US Labor Department extends comment period on proposed rule to provide minimum wage and overtime protections for in-home care workers
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has announced a 14-day extension of the comment period for its proposed rule to provide minimum wage and overtime protections for nearly 2 million workers who provide in-home care services. Currently, workers classified as “companions” are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.
Why the fast food industry hates the idea of raising the minimum wage
As Laura Clawson observes, unlike other kinds of restaurants fast food outlets actually have to pay the minimum wage which naturally makes them the heart of hostility to increases: Restaurant workers who make the federal minimum wage for tipped workers are pretty well screwed: That minimum wage is just $2.13 an hour, the theory being that tips will be enough for these workers to get by. When tips don’t bring workers up to the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, their employers are supposed to make up the difference, but in practice, that’s an invitation for bosses to pressure workers to just accept below-minimum wages.
Restaurant industry screws women, while $2.13 tipped worker minimum wage makes it worse
Restaurant workers who make the federal minimum wage for tipped workers are pretty well screwed: That minimum wage is just $2.13 an hour, the theory being that tips will be enough for these workers to get by. When tips don’t bring workers up to the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, their employers are supposed to make up the difference, but in practice, that’s an invitation for bosses to pressure workers to just accept below-minimum wages. That’s not the only abuse of this rock-bottom minimum wage, though, and as a new report from the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United shows, these abuses and high poverty rates fall most heavily on women.
How things have (and haven’t) changed at Foxconn
After a mass suicide threat, media exposes from both This American Life and The New York Times and factory audits from Apple and the Fair Labor Association, Foxconn has had about six weeks to shape up. Really, though, the Chinese manufacturer that American gadget corporations rely on has had about a year and a half to evolve, after mass suicides back in June 2010 brought similar American media attention to the firm. In that time, some things have changed, as evidenced by Bill Weir’s tour through Foxconn with ABC News.
Apple’s ‘Nike moment’ over Foxconn iPad factory conditions
Inaes Kaempfer, an indpendent assessor working with the Fair Labor Assocation (FLA), told ABC News’s Nightline that publicity surrounding suicides and accidents at the Foxconn plant meant Apple was facing pressure similar to that which forced Nike to reassess ‘sweatshop’ suppliers in the Nineties. “We call it the ‘Nike moment’ in the industry,” audit inspector Ines Kaempfer told Nightline.
L.A. conference considers plight of day laborers
Hundreds of current and former day laborers from across the country gather this week in Los Angeles for a national conference to measure their progress since day laborers began a concerted effort to organize themselves two decades ago. They will discuss wage theft and worker safety, and they will reflect on the role that day laborers, often seen as little more than loosely banded groups of men looking for a day’s work, have had in challenging local anti-solicitation ordinances, state anti-illegal immigration laws and federal enforcement.
Heirs of 400 dockyard workers in Malta file U.S. lawsuits over asbestos exposure
Most of the 400 workers died of mesothelioma blamed on exposure to asbestos from working on U.S. warships anchored at what is now known as the Malta Drydocks. The suits seek compensation from, among other parties, a Johns-Manville Corp. trust established for victims of asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs claim that, because they aren’t U.S. citizens, they have faced unfair discrimination in trying to obtain compensation.
Sugarland says stage collapse was an accident
Country duo Sugarland has denied negligence claims against it, responding to a lawsuit by saying that a fatal stage collapse last year at an Indiana State Fair was “a true accident, or act of God.” Several families of victims from the August incident have filed a lawsuit against Sugarland, contending it was negligent in the stage collapse that left seven people dead and more than 40 injured.
Perception, work-life balance key factors in workplace safety, study says
According to a recent University of Georgia study, a worker’s perception of safety in the workplace and the work-life balance established by businesses has a significant effect on on-the-job injury.