Today’s News & Commentary — August 25, 2015

Published August 25th, 2015 -  - 08.25.151


Target has agreed to pay $2.8 million to more than 3,000 applicants for upper-level jobs at the company who were rejected due to tests that had disparate impact across race and gender groups, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.  The EEOC’s acting director in Minneapolis, Julie Schmid, announced the company’s settlement with the agency.  “The tests were not sufficiently job-related,” Schmid said. “It’s not something in particular about the contents of the tests. The tests on their face were neutral. Our statistical analysis showed an adverse impact. They disproportionately screened out people in particular groups.”  The groups adversely affected by the tests were reportedly African-Americans, Asians, and women.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez expressed support for the Fight for $15 movement, according to the Huffington Post.  “I’m proud to stand with the Fight for 15 movement,” he said. “And it really is a movement. It’s for shared prosperity.”  This comment should not be confused with blanket support for a federal $15 minimum wage, something the Obama administration and the Department of Labor have shied away from.  Nevertheless, the statement did emphasize Perez’s support for collective action in advancing workers’ rights.  “People are increasingly understanding that they’re taking it on the chin at work,” he added. “If you battle your boss alone, it’s a heck of a lot harder to succeed. But when you work in concert with fellow workers not just in your workplace but across sectors, that’s how you succeed.”

Lydia DePillis at the Washington Post explored the possible fallout from the Chinese economic turmoil in the United States.  As America’s third-largest export market, a slowdown in Chinese consumption could hit some sectors of the U.S. economy hard.  Because the three largest exports to China are soybeans, aircraft, and passenger cars, negative effects are most likely to be felt in agricultural states, southern car-manufacturing communities, and Washington state, which sells $15.3 billion in airplanes and agricultural exports to the country.  If the Chinese slowdown continues to depress demand for oil, however, certain industries that have high energy costs could see benefits through lower oil prices.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board weighed in on the battle between taxi drivers and ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft for access to riders at Los Angeles International Airport.  Staking out a middle ground, the board called on the Los Angeles city council to grant Uber and Lyft access to LAX due to the airport’s poor transportation options while also urging the the council to reform taxi regulations and provide more uniformity to laws affecting taxi and ride-sharing companies in order to level the playing field.

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