Today's News and Commentary–March 7
According to the Washington Post, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued new, detailed guidelines to help employers understand what constitutes religious discrimination under Title VII. Claims of religious discrimination in the workplace have more than doubled since 1997. As a result, several religious groups asked the EEOC to provide additional guidance for employers.
Despite the rough winter weather, the American economy is showing signs of recovery. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal all report that the economy added 175,000 new jobs in February—far more than experts predicted. Meanwhile, the New York Times observes that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits reached a three-month low last week. While the unemployment rate rose from 6.6% to 6.7% last month, Phil Izzo of the Wall Street Journal suggests this small bump is nothing to worry about: the rise in the unemployment rate is probably due to an increase in the number of people participating in the labor force.
New York City is also making economic gains. The New York Times reports that, in January, New York City’s unemployment rate dipped below 8% for the first time in five years. However, the City’s unemployment rate (7.8%) is still significantly higher than the national average (6.7%).
According to the Washington Post, a Workers’ Compensation Task Force will meet today in Delaware. The Task Force will consider possible reforms to Delaware’s workers’ compensation program and will set a new fee schedule.
On the West Coast, the Los Angeles Times describes employment agencies that cater to recent Chinese immigrants. The agencies match individuals looking for work with Chinese-run businesses across the United States.
Finally, in international news, the New York Times and the Wall street Journal report that hundreds of workers are striking this week at an IBM factory in southeastern China. The workers are protesting IBM’s decision to sell the factory to Lenovo.