Today’s News & Commentary — January 11, 2018

Published January 11th, 2018 -  - 01.11.1820


Early Wednesday morning, agents descended on 98 7-Eleven stores in 17 states, from California to Florida, and arrested 21 employers.  Federal immigration authorities are beginning to heavily scrutinize businesses that hire unauthorized workers.  Wednesday morning’s enforcement operation was the largest operation against employers under the Trump administration.  7-Eleven has terminated the franchise agreements of franchisees convicted of violating federal immigration laws.  The New York Times reports.

In the last few days of his administration, Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that banned discrimination against breastfeeding in the workplace.  This law is an extension of the New Jersey’s civil rights law, and requires employers to provide break time and a suitable location for breastfeeding women to express milk in private.  The Associated Press reports.

In Wisconsin, a Republican-sponsored bill that would prevent local governments from enacting ordinances pertaining to employment matters is facing debate.  The bill would not allow local governments to pass ordinances on working hours, overtime, benefits, and discrimination and wage claims.  This effort to curtail local governance has increased in recent years; since 2016, at least 15 states have passed 28 pre-emptive laws covering everything from barring higher local minimum wages to blocking more generous paid leave provisions.  The New York Times reports.

After the tax plan cut corporate taxes from 35 to 21 percent, companies like American Airlines, AT&T, Bank of America, and Nationwide Insurance are handing their employees $1000 bonuses. These bonuses are ways corporations have “shared their bounty” wth employees, but are non-permanent, one-time payouts.  The Washington Post reports.

Toyota and Mazda have agreed to build a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Alabama that will employ about 4,000 workers.  Alabama will provide tax incentives, which are expected to be close to $1 billion over several years.  President Trump has been vocal about his desire for automakers to expand U.S. production and last year, threatened Toyota with hefty tariffs if it built its Corolla sedan in Mexico rather than the U.S.  The New York Times reports.

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