockout on Friday, we should remember what this fight is really about: the persistent difficulty some large corporations have in understanding that their workers are human beings, and not just one more piece of machinery.
As if society’s constant scrutiny over women’s bodies was not enough, now a new Twitter ad for a health and wellness app wants to stereotype how older women look. The promotional ad was advocating a daily walking challenge for women across 45 to 65 age groups when they went a little overboard with their graphics. The ad displayed a woman in the age group of 45-50 carrying a cane stick, with white hair and a wrinkled face.
The regressive poster was first noted by lawyer Terri Gerstein, who called out the advertisement on Twitter by writing, “Is this what they think women over 45 look like?” Gerstein further added that she appreciates and sends her love to women with any health and disability issues, “My reason for sharing the post was because of my shock at the bizarre & offensive graphics! I realise the exercise routines described might be good for many people but depending on their own situation & people of all ages should feel great about starting to exercise at whatever level.”... Read more about Do Men Really Age Better, Or Do We Tend To Dismiss Older Women As Irrelevant?
BY TERRI GERSTEIN Employees are all too readily fired just for speaking out about conditions at work.
Employers commonly take drastic measures to cancel workers who speak out virtually every day. Two household names—Amazon and Starbucks—have been among the most visible companies quashing worker expression in recent months. Amazon fired former warehouse worker and now Amazon Labor Union president Christian Smalls for organizing a protest about workplace safety during the height of New York’s first COVID-19 wave. The company later called the police on Smalls when he delivered pizza to former co-workers in a break room. More recently, Amazon called the police to deal with union organizers at its Albany, New York, warehouse.
But for those expressing deep concern about silencing of people’s voices, for those who genuinely hold a core belief in free expression, Labor Day should be their holiday, too. It’s high time for everyone who cares about free speech to fight for the people most frequently and all too easily canceled for speaking up: our country’s workers.
State Attorneys General (AGs) are playing an increasingly visible and important role in relation to workers’ rights. Although historically AGs have not been deeply involved in labor matters, since 2015, AG action in this area has mushroomed: ten states have dedicated labor units of various kinds, several jurisdictions have passed legislation granting state AGs expanded jurisdiction allowing them to address labor violations, and many AGs have brought cases to enforce workers’ basic rights.
As the midterms approach, with AG elections occurring in 30 states plus the District of Columbia, it is important to understand not only what AGs do in general, but also what they are doing and can do to protect our country’s workers.
It’s valuable to realize at the outset of the conversation that what states are grappling with, from California to Massachusetts, everywhere, it’s not just in relation to gig workers, it’s also in relation to this broader issue of who’s an employee, and entitled to all of the protections that our social contract and our laws have said that employers have to follow, and who’s an independent contractor and really running their own business.
States’ attempts to ensure employees can take their workplace disputes to court are seeing their efforts chipped away by the US Supreme Court.
The US Supreme Court has consistently held employers can enforce individual arbitration agreements as well as class action language prohibiting an employee class from launching a collective complaint through arbitration against an employer.
The arbitration-friendly rulings have led more employers to use the agreements in an attempt to mitigate exposures to expensive jury-trial...
Inflation is a big problem these days. Prices are rising for everything from bacon to rent to hotel rooms. And while the Federal Reserve announced aggressive measures to curb costs last week, not all economists believe this is the best approach for helping working people.
One thing is clear: rising wages aren’t responsible for recent inflation. In fact, wage growth has actually lagged behind inflation rates, dampening upward pressure on prices.
The lingering low federal minimum wage drags down...
Creation of permanent local offices of labor standards is a new frontier for municipalities, something that didn’t exist before because, by and large, it didn’t need to. Times have changed.
“Municipality by municipality isn’t ideally how you would do this. In the ideal, you’d have a Congress that protects workers and honors the will of the majority,” said Terri Gerstein, director of the State and Local Enforcement Project at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program. “But at the same time, these are ways to...
“Want some forced birth with your venti latte?” wroteTerri Gerstein, a workers’ rights lawyer. “Starbucks is leveraging Roe’s fall in support of its union-busting. Says it’ll provide access to abortion travel to employees but can’t promise that to workers in stores unionized w @SBWorkersUnited. Shameful!!”
A Starbucks organizer pointed out that not only was the company not...