Today’s News and Commentary — September 13, 2016

In a historic move, California will grant farm workers an expanded right to overtime pay that now matches that of other workers.  According to The Los Angeles Times, new rules will be phased in over four years beginning in 2019, and “will lower the current 10-hour-day threshold for overtime by half an hour each year until it reaches the standard eight-hour day by 2022″ as well as ” phase in a 40-hour standard workweek for the first time. The governor will be able to suspend any part of the process for a year depending on economic conditions.”  More than 90% of California farm workers are Latino, and more than 80% are immigrants.

The faculty lockout at Long Island University continues.  Inside Higher Ed reports that “Long Island University’s American Federation of Teachers-affiliated faculty union filed an unfair labor charge against the university with the National Labor Relations Board.”  Charges include “repudiation of contract, refusal to bargain/bad faith bargaining, changes in terms and conditions of employment, and lockout.”

The battle over the classification of gig economy workers is just as robust across the Atlantic.  The Guardian published an op-ed on whether UK employment law adequately protects gig economy workers.  As in the US, UK law looks to the activities performed by workers to determine their status, irrespective of any contractual agreements.  The writer concludes that “the law ought to be reviewed, given that more and more people are working within the gig economy and losing out on rights.

In other news, The Boston Globe reports on a rally by MBTA drivers protesting partial privatization of the city’s transit system, while Fusion shows the changing face of American labor in 12 photographs.