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How Local Governments Are Advancing Workers’ Rights, and Why Even More Should Get Involved

June 28, 2022

Terri Gerstein and LiJia Gong
Route Fifty

There’s a notable surge of action by cities and other localities in advancing workers’ rights, as documented in a report we wrote that was issued recently. Some cities and counties are now seeing worker protection as one of their core functions. 

More cities and localities should become champions for the working people in their jurisdictions. Local leaders—from mayors and city councilors to agency heads and longtime civil servant managers—should consider how they can use their powers to drive workplace justice....

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In Massachusetts, a Limit on Gig Companies’ Deceptions

June 17, 2022

Terrie Gerstein
American Prospect

On Tuesday, the highest court in Massachusetts struck down a ballot initiative that would have come before voters in November. The initiative, funded by such gig companies as Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash, sought to designate workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

Many Bay State voters doubtless heaved a sigh of relief: Now they won’t face the overblown, misleading campaign that 2020 California voters encountered in those companies’ campaign for Proposition 22, a similar initiative. More importantly, Tuesday’s court decision means that workers’ rights will remain protected in Massachusetts for the near future.... Read more about In Massachusetts, a Limit on Gig Companies’ Deceptions

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Commerce Fraud Bureau to get new powers to investigate wage theft, other financial crimes

May 26, 2022

BY: 
Minnesota Reformer

Labor leaders are calling a bill that passed the state House and Senate on Sunday the most significant piece of legislation for combating wage theft since it was made a felony in 2019.

The bill (HF 3255), which is awaiting Gov. Tim Walz’s signature, gives the Commerce Fraud Bureau new powers to criminally investigate financial crimes along with more than $800,000 a year to hire five more investigators.

By and large, though, treating labor abuses like wage theft as criminal matters is a relatively new phenomenon, says Terri Gerstein, a labor lawyer at Harvard Law School who has studied the rise of prosecutions of employers.... Read more about Commerce Fraud Bureau to get new powers to investigate wage theft, other financial crimes

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Can’t JetBlue please fly some must-mask planes?: An appeal to NYC’s hometown airline

May 20, 2022

By Terri Gerstein
Opinion
New York Daily News

I’m writing with a simple request: Please create some mask-required flight options for travelers who want them.

Designating some flights on each route mask-required would be easy. There’d be no need to retrofit plane interiors. No passengers would have to don tactical flight suits or special scuba gear. It’d just be a return, for a few select flights, to the rules from two months ago, hardly a staggering burden. Plus, ample mask-optional choices should reduce the horrible...

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Adding salary ranges to job listings stops people from wasting their time

May 16, 2022

Terri Gerstein
Think, NBC News

Laws requiring disclosure of salary ranges in job postings, like other pay transparency laws, reduce gender and race disparities.

Laws requiring disclosure of salary ranges in job postings, like other pay transparency laws, reduce gender and race disparities. Women still earn far less than men — 83 cents to the dollar in 2022 — and this gap is even worse for women of color: Black women made 58 cents on average, and Latina women 49 cents, for every dollar a non-Latino white man earned last year. Research has found that women are...

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Amazon Reportedly Considered Spending $20,000 a Week on Consultants in Failed Staten Island Union Busting

April 21, 2022

ByMack DeGeurin
Gizmodo

New Amazon documents filed with the U.S. The Department of Labor suggests the company engaged consultants for a rate of up to $20,000 per week in an aggressive effort to persuade workers to abandon unionization efforts. The documents were first spotted by Insider on Tuesday, and were ...

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Covid mask mandates for travel have been lifted. Where do we go from here?

April 19, 2022

By Terri Gerstein
Think 
NBC News

Offering some options where masks are mandated would help enable continued accessibility of travel to everyone. People with health conditions and disabilities shouldn’t de facto be shut out of travel or forced to risk their health to conduct their daily lives. 

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Amazon Is Playing Dirty to Stop a Second Warehouse From Unionizing

April 18, 2022

BY LUIS FELIZ LEON
Jacobin

In a massive victory, Amazon workers recently won a union at a warehouse in New York. So now the company is trying every trick in the union-busting playbook to throttle worker organizing at a second facility.

One of the consultant firms advertises that it offers “a team of men and women who represent bi-lingual, ethnic and cultural diversity” that will “meet with the individual employees, establishing both rapport and credibility,” and notes that its services will help address situations in which the company’s management and...

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