News & Commentary

October 5, 2023

Linh Tang

Linh is a student at Harvard Law School.

Over 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers began the largest healthcare strike in U.S. history on Wednesday morning at 6am E.T., starting in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Workers in Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington soon followed. This is the largest U.S. health care strike to date, threatening to interrupt one of the nation’s largest health-care providers and adding to a months-long series of labor disruptions across the national economy. The strike is a culmination of tension between health-care companies and their workers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when––as the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente unions claim––Kaiser created an understaffed, burned-out workforce incapable of looking after patients. Negotiations continue to be under way, but federal law requires that healthcare union members return to the job even if no deal is reached by Oct. 7. 

On Wednesday, Trader Joe’s United filed an unfair labor practice charge against Trader Joe’s and its law firm, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, alleging that the company had lodged a “frivolous” trademark lawsuit against the union in July as retaliation for protected activity. In that July lawsuit, Trader Joe’s accused the Union of using the company logo on merchandise in violation of trademark laws. Besides the ULP charge, Trader Joe’s United also sent a letter to an O’Melveny & Myers partner, labeling the copyright suit a “calculated nefarious legal scheme” to “punish essential workers who are exercising their legally-protected right to form a union.”

A U.S. citizen denied a job at Meta Platforms Inc. sued the company for citizenship discrimination, alleging that it favors foreign workers on H1B visas over U.S. citizens. On Wednesday, a Ninth Circuit panel heard arguments in this case, testing the limits of Section 1981 of the 1866 Civil Rights Act. Before getting to the Ninth Circuit, the case was dismissed for lack of standing, as the magistrate judge found that such reverse discrimination claims weren’t covered by the statute. 

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