Today’s News & Commentary — May 8, 2018

Published May 8th, 2018 -  - 05.08.187


The New Yorker reported last night that four women have accused New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of sexual misconduct and physical abuse, including one woman who previously worked closely with his office. Schneiderman, who positioned himself as a champion of workers’ rights and women’s rights in the wake of the #MeToo movement, denied the allegations and abruptly resigned. The women’s stories raise important questions about holding government officials, law enforcement officers, and others in positions of legal power accountable for sexual misconduct and abuse. As one of his alleged victims asked, “What do you do if your abuser is the top law-enforcement official in the state?”

Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman wrote for the New York Times about why she equalized benefits for all of her company’s employees. Warehouse, customer service, and store employees at Rent the Runway now enjoy the same family leave benefits that corporate employees have. In fact, a recent study spotlighted in the Harvard Business Review shows that hourly workers need flexible policies like paid sick and parental leave the most but are often the least likely to get it. “It’s time for business leaders to step up and fulfill not only their fiduciary duty to shareholders, but also their moral duty to society to treat every worker equally,” Hyman wrote.

Bloomberg News revealed U.S. Department of Labor Solicitor Kate O’Scannlain‘s plans to rein in enforcement by DOL field offices. In response to an audience complaint about punitive wage-and-hour and federal contracting enforcement, O’Scannlain told a closed-door U.S. Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday that she will soon issue a memo directing field offices to enforce and interpret the law in a way that’s consistent with Trump administration policy. O’Scannlain arrived at DOL four months ago, and three of the ten associate solicitors plus a regional solicitor have since announced their departures after lengthy civil service careers.

Finally, teachers’ strikes are not only happening in states like Arizona, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia—but also across the globe in Iran. The Wall Street Journal reports that teachers’ strikes are among hundreds of recent labor protests in Iran as tensions over the country’s economic troubles rise. Striking workers say their employers owe them months of back wages, and President Trump’s announcement later today of his decision on the Iran nuclear deal may impact their payment prospects if economic sanctions are reissued.

 

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