In today’s News and Commentary, New York becomes the fourth state to mandate salary ranges accompany job postings; Biden’s Senate nominees for the EEOC and DOL are blocked for the year; Crumbl cookies violated child labor regulations across six states; and, at least 100 demands for arbitration have been filed against Twitter. Internationally, in the U.K, tens of thousands of workers, including nurses, ambulance workers, and workers, have gone on strike amid a cost of living crisis, and workers in Iran are likely to continue to have an outsize role in the ongoing uprising.
New York state governor Kathy Hochul signed a new law on Wednesday that will require all job postings to include salary ranges as well, joining Colorado, California, and Washington, which have similar bills. Once the law goes into effect in September 2023, across the four states, more than 20% of the entire U.S. workforce will have legally mandated access to “pay transparency” in job postings. However, the usefulness of these laws is debated, as a Bloomberg analysis found “pay bands that regularly spanned more than $100,000” in postings.
President Biden’s nominations for the DOL wage regulator position and the EEOC’s general counsel were both stalled Wednesday as Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) blocked the unanimous support necessary to further the confirmations. Jessica Looman and Karla Gilbride, nominated respectively to the DOL and the EEOC, will likely not see further progress in their nominations until next year.
The DOL has fined Crumbl Cookies more than $50,000 for violating child labor laws across 11 locations in six states. The violations were a result of employing children for more hours than legally permissible or placing children in positions that were hazardous or prohibited. Violations of child labor laws are up 37% in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to the Wage and Hour Division.
Reuters reported that 100 former Twitter employees have filed arbitrations for employment law violations as a result of Elon Muks’s takeover and firings. The alleged violations include sex discrimination and failure to pay severance as a breach of contract. Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan reportedly stated that these employees, because they are subject to arbitration agreements, are likely unable to join the many ongoing employment class actions against Twitter.
Internationally, massive strikes with tens of thousands of workers are ongoing in England and Wales, across ambulance workers, nurses, postal workers, rail workers, and airport immigration officers. The strikes come amid record inflation at 11.1%, with workers raising concerns that wages have not kept up with inflation, along with, especially for healthcare workers, continued exhaustion from the pandemic.
In Iran, as Tascha previously reported, striking workers have continued to support the ongoing uprising initially sparked by the police murder of Mahsa Amini. Thus far, more 18,000 have been arrested, 500 people killed, and two have been executed. On Saturday, oil workers went on strike for improved working conditions and pay, continuing to signal the potential for labor support to play a key role in the uprising.
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