News & Commentary

August 10, 2016

Adi Kamdar

Adi Kamdar is a student at Harvard Law School.

Back in December, Seattle passed an ordinance that would allow gig economy drivers to unionize—a law that was challenged soon after by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Yesterday, federal district court judge Robert Lasnick dismissed the Chamber’s case for lack of standing, as reported on Geekwire. In other words, because the law hasn’t been implemented yet, the case lacked the necessary injury requirements to be brought into court. All is not over, however: the Chamber will likely bring its lawsuit again after September 19th, when the ordinance goes into effect.

A new survey has found that the number of available financial services jobs in London has fallen 12% in the last month, according to Business Insider. Attributing the drop to the state of confusion following June’s Brexit vote, the surveyor’s operations director noted however that the “impact of the referendum was not as aggressive as we expected.”

Myanmar labor rights groups that represent migrant workers in Thailand found their licenses to operate revoked by Myanamar authorities after criticizing the country’s officials and job agencies. As Reuters reports, these job agencies have facilitated the sending of over 3 million Myanmar workers to Thailand, often exposing them to mistreatment and imprisonment due to lack of proper protections. Such results caused the labor groups, in a press conference last week, to refer to the practice as “legal human trafficking.” A week later, their permission to operate disappeared.

A Fifth Circuit panel ruled earlier this week that a Mississippi gun law created an exception to the employment at-will doctrine. Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation employee Robert Swindol arrived at work with a firearm locked inside his truck. Aurora fired Swindol for violating company policy prohibiting firearms, deeming him a “security risk.” Swindol sued for wrongful discharge, which the district court dismissed. The Fifth Circuit asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to answer the question of whether the state’s gun law—which allows individuals to store a gun in a locked vehicle—trumps the state employment at-will doctrine. After the Supreme Court concluded “yes,” the Fifth Circuit reversed the lower court’s dismissal of the wrongful discharge claim. (PDF of the full opinion here.)

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