Today’s News & Commentary — January 19, 2017

Published January 19th, 2017 -  - 01.19.172


Yesterday, the Senate held a confirmation hearing on Wilbur Ross, President-elect Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary.  At the hearing, Ross continued to show support for a renegotiation of NAFTA, a frequent topic for Trump during the campaign.  Ross also indicated that China’s trade practices would be a target of trade enforcement actions under the next president.  Read more about the hearing here and access a video of the confirmation hearing here.

President-elect Trump’s actions aimed at keeping jobs in the United States have continued to garner news coverage.  The New York Times compiled a list of company announcements regarding retention of jobs in the U.S., organizing the announcements into three categories: companies which “announced plans after Trump singled them out,” companies which “held up job plans after criticism from Trump,” and companies which “have kept plans despite criticism from Trump.”  For the full list, read more here.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at the Department of Labor filed actions alleging discriminatory employment practices at JPMorgan Chase and Oracle.  The Department filed a complaint against JPMorgan with an administrative law judge in New York alleging that at least 93 women employed at the company were paid less than men in similar positions.  In the action against Oracle, OFCCP alleged both hiring and pay discrimination.  The complaint asserts that Oracle paid white men more than similarly situated employees and Oracle impermissibly favored Asian men for certain technical positions over others applying for those jobs.  USA Today situates this enforcement action against Oracle in the context of the Department’s “more aggressive” enforcement of labor laws against tech companies in Silicon Valley in recent months.  As evidence of the Department’s heightened focus on Silicon Valley, the article points to recent actions initiated by the Department of Labor against Google and Palantir.

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