Today’s News & Commentary — May 13, 2018

Published May 13th, 2018 -  - 05.13.188


The Ninth Circuit struck down on Friday a Seattle ordinance that purported to give Lyft and Uber drivers the right to unionize. The panel said that Washington had not authorized the law specifically enough, but upheld the trial court’s ruling that Seattle’s law was not pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act. Some workers’ advocates see the opinion as an overall win, as the court articulated how states could authorize such pro-unionization laws.

The New York Times reports that a high school principal in Queens has been reassigned to a new position after being accused of several acts of sexual misconduct. The New York City government has paid out over $600,000 to settle several lawsuits that accused the principal, Howard Kwait, of sexual harassment and discrimination. City agencies settled 32 such suits from 2014 to 2017 for a total of $4.7 million. Mr. Kwait was accused of making sexual advances on subordinates, discrimination against a teacher on the basis of pregnancy, and retaliation. The move comes as the City seeks to strengthen its sexual harassment responses.

Washington D.C. is grappling with the possible effects if Amazon chooses the city for its second headquarters. Some residents and city leaders are concerned that the influx of workers would burden infrastructure, create traffic, and exacerbate a housing shortage. Amazon has suggested that the average salary for the up-to 50,000 new jobs at HQ2, as it is known, would be $100,000. D.C. Council member Robert C. White, Jr. noted that the city is already experience dramatic gentrification and displacement, and the addition of thousands of high-earning workers may worsen the problem.

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