News & Commentary

October 18, 2023

Linh Tang

Linh is a student at Harvard Law School.

On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed civil rights litigator Karla Gilbride as the new general counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a win for the Biden administration. Gilbride currently works as counsel at Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP, a plaintiff-side class action law firm, and as a temporary staff member at the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center. As the new general counsel, a position that has been vacant for the last two years, Gilbride will lead the EEOC’s new strategic enforcement plan, which includes a focus on AI bias in employment decisions and diversity, equity and inclusion policies. 

In a Tuesday decision, an Administrative Law Judge ruled that Starbucks managers at a Wisconsin store illegally threatened to take away abortion-related benefits from workers in retaliation for organized activity. The ALJ found that at a series of store meetings to discuss a union petition, Starbucks managers threatened to deny workers an abortion-related travel expense due to their union activity, which constitutes an unfair labor practice. This is the 31st time an ALJ has held that Starbucks committed unfair labor practices in its union-busting efforts. 

On Monday, over 500 doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners voted to form the biggest group of unionized doctors in the private sector in the U.S. to date. The group of doctors, in a 325-to-200 vote, elected to be represented by the Doctors Council, a local of the Service Employees International Union. The successful vote came about after a challenging organizing campaign, spread across 62 clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin that are part of the nonprofit Allina Health System. Allina physicians have expressed similar concerns shared by healthcare workers across the country, including chronic understaffing, burnout, and compromised patient safety. 

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