Today’s News & Commentary — May 10, 2016
The legal fight over North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” continues – and it turns on whether Title VII prohibits sexual orientation or transgender (gender identity) discrimination in the workplace. CNN reports that “the United States and North Carolina tangled over transgender rights on Monday, with the Justice Department filing a civil rights lawsuit over the state’s so-called bathroom bill and state officials defiantly filing suits against the federal directive to stop the implementation of the controversial legislation.” The Justice Department and North Carolina offer different interpretations of Title VII. The Justice Department argues that “access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition or privilege of employment. Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from their gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII.” North Carolina says that the DOJ position represents a “radical reinterpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.”
New research shows that factory jobs in the United States aren’t the path to the middle class that they once were. According to The Washington Post, a new report from Ken Jacobs, Zohar Perla, Ian Perry and Dave Graham-Squire of University of California-Berkeley shows “that one-third of the families of “frontline manufacturing production workers” are enrolled in a government safety-net program. The families’ benefits cost state and local governments about $10 billion a year on average from 2009 to 2013, the analysis found.”
The prospects for truckers are similarly bleak. The Atlantic analyzed trucking and “how one of America’s steadiest jobs turned into one of its most grueling.”
Finally, writing for Bloomberg, Rebecca Greenfield looks at experimentation with the six-hour workday in Europe and asks whether it could work in America.