News & Commentary

July 14, 2016

Alexa Kissinger

Alexa Kissinger is a student at Harvard Law School.

Employers will now have more time to comply with two separate EEOC regulations.  The agency announced employers will have three extra months before it begins enforcing the anti-retaliation provisions of its injury and illness reporting rule, and six extra months to submit 2017 employee data reports under its revised EEO-1 reporting rule. The National Association of Manufacturers and other business groups are currently suing OSHA over the anti-retaliation provisions of the injury and illness reporting rule, alleging they limit incident-based safety incentive programs and post-accident drug testing. The revised reporting rule, which President Obama announced on the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, updates the existing requirement that businesses submit annual employee demographic data to require businesses with 100 or more employees to report pay data by gender, race and ethnicity.

The number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits held steady last week at an historically low level.  The Labor Department announced that initial claims for unemployment benefits last week were unchanged from the prior week at 254,000.  According to The Wall Street Journal, these numbers may be the latest sign the labor market may be stabilizing.

The Obama Administration announced that, for the first time, national health spending will average more than $10,000 a person this year.  According to The New York Times, the administration reported that by 2025, health care will represent 20 percent of the total economy, up from 17.8 percent last year. By 2025, one of every five Americans will be on Medicare, and the program will spend an average of nearly $18,000 a year for each beneficiary. Experts attributed the spending growth to improvements in economic conditions that are projected over the next decade, somewhat higher incomes, and the use of high-cost specialty drugs and faster growth in drug prices.  The expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act likely contributed to higher spending on hospital and doctors’ services, “with fewer people reporting that they had skipped needed medical care because of cost concerns,” the Administration’s report said.

Uber announced it will be suspending operations in Hungary due to new regulations in the country. As reported in FORTUNE, even though The European Commission recently pleaded with EU countries to work with sharing economy platforms such as Uber and AirBnB, the Hungarian parliament passed new legislation  requiring authorities to block the apps of passenger transport companies that do not use a traditional dispatch service. In other Uber news, a report by Morgan Stanley found that yellow cabs still outperform Uber and other ride-sharing apps in New York. According to the report as shared by Recode, there were 11.1 million taxi trips in April, 4.7 million Uber trips, 750,000 Lyft trips, and 450,000 Via trips. However, the 11.1 million taxi rides represent a 9% drop from a year earlier, while Uber’s percentage rose 121%. Taxi drivers also gave twice as many rides per week as Uber drivers (91 vs. 44 respectively), according to the research.

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