News & Commentary

May 30, 2016

Adi Kamdar

Adi Kamdar is a student at Harvard Law School.

Uber will not release the race and gender breakdown of its 6,000 corporate office employees according to the Boston Globe, despite calls from activist groups to do so. Last week, Uber dismissed requests to add a tipping feature to its app, arguing that passengers’ unconscious biases would lead to disparities in tips between white and black drivers. (Notably, the fact that customers rate drivers may already be achieving similar disparate results.) Uber’s apparent race consciousness prompted Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to ask the ridehailing company to release its internal diversity statistics, “even if the numbers aren’t good.” The Coalition has successfully pressured several other Silicon Valley firms to be more transparent about their employee makeup, revealing notable racial and gender disparities. While Uber is not required by law to disclose such diversity statistics to the public, as Rev. Jackson notes, “transparency is the first step toward credibility.”

Verizon employees will return to work Wednesday, reports the Associated Press. This news follows a tentative agreement reached Friday between the telecom giant, the Communications Workers of America, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The agreement includes “1,300 new call center jobs, nearly 11 percent in raises over four years and the first contract for Verizon wireless store workers.”

Secretary of Labor Tom Perez wrote a Letter to the Editor in the New York Times touting the Obama Administration’s recent rule doubling the salary threshold for guaranteed overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476. The letter was in response to a Times editorial two weeks ago titled “The Broken Bargain With College Graduates,” decrying the lack of jobs for young Americans with new degrees. Secretary Perez notes that, of the 4.2 million workers expected to get overtime pay under the new rule, around “2.3 million are college graduates, who will get half of the $1.2 billion in additional yearly pay resulting from the update.”

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