News & Commentary

December 22, 2015

Jon Weinberg

Jon Weinberg is a student at Harvard Law School.

A major lockout of steelworkers nationally has been ruled illegal by the National Labor Relations Board.  The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that the NLRB office in Pittsburgh determined that Allegheny Technology’s lockout of 2,200 workers since August has been illegal.  The workers are represented by the United Steelworkers.  A hearing will be set for early next year.

New York City is poised to implement some of the nation’s most progressive rules on gender discrimination, including in the workplace.  The Associated Press notes that the City’s new guidelines on gender-identity discrimination apply to employers, and “besides overall bans on discrimination in housing and hiring, the new guidelines speak to such specifics as balking at using the personal pronoun of someone’s choice — “Ms.” or “Mr.,” for instance.”  Furthermore, businesses will be precluded from having employee dress codes that “require dresses or makeup for women only, for instance, or bar only men from having long hair.”

American may be set for raise in 2016.  According to Bloomberg, “After five years in which annual wage increases have averaged around 2 percent, salaries are set to pick up as a taut job market prompts more employers to boost pay to retain or add the workers they need, economists said.”  The tight labor market reportedly will lead to upward pressure on wages.  The United States is nearing full employment, and “officials last week forecast unemployment would be at 4.7 percent at the end of each of the next three years, lower than previously estimated, showing they intend to run the job market a little hot to spur wage gains.”

A new report from the National Employment Law Project sheds light on how poor regulations in the home health care worker industry could limit enforcement of new labor standards.  PBS writes that the reports focus on a lack of oversight of agencies and that while “home care workers this year gained federal minimum wage and overtime protections after a lengthy battle in the federal courts,” strong oversight is needed to ensure compliance.

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