Today’s News & Commentary — April 11, 2018

Published April 11th, 2018 -  - 04.11.186


Yesterday, President Trump privately issued an executive order imposing work requirements on able-bodied recipients of food stamps, Medicaid, and low-income housing subsidies.  The order, entitled “Reducing Poverty in America,” requires all cabinet departments to produce plans that impose work requirements on recipients within 90 days.  President Trump has referred to all need-based aid and public health safety net programs as “welfare,” which is a term traditionally used for cash assistance programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Pro cheerleaders from the NBA, NFL, and NHL say that team officials have exploited them for profit by sending them into gatherings where they are subjected to offensive sexual comments and unwanted touches by fans.  The cheerleaders are expected to do this as part of their job.

Yesterday was Equal Pay Day. Lily Ledbetter, the plaintiff in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, writes about how her story and Equal Pay Day intersects with the #MeToo movement and how both movements are fighting back against the devaluing of women in the workplace.  In Ledbetter, the Supreme Court held that Ms. Ledbetter could not bring a salary discrimination suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when she received the lesser pay during the statutory period of limitations, but when the discriminatory pay decisions occurred outside of the limitations period.

But women who have complaints to file against their employers may run up against delay as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is cash strapped and receiving more complaints in the wake of the #MeToo movement.  Last year, a federal employee filing a complaint waited, on average, 543 days for a resolution.  About 1 in 5 EEOC complainants are men; this rate has been relatively consistent in the past decade.

Despite previously refusing to allow students to vote on unionization in December of 2017, Georgetown University administrators decided last week to allow its students to vote.  The vote allows for a type of privately negotiated pact of voluntary recognition, thereby bypassing the NLRB and any fears that the new NLRB might overturn protections for students to unionize.

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