A quarter of temporary layoffs in the US may be permanent, says Goldman Sachs. According to an economist at the company, recent hiring patterns suggest that nearly a fourth of the 9.2 million temporarily laid off workers may be unable to return to their current jobs. Further, 2 million may remain unemployed well into 2021. White collar workers may be hit hardest by this negative trend. As Politico reports, job recovery has been much slower among white collar jobs relative to low-wage work.
A subcontractor working on the new Apple headquarters will be required to pay $1.25 million to settle claims that it subjected its Black employees to a hostile work environment. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company, Air Systems, Inc., under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for allegedly allowing multiple acts of racial harassment against its Black workers to go unchecked. The complaint mainly stemmed from reports that the company failed to discipline a White worker who repeatedly aimed racial slurs at his Black colleagues. The company also reportedly did nothing about racist graffiti on the worksite and failed to adequately investigate reports of a noose on site. In an interview with USA Today, the company’s president stated that the company “initiated a comprehensive investigation and took swift corrective action” upon learning of the allegations and that the company cooperated fully with the EEOC’s investigation.
A new rule limits how and when union members at federal agencies can lobby the government. The rule, issued by the Federal Labor Relations Authority, bans “grassroots” lobbying on official time, something that federal employees have done for decades. Grassroots lobbying refers to when a union representative encourages members of the public and other union members to contact their lawmakers regarding proposed legislation. Lobbying is particularly important for the roughly 1 million unionized federal civilian workers who don’t bargain over pay or benefits but rather rely on Congress to pass legislation to increase pay and benefits. At least one union representing a federal agency—the National Treasury Employees Union—is appealing the decision.
And finally, the National Labor Relations Board recently found that an exotic dancer at an Ohio gentleman’s club is an employee rather than an independent contractor—a decision that can impact the debate in other sectors. In reaching the decision, the NLRB considered factors such as: the degree to which the club’s dancers had opportunity for economic gain, the amount of economic risk on the dancers’ part, and the amount of control that the club exercised over the dancers. The decision may provide ammunition for workers seeking reclassification as employees in other sectors—particularly where the questions of control and entrepreneurial opportunity are involved.