Today’s News & Commentary — June 22, 2016

Published June 22nd, 2016 -  - 06.22.161


Summer is heating up, and so is the Uber antitrust lawsuit. Judge Jed Rakoff’s most recent decision in the case became public on Monday, and it allows Uber Technologies Inc. to be added as a defendant in the case.  The original lawsuit named only the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanik. This addition could trigger the arbitration clause that the plaintiff, Uber passenger Spencer Meyer, likely sought to avoid by not naming Uber in the original complaint.

Employers have cut down significantly on health and wellness programs in the last year, according to a new study by the Society for Human Resource Management.  Wellness programs can consist of anything from yoga classes to smoking cessation incentives, but the jury is still out on which, if any, are most effective.  OnLabor recently explained why companies that pay employees to get more sleep face both legal and implementation problems.  Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that corporate wellness programs can cause companies to lose 50 cents per dollar spent, which helps to explain the decline in programs this year.

In other wellness news, a pioneering 32–year longitudinal study shows that working long hours results in significantly worse health outcomes for women than for men. The study found that women who worked 60 hours or more over the 32 years had triple the risk of developing diabetes, cancer, heart problems, and arthritis compared to those who worked only 40 hour weeks. On the other hand, men who worked longer hours than their peers saw better health outcomes in some areas, including heart and lung disease—though their risk of arthritis did increase. These staggering results suggest that female employees have far more to worry about than the wage gap.

Finally, the Supreme Court will consider the President’s appointment powers for the second time in two years. In NLRB v. SW General Inc., the Court will review President Obama’s appointment of Lafe Solomon as Acting General Counsel of the NLRB . Obama nominated Solomon while Solomon was already filling the post in an acting capacity, which the D.C. Circuit held to be a violation of the 1998 Federal Vacancy Reforms Act. SW General Inc. provides ambulances services in Arizona, and the NLRB found that it had committed an unfair labor practice while Solomon was acting General Counsel. They contend that the finding was invalid, since Solomon lacked the authority to sign off on the finding. The Supreme Court will not review the underlying unfair labor practice. Read more about this case, which has huge implications for the next President and all his or her federal appointments, on SCOTUSblog and POLITICO.

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