Today’s News and Commentary: March 21

Published March 21st, 2014 -  - 03.21.142


Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board filed a petition in the 5th Circuit, asking the court to rehear and reverse its decision in D.R. Horton. The NLRB argued in its petition that the 5th Circuit erred by applying Gilmer v. Interstate and Johnson Lane Corp. According to Bloomberg and Law360, the petition argued that the case neither “addressed nor decided the issue presented here…this case involves the substantive right of employees to band together to seek to enforce their work-related claims as guaranteed by the ‘mutual aid or protection’ clause of Section 7 of the [National Labor Relations Act.]” Prof. Sachs has argued similarly that “arbitrations that employees pursue collectively against their employer… are Section 7-protected activity.” See his full discussion of D.R. Horton here, and the OnLabor explainer of the case here.

A contributor at Forbes argues that “long-term employment is dead,” pointing out that the average tenure for workers between 25-34 is only 3.2 years, compared to an average tenure of 10.3 years for those over 65. The Wall Street Journal also discusses long term labor market trends, discussing how plummeting fertility rates are shrinking labor markets in developed and developing countries.

 The New York Times reviews a new book on municipal unions by Richard Steier, Enough Blame to Go Around: The Labor Pains of New York City’s Public Employee Unions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new $5 million grant program aimed to improve the Employment and Training (E&T) services supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Nation discusses the challenges faced by workers in the retail labor market, particularly the toll of unstable and unpredictable “on-call” schedules. With such schedules – adopted to fit the “Just-in-Time” retail model – most employees do not know their schedule even a week in advance, and many have found themselves working too few hours to avail themselves of firm benefits such as health insurance or sick leave. 

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