News & Commentary

August 7, 2014

Yesterday, NPR’s “All Things Considered” discussed the NLRB’s recent ruling that McDonald’s is a “joint employer” with its franchisees. The Chicago Tribune also continued to cover the ruling, arguing that it will make unionizing easier, but may make it harder to operate franchises. Here at OnLabor, we’ve had a series of Guest Posts analyzing the issue: Professor Catherine Fisk’s initial post is here, Professor David Sherwyn’s response is here, and Professor Fisk’s reply is here.

On Wednesday, the union UNITE HERE and the NAACP released a survey finding “widespread racial inequality” in jobs at Baltimore’s BWI Airport, according to MSNBC. The groups asked Maryland’s Aviation Administration to investigate.

The Court of Federal Claims ruled that the federal government violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it delayed paying employees who worked during the October government shutdown. Law 360 reports that the suit, brought as a class action by workers at federal prisons, can proceed, although the government could be shielded from damages if it acted with a “reasonable belief” that it complied with the law. We previously covered the government shutdown’s effect on federal workers here and here.

In political news, The Hill reports that GOP lawmakers are already “planning to attack” the NLRB if they take control of the Senate in the 2014 election. Senator Alexander (R-TN) stated that he plans to introduce a bill that would significantly weaken the NLRB.

In other political news, Rep. Cicilline (D-RI) has introduced a bill that would prohibit tobacco farms from employing children, according to The Hill. This bill was inspired by a Human Rights Watch Report detailing the extent of legal child labor in the tobacco industry, which we covered in May.

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