Today’s News and Commentary – September 18
The Obama administration will be extending federal minimum wage and overtime laws to the nation’s two million home health-care workers. Previously, in Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke (2007), the Supreme Court held that such workers were providers of “companionship services,” a group exempt from FLSA minimum wage and overtime protections. Detailed coverage provided by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Holman W. Jenkins Jr. criticizes the efforts of the UAW to unionize Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, TN plant. He questions the UAW’s claim that a German-style works council could only supplement an already embedded union under federal labor law, and objects to the UAW’s effort to gain recognition based on a card check.
In health-care news, the Wall Street Journal reports that Walgreen Co. will be the next major employer to revise its medical benefits program. Citing rising costs and new compliance-related expenses, Walgreen Co. is moving from administering a traditional health plan to providing subsidies for their 160,000 employees to purchase coverage in a private insurance exchange.
With the population of New York homeless shelters at an all time high, the New York Times offers a poignant portrait of the difficulties facing the city’s employed homeless population. Affordable housing advocates argue the fact that 28 percent of families in shelters have at least one wage-earner evidences both a widening gap between wages and rent and a shortage of subsidized housing.