Today’s News & Commentary— March 22, 2016
Writing in the New York Times, Dan Kaufman recounted Hillary Clinton’s patchy history with organized labor. Beginning with her work as a go-along, get-along member of the Wal-Mart board to her support of multiple free trade agreements, Kaufman criticizes Clinton for speaking out of both sides of her mouth, noting that she publicly opposed the free trade pact with Colombia during her 2008 presidential campaign but went on to lobby Senator Levin of Michigan for its passage as Secretary of State. She recounted her efforts in a recently released email to a state department employee: “I told [Senator Levin] that at the rate we were going, Columbian workers were going to end up with the same or better rights than workers in Wisconsin and Indiana and, maybe even, Michigan.” A Colombian labor rights group claims that 105 union activists have been assassinated since the deal was approved.
The UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) has stated that it will not open any investigation against Qatar for labor violations in order to give the government time to implement and enforce new labor legislation the country passed in December, according to Reuters. The wealthy Gulf state has been the focus of intense scrutiny and persistent complaints from migrant workers who have moved to the country in order to prepare it for hosting the 2022 World Cup. The new legislation purports to allow workers to walk off a job if the worker faces abuse or exploitation. The ILO’s decision comes after its members visited the Qatari prime minister, work sites, and labor groups.
JD Supra Business Advisor highlighted new regulations promulgated by the California Office of Administrative Law protecting transgender individuals in the workplace. The post compared the regulations with federal guidance and concluded that the new rules are consistent with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s interpretation of Title VII as well as OSHA’s guidance for best practices governing workplace restrooms.