News & Commentary

July 13, 2023

Linh Tang

Linh is a student at Harvard Law School.

For the first time, Amazon is facing a National Labor Relations Board complaint for allegedly refusing to bargain with the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), who represents its workers at the Staten Island warehouse. The ALU became the workers’ representative after a vote in April 2022, which made the location the first Amazon warehouse to have unionized. The certification of the union as the exclusive bargaining representative was an uphill battle––there were months-long legal battles with Amazon where the company accused ALU of illegally pressuring workers to vote for the union.

On Wednesday, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor sent the White House a proposal to expand overtime protections to more workers. Currently, salaried workers who make more than a certain amount of money per year and work in a “bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity” are exempt from the one-and-a-half overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new proposal purportedly raises the salary threshold piece of the test, which would expand overtime protections to more workers. More details of the proposal will be available once it is cleared by the White House to be published in the Federal Register.

Also on Wednesday, Democratic Gwynne Willcox was nominated to continue another five-year term on the National Labor Relations Board. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the nomination in a 12-9 vote, with one sole Republican vote in support of Wilcox. If Willcox remains on the Board, Democrats will continue to control the five-member NLRB with a 3-1 majority.

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