Today's News & Commentary — January 6
In immigration news, the Los Angeles Times reports that a federal judge has ordered Arizona to cease enforcing a state law that punishes undocumented immigrants for seeking employment. District Judge David G. Campbell stated that those laws “are at odds with federal statutes that protect such immigrants from prosecution simply for applying for work.” The federal scheme makes it a crime to use false documents or to employ undocumented immigrants, but does not criminalize seeking work itself.
The Hill reports that a coalition of business groups is preparing to sue the NLRB over the election rule it issued in December. The groups successfully challenged the same rule previously, leading the NLRB to reissue it this past year. The new rule, which we’ve covered, would eliminate some of the delays that frequently occur in NLRB elections.
Illinois became the first state in the nation to automatically enroll most state residents in a retirement savings plan, according to the New York Times. The plan will deduct 3% from workers paychecks and deposit it in a retirement account. Workers may opt-out each year.
The Washington Post reports on the continued scrutiny of non-compete agreements among low-wage workers. The Post has catalogued the experiences of several low-wage workers who sought new jobs in different industries to avoid the threat of a lawsuit. For example, the Post profiled Caitlin Turowski, who worked for Jimmy Johns, but took a pay-cut after leaving to work for a telemarketer, rather than seek higher paying work at another fast food restaurant, out of fear of violating her non-compete agreement.
In international news, the Washington Post reports that migrant domestic workers in Lebanon are forming their first trade union designed to protect 2.4 million workers. The Lebanese Labor Ministry announced on Monday that it received a proposal from the National Federation of Labor Unions to form a syndicate in Lebanon. The union would protect low-wage migrant domestic workers from primarily Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.