Today's News & Commentary — April 10, 2017

Published April 10th, 2017 -  - 04.10.1714


In a statement yesterday, Google denied the Department of Labor’s recent allegations of systematic pay disparities, stating that “[e]very year, we do a comprehensive and robust analysis of pay across genders and we have found no gender pay gap,” and challenging the DOL to back up its claims with data.  In the hearing Friday, an Administrative Law Judge granted Google’s request for a protective order on Google’s closely guarded salary data.

The U.S. Women’s National soccer team successfully negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Soccer, improving the players’ pay, bonuses, and travel conditions and ending a hotly contested period of negotiations.  NPR reports that although players’ base pay will be increased by around 30%, under the new contract women will not achieve parity with players from the Men’s national team.  A wage discrimination complaint regarding the gap, filed last year, is ongoing.

In an recent op-ed for the New York Times, Steven Greenhouse writes that President Trump continues to be widely popular with blue-collar union workers, and anticipates that his popularity among organized labor may be a political problem for Democrats for years to come.  The construction and building trades strongly support many of Trump’s policies, including an increase in infrastructure spending, decrease in free trade, and support of the Keystone Pipeline—all of which, they hope, will create more jobs.  Other unions, however, like the SEIU and NEA, remain strongly opposed to Trump’s policies. Mary Kay Henry, the President of SEIU, states that labor is not as divided as they may currently seem, stating that, “[t]he American labor movement is bound together by our deep desire to create good-paying union jobs.”

New York City became the latest municipality to prohibit employers from asking applicants about their salary history.  According to JD Supra, the law was passed by the New York City Council in an effort to ameliorate gender and race-related wage gaps by prohibiting employers from relying on past pay to justify lower wages for historically underpaid groups. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the law shortly, and it will take effect 180 days afterwards.

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